July 09, 2018

Van Hollen Statement on Kavanaugh Nomination

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen released the following statement regarding President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court:
“The person who fills Justice Kennedy's position on the Supreme Court will have a pivotal role in making decisions that will impact every American for generations to come. Tonight, President Trump had an opportunity to pick a mainstream, consensus Supreme Court nominee who could garner broad bipartisan support. Disappointingly, but not surprisingly, President Trump squandered that opportunity. Instead, by nominating Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump contracted out this important decision to right-wing groups like the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation. The result is a highly ideological nominee who cannot be trusted to be a fair and impartial administrator of justice. The risk is compounded by the fact that, during his presidential campaign, Trump established a litmus test for any Supreme Court nominee — saying he would pick someone who would overturn a woman's right to reproductive choice as decided in Roe v. Wade. He also stated that women who exercise that choice should be subjected to “some form of punishment.” The lists assembled by the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation were compiled with that litmus test in mind.
“In addition to protecting a woman's right to choose, the Supreme Court will make other key decisions on fundamental issues like civil rights, voting rights, freedom of the press, environmental protections, workers' rights, and the undemocratic flood of secret money in elections. Day after day, President Trump has shown his disdain for the rule of law and principles of fairness and equal justice under the law. And, at this moment, the Trump Administration is supporting an effort to get the courts to overturn key healthcare protections for the tens of millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions.  

“With so much at stake, we needed a nominee who can give the country confidence that he will be impartial and will adhere to the principles in the Constitution and the laws established by the Congress. What Donald Trump demanded — and what we now have — is something very different. Brett Kavanaugh has a public record that has already been well-examined. In fact, he only ended up on this pre-vetted, right-wing list because he was open to using the courts to push the Republicans’ activist agenda. I expect hearings and floor debate will further underscore these concerns.

“People in Maryland and across the country need and deserve a Supreme Court justice who will stand up for liberty and justice for all — not someone pre-selected by right-wing groups who consistently sides with powerful special interests over the rights of workers, consumers, and individuals. Brett Kavanaugh simply does not meet that basic standard, and I cannot support his nomination to the Supreme Court.”