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Hawai‘i Legislators Comment on Supreme Court Nominee

July 9, 2018, 4:12 PM HST
* Updated July 10, 7:44 AM
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Hawai‘i Legislators released statements following President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Wikipedia Image

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, said:

“Today, Donald Trump selected Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court from a list hand-picked by two organizations with a far-right ideology—the Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation.

“As a federal appellate court Judge, Brett Kavanaugh’s record is replete with decisions favoring the privileged and powerful. His writings and rulings show a determination to restrict women’s reproductive freedom and strip federal agencies of their power to protect our water, air, and safety.

“Significantly, Judge Kavanaugh has advocated that Congress legislate to exempt U.S. presidents from civil and criminal actions while in office. This is of deep concern at a time when Donald Trump is a defendant in numerous civil lawsuits and is the subject of a significant criminal investigation.

“Judge Kavanaugh has not earned the benefit of the doubt. He has the burden of proof to demonstrate his ability to be independent of the President and exercise unbiased and independent judgment.

“No one should forget that the Majority Leader changed Senate rules for the expressed purpose of confirming Donald Trump’s ideologically-driven nominees with the barest majority rather than the 60 votes required for previous Supreme Court nominees. Judge Kavanaugh will have an opportunity to show the American people what kind of Justice he might be.”

Sen. Brian Schatz said:

“Judge Brett Kavanaugh has a troubling record of undermining civil liberties, opposing environmental protection, favoring corporations over workers, and undermining reproductive rights.

“It is disappointing that President Trump has again selected a nominee from a pre-determined list provided by a special interest group with a radical agenda. As a nominee from this list, Judge Kavanaugh represents a judicial philosophy that is committed to overturning Roe v. Wade and stripping millions of people with pre-existing conditions of their health care. It is now up to him to prove to the American people that he does not represent an extreme judicial doctrine, can serve as an independent check on the executive and legislative branches, and will champion civil liberties.

“I will continue to study Judge Kavanaugh’s record and follow his hearing closely, but I have grave reservations about this nominee.”

Hawai‘i Lt. Gov. Doug Chin, and former attorney general, said:

“On the campaign trail, Donald Trump promised to appoint Supreme Court justices who would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade,” said Lt. Governor Doug Chin, who served as Hawai‘i’s Attorney General until 2018. “Today, he kept his promise by appointing a right-wing activist judge.”

“If the U.S. Supreme Court will not—or cannot—stop Trump’s hateful, harmful agenda, that leaves Congress as the only check. Now, more than ever, Hawai‘i needs an Attorney General representing them in Washington, D.C.”

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa said:

“I urge my colleagues in the Senate to reject the president’s attempt to fundamentally alter the balance of the court and further chip away at the protections guaranteed by our Constitution. It is no coincidence that a President under federal investigation and the defendant in multiple civil lawsuits is nominating a Judge who has pushed Congress to pass legislation exempting the President from civil actions and criminal investigations while in office. Judge Kavanaugh believes, as Trump does, that the president should have broad executive authority. He consistently sided with arguments that supported that position during his 12 years as a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.”

“Moreover, Judge Kavanaugh has consistently opposed the fundamental rights of women. Trump is on a crusade to overturn Roe v. Wade, a pursuit that will likely result in a lawsuit that could come before the Supreme Court. In October, Kavanaugh dissented when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit stopped the Trump administration from blocking a 17-year-old migrant from obtaining an abortion. Kavanaugh wrote ‘government has permissible interests in favoring fetal life, protecting the best interests of a minor, and refraining from facilitating abortion.’”

“He is a pro-business conservative to the right of Justice Kennedy, who opposes tougher gun laws and environmental regulations. Judge Kavanaugh supports the Trump administration’s efforts and methods to undermine the Affordable Care Act, especially when it comes to Americans dealing with pre-existing conditions.”

“We cannot allow this president to reverse decades of progress to end discrimination, expand healthcare coverage, and advance the rights of women, workers, the LGBTQ community, minority communities and native people.”

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