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SPLC, Alabama civil rights organizations urge “no” vote on Kavanaugh

Friday, ten left leaning Alabama civil rights organizations, including the Alabama NAACP, the Greater Birmingham Ministries, Planned Parenthood Southeast, and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), issued a statement urging U.S. Senators Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) and Doug Jones (D-Alabama) to vote against the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Judge Kavanaugh’s troubling record on protecting the rights of the most vulnerable in our society convinces us that he is not suited for a lifetime appointment to the court,” the civil rights groups explained in letters addressed separately to each senator. “Our concerns about him have been exacerbated by his seeming lack of candor during the confirmation process.”

In the letters, the groups highlighted what they called Kavanaugh’s hard-line opposition to affirmative action, his troubling record on matters of criminal justice, and his repeated votes “to uphold the interests of the wealthy and powerful and large corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, and communities of color.”

“The Alabama NAACP stands strongly against the Kavanaugh nomination,” said Alabama NAACP President Bernard Simelton. From Selma to Shelby County, Alabama is ground zero for voting rights. Confirming Brett Kavanaugh could finish off the Voting Rights Act. A vote for Kavanaugh is a vote against democracy.”

“When Robert Bork, an ideologue like Brett Kavanaugh, was nominated to the Supreme Court, Alabama’s legendary Sen. Howell Heflin exercised great wisdom by voting against him,” said Richard Cohen, president of the SPLC. “We hope that Sens. Shelby and Jones follow Sen. Heflin’s example by voting against Kavanaugh, because the rights that the people of our state hold dear hang in the balance.”

In addition to the Alabama NAACP, the Greater Birmingham Ministries and the SPLC, other groups that signed the letters to the senators are the Alabama affiliate of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice, the Central Alabama Fair Housing Center, the Fair Housing Center of North Alabama, the Mobile Fair Housing Center, Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates, and URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity.

Senate Republicans are expected to fast track Kavanaugh’s confirmation, despite allegations that Kavanaugh tried unsuccessfully to remove a girl’s swimsuit 36 years ago when both were teenagers. Kavanaugh has denied the accusation.

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Kavanaugh is President Donald J. Trump’s (R) second nominee for the Supreme Court. The first, Neal Gorsuch, was confirmed by the Senate with bipartisan support.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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