Skip to comments.Democrats’ last shot at stopping Trump’s Supreme Court pick
Posted on 09/03/2018 11:00:32 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
The long-shot path to killing Brett Kavanaughs Supreme Court nomination runs through the heart of the American health care system and right into the November midterm elections.
Senate Democrats prepping for this weeks marathon confirmation hearings are zeroing in on the health care views of the man who could pull the nations high court to the right for a generation and determine the fate of abortion rights, the social safety net and Obamacare itself, possibly within months.
Their goal: to box Kavanaugh into committing to preserve those health care pillars. Or, failing that, to get the 53-year-old appellate court justice to validate Democrats fear hed vote to wipe them out a reveal they hope would prompt a wave of public outcry and the additional two Senate votes needed to sink President Donald Trumps nominee.
If Americans really knew what he intends to do to our republic, perhaps many more Americans would be speaking out against his nomination, said Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), one of the Judiciary Committee Democrats who will grill Kavanaugh at the hearings, which start Tuesday.
But even if that doesnt happen and Democrats privately know they arent likely to stop Kavanaugh Democrats plan to use the confirmation battle to mobilize their base around threats to health care coverage and reproductive rights to build a blue wave for November.
In a bit of fortuitous split-screen timing, a court in Texas will be hearing its first oral arguments in yet another a case aimed at toppling Obamacare and the popular protections for people with pre-existing conditions the same day that Kavanaugh testifies.
Supreme Court nominees are usually adept at not letting themselves be pinned down on the specifics of how they might rule on a future case . But Democrats say they will call Kavanaugh out, citing his voluminous written record from his years on the bench and in government.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who before he became the Democratic leader went through other Supreme Court hearings as a Judiciary Committee member, said the conservative judge at a preconfirmation meeting did not give me any reassurance that he would protect abortion rights.
But at the upcoming hearings, Schumer said, Kavanaugh would have to be more direct. Democrats will ask him, for instance, if he believes the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion case was correctly decided.
Thats the key question, Schumer added.
Democrats are likely to quiz him on other specific health-related issues that are wending their way through lower courts Obamacare pre-existing condition protections, state laws that would ban specific abortion procedures, new work requirements conservative states are imposing on Medicaid recipients.
And Democrats believe the hearings will reverberate another platform for the message they want to personalize, in particular, for women and minorities key to capturing the House and possibly even the Senate in November.
Im someone who obviously has quite a lot of pre-existing conditions, but Im also a woman of color, said Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), an Iraq War veteran who lost both her legs in combat. It makes me exactly the kind of person whose health care whose health would be on the line if Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed. She isnt on the Judiciary Committee, but shell make her opposition clear when the nomination reaches the Senate floor.
The math and history both favor Kavanaugh. The Senate has rejected only 12 Supreme Court nominees in U.S. history. To do it for a 13th time, Democrats need to unite their entire caucus against Kavanaugh including a few of the red-state senators in tough reelection fights and flip at least two Republicans on top of that.
Kavanaugh has no glaring holes in his polished resume. He boasts a well-funded advocacy campaign and has vows of support from most Republicans in Congress. Vulnerable Democrats up for reelection in states that Trump carried are also facing pressure to back Kavanaugh, just as they did last year with Justice Neil Gorsuch.
Yet Senate Democrats and those working against Kavanaughs nomination say theres still a remote chance of blocking his ascent one that relies heavily on exploiting Kavanaughs writings relevant to major cases like Roe v. Wadeand Texas challenge to the Affordable Care Act, as well as lesser-known health care disputes they maintain could offer a troubling window in his judicial mindset.
That means focusing on how Kavanaugh could upend Americans access to health care by gutting laws like Obamacare and, perhaps even more consequential politically, the legal right to an abortion. Where conservatives in Congress have failed, conservatives on the bench may succeed.
Women in this country should care very, very much about whats going to happen to their health care, said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), who also serves on Judiciary.
Abortion may also hold the key to the votes of centrist Republicans and staunch abortion rights defenders Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). Neither has yet indicated how theyll vote, though Collins has on multiple occasions raised Kavanaughs qualifications and noted that he has tied himself to Chief Justice John Roberts view of Roe as a settled precedent.
