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The Guardians of Democracy

In Rare Move, ACLU Breaks Its Own Policy To Oppose Kavanaugh Nomination

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In Rare Move, ACLU Breaks Its Own Policy To Oppose Kavanaugh Nomination





The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced Saturday that it has decided to break with its own policy of not endorsing or opposing judicial candidates and came out in opposition to Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court in light of the multiple sexual assault allegations leveled against him.

“As a matter of organizational policy, the ACLU does not support or oppose candidates for political or judicial office,” ACLU President Susan Herman said in the statement. “In this instance, the national board held an extraordinary meeting, and has chosen to make an exception to that policy.”

Herman explained that the board of directors was “deeply concerned” by the allegations presented against Kavanaugh from Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to accuse him of sexual assault, and two other women, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick.

The national board of directors passed a resolution opposing Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

The ACLU’s national board of directors passed a resolution stating:

“The ACLU opposes the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. There are credible allegations that Judge Kavanaugh has engaged in serious misconduct that have not been adequately investigated by the Senate. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s credible testimony, subsequent allegations of sexual misconduct, the inadequate investigation, and Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony at the hearing lead us to doubt Judge Kavanaugh’s fitness to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

“This is not a decision taken lightly. We cannot remain silent under these extraordinary circumstances about a lifetime appointment to the highest court of the land. The standard for such an appointment should be high, and the burden is on the nominee. That burden is not met as long as there are unresolved questions regarding the credible allegations of sexual assault.”



The board noted that they did not make this decision “lightly.”

“As a nonpartisan organization, the ACLU does not oppose Judge Kavanaugh based on predictions about how he would vote as a Justice. We oppose him in light of the credible allegations of sexual assault against him,” concluded Herman. 

Under its current policy, the ACLU does not take formal positions on judicial nominations. This is the fourth instance in the organization’s 98-year history that the ACLU’s national board of directors has voted to oppose a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Most recently, the organization did not endorse or oppose the nomination of Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch. 

For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has worked in courts, legislatures, and communities to protect the constitutional rights of all people. With a nationwide network of offices and millions of members and supporters, the ACLU takes on the toughest civil liberties fights in pursuit of liberty and justice for all. 





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