September 2018 Archives

static.politico.jpgSenator John Kennedy's lobby for confirmation of Trump's nominee defies the conscientious objections of millions of Americans who Refuse to Accept a Fascist America.

Calling the confirmation process "an intergalactic freak show," the Louisiana Republican predicted a Judiciary Committee vote to advance Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh would proceed as planned on Thursday, reports POLITICO producer Caitlin Oprysko.

Sexual assault allegations against the nominee have inspired Congressional lawmakers to delay the confirmation process "until, at a very minimum, these serious and credible allegations are thoroughly investigated," says Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.

Palo Alto University professor Christine Ford acknowledged authorship of a confidential letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein this weekend, describing the alleged attack: 

[Ford] alleged that, during an encounter at a party, Kavanaugh held her down, and that he attempted to force himself on her. She claimed in the letter that Kavanaugh and a classmate of his, both of whom had been drinking, turned up music that was playing in the room to conceal the sound of her protests, and that Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand. She was able to free herself. Although the alleged incident took place decades ago and the three individuals involved were minors, the woman said that the memory had been a source of ongoing distress for her, and that she had sought psychological treatment as a result.

We don't need, or want, to disqualify a Supreme Court nominee short of a comprehensive accounting for the candidate's history of assault on human rights -- including the right of a woman to not be raped. "It's not just that Kavanaugh would eviscerate women's fundamental right to decide for themselves whether to bear children -- which alone would be reason enough for millions to rise in massive political revolt," poses "With Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court would be a rubber stamp to the whole Trump/Pence agenda: shredding the separation of church and state in favor of Christian fascism against women, LGBTQ people, science, and the environment; backing xenophobic ethnic cleansing of immigrants and terror against Black people to 'Make America WHITE Again'; eviscerating civil liberties, the separation of powers, and the rule of law; unleashing even more vicious torture and military aggression against people of the world.

Kavanaugh's confirmation would threaten the protection of fundamental human rights, including the right not to be tortured, says Political Science professor Jamie Mayerfeld. The composition of the Supreme Court may determine whether Donald Trump or a future president could act on Trump's promise to "bring back waterboarding and ... a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding."

The Trump nominee for U.S. Supreme Court believed the author of notorious memos providing legal cover for those torturing human beings would be great as a lifetime pick for Ninth Circuitreports Common Dreams staff writer Julia Conley on confidential emails released by Senator Cory Booker. The exchanges between Kavanaugh and Kyle Sampson occurred one day after the date of one of Yoo's torture memo drafts tweets journalist Mike Sacks: 

Kavanaugh referred to Yoo as his "magic bullet." Interpret that as you will, but I see this exchange as Kavanaugh's wanting to load up the judiciary with originalist, Unitary Executive folk; and as circumstantial evidence that Yoo knew the potential blowback for the torture memo.

"Judge Kavanaugh appears to have participated in a dark chapter of our nation's history during the Bush Admin's use of torture and cruel, inhumane treatment of prisoners - and he misled the Senate about it when he testified UNDER OATH in 2006," concludes Senator Tammy Duckworth. 

0.pngBut the collaboration of Kavanaugh and Yoo (see one such exchange at right) doesn't stop there. In another program of domestic terror -- surveillance of non-citizens visiting the United States -- the Supreme Court nominee holds that "critical national security need outweighs the impact on privacy occasioned by this program." Homeland Security agents now search cell phones and other electronic devices of people traveling internationally at a rate four times higher than in 2015. Former DHS Secretary John Kelly went so far as to say visitors to the U.S. should be required to give up their online passwords and submit to social media searches.

People concerned about government surveillance should be skeptical of Brett Kavanaugh urges Washington Examiner commentator Erin Dunne. "Americans who value their privacy and civil liberties should study his paper trail on Fourth Amendment cases. (A 2015 Court of Appeals opinion by Judge Kavanaugh found 'the Government's metadata collection program entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment.') What they will find is a troubling record that points to a judge who is likely to side with vague justifications of security over liberty."

Critics of the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh include at least one Republican Congressman. GOP Representative Justin Amash says Kavanaugh's 2015 concurring opinion creates "a rubber stamp for the executive branch."  

"If Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed, he will cement a conservative majority that is unlikely to restrict the government's unprecedented surveillance capabilities or preserve individuals' First Amendment rights online," says Center for Democracy & Technology strategist Lisa Hayes. "The Senate should reject Judge Kavanaugh's nomination."

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Detention and torture in Guantanamo

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