That line which emerged from a meeting with Collins was a red flag for abortion rights advocates, given Roberts role in upholding a ban on so-called partial-birth abortions and his dissent in a 2016 case striking down abortion services restrictions.
Settled law is settled for the lower courts but the Supreme Court can unsettle it in a future case. And even if the court doesnt overturn Roe, activists note Kavanaugh could form part of a new conservative majority on the Roberts court that erodes access to abortion in rulings on a slew of other reproductive rights cases moving through the lower courts.
Were going to hear some pretty aggressive pushback against the idea that he can get away with code words like settled law, said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Democrats aim to turn Kavanaughs words against him when it comes to Obamacare, too. In the Texas case, 20 conservative state attorneys general argue that by gutting the health laws individual mandate penalty, congressional Republicans rendered the whole health law unconstitutional. That particular application of the severability argument when one part of a law is struck, another one has to go, too has drawn ridicule from legal scholars on both sides of the aisle, particularly as Congress left the rest of the law intact, despite months of trying to repeal it.
Kavanaugh has expressed skepticism of such a broad interpretation of severability as well. But hes also suggested presidents could effectively ignore laws they believe are unconstitutional a remark tucked into the footnote of a 2011 Obamacare case he ruled on thats raised alarms for the unchecked power it could grant Trump.
The question is whether Kavanaugh believes that a sitting president or his administration can be held accountable for his actions, said Abbe Gluck, a Yale Law School professor with expertise in health law. That doesnt impact just the Affordable Care Act it affects everything.
Citing precedent, Senate Republicans have already signaled theyll push back against attempts to tease out Kavanaughs views on active cases.
How are you going to know what a case is 10 years from now? Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said. There isnt going to be a black-and-white answer to anything.
But Democrats insist they wont back down, especially after what they contend has been years of ruthless norm-breaking by Republicans most notably the 2016 blockade of former President Barack Obamas court nominee Merrick Garland.
This is one of the most important acts a senator performs, said Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), a former prosecutor and potential 2020 presidential contender. It has a profound impact on the lives of Americans, and Im of the strong belief that anything and everything we can do to make sure that the American public knows who this person is must be done.
It is my thinking that any judge would not reveal how they would rule in a case. To announce your bias to any issue that would affect any ruling should not be done and to infer how they would rule is taking advantage of the protocols that prevent a judge from doing so.
I think Justice Kavanaugh will find that the good senator from California is NOT a natural born citizen.
McCain’s vote to kill Republicans’ Obamacare reform is the lifeline for Dems this fall.
They’d truly have nothing to run on otherwise.
And the media can forecast whatever dour consequences for healthcare that will help the Dems.
I just saw (2:08am) on Fox ticker tape, that a Bush lawyer released over 42,000 pages to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Kavanaugh. This is likely designed to stop the hearings so that Democrats can “have time to read” all of it.
Why pretend this is their last chance? They can just have him killed like they did Scalia, as soon as a new president is elected. Right?
“Why pretend this is their last chance? They can just have him killed like they did Scalia, as soon as a new president is elected. Right?”
Yes or blackmail the judge like they did Roberts.
So the point is, these blithering idiots are going to vote against him. So what difference does it make if they vote against them for reason a, reason b, or Reason C?
Senate Democrats prepping for this weeks marathon confirmation hearings are zeroing in on the health care views of the man who could pull the nations high court to the right for a generation >>>>>>>>
Obviously another pseudo event is being created.
Word use: ‘ Zeroing in” *( Is Obama. aka Zero, going to be there?)
“pull the nations high court..” ( the nations high court has never been pulled by anyone unless its done by leftist judges, cases are supposed to be decided by stare decisis, but its the left who PULL the courts by legislating from the bench)
The Kavenaugh appointment signals a return to the status quo of SCOTUS....no legislating from the bench. Therefore the confirmation hearing must become a pseudo event...FAKE NEWS.
Just hold the hearing and have the vote...congratulations Justice Kavanaugh!
Notice to all lower judges: if you want a shot at becoming a SC justice, never rule against abortion and always rule liberal.
Kavanagh will likely end up confirmed with the same number of votes Gorsuch got. All is well!
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