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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

NCIL Opposes Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to U.S. Supreme Court

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) is the longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. Founded in 1982, NCIL represents thousands of individuals and organizations including individuals with disabilities, Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), and other organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingBased on a careful review of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s opinions, NCIL opposes his appointment to the United States Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh’s opinions on healthcare, self-determination, employment, and education for people with disabilities are damaging to disability rights and his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court would threaten the rights and lives of Americans with disabilities.

Several of Judge Kavanaugh’s decisions are particularly concerning. One example of this is his ruling in Doe ex rel. Tarlow v. D.C., in which a class of people with intellectual disabilities living in facilities in the District of Columbia were subjected to elective surgeries (including unwanted abortions) based on the consent of District officials, without attempting to determine the individuals’ own wishes. While the district court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, on appeal Judge Kavanaugh ruled in favor of the district stating that “accepting the wishes of patients who lack (and have always lacked) the mental capacity to make medical decisions does not make logical sense and would cause erroneous medical decisions – with harmful or even deadly consequences to intellectually disabled persons.” This decision is deeply discriminatory and based on flawed assumptions about the capacity of individuals with intellectual disabilities. It is in stark contrast to the philosophy of independent living, which is grounded in the belief that people with all types of disabilities are the best experts on their own needs and should be in control of the decisions impacting their lives. In situations where people with intellectual disabilities may need assistance with making decisions, emerging practices like Supported Decision-Making will allow them to receive the supports they need to make a decision while also respecting their rights.

Additionally, access to healthcare is critical for people with disabilities, and NCIL finds the opinions expressed repeatedly by Judge Kavanaugh against the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to be very concerning. Judge Kavanaugh’s repeated attacks on the ACA are a threat to healthcare access, and if appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, he would jeopardize our ability to access the healthcare and other supports that allow us the ability to live, work, and participate fully in the communities where we reside. The ACA provides access to healthcare for many people with disabilities who had previously been denied due to pre-existing conditions, and many of the other protections under the ACA are critical for ensuring we can receive services in the community rather than in institutions. Rolling back the ACA would be an infringement on our civil rights that would ultimately result in a loss of independence and increased institutionalization. 

Another particularly concerning ruling was Judge Kavanaugh’s Baloch v. Kempthorne decision to reject a worker’s disability discrimination and retaliation claims. In this case, a worker with a disability sued his employer for imposing strict sick leave restrictions, giving him low performance reviews, and directing “profanity-laden yelling” at him after he made a formal administrative complaint. Judge Kavanaugh’s decision in this case shows his active complicity in allowing abusive environments that are a direct threat to the health and well-being of America’s workforce, and it sets the tone for complacency in the face of hostile and discriminatory work environments.

We encourage NCIL members to look further into Judge Kavanaugh’s additional decisions, as only a few have been mentioned here. Judge Kavanaugh’s views on the civil rights of people with disabilities are evident in his rulings and opinions. Twenty-eight years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, America must do better than this.

Comments

  1. Great work, thanx; also, please: Sample: Please ask these questions at Kavanaugh appointment gearings: The Constitution does not mention corporations, but the Supreme Court has struck down hundreds of local, state and federal laws enacted to protect people from corporate harm based on the illegitimate premise that corporations should have Constitutional rights. Armed with these “rights,” corporations wield ever-increasing control over jobs, natural assets, politicians, even judges and the law.

    For example, the Supreme Court has:

    *Prohibited routine inspections of corporate property without prior permission, even though scheduling such visits may permit a company to hide threats to public health and safety

    *Struck down state laws requiring companies to disclose product origins, thus preventing us from knowing what’s in our food

    *Prohibited citizens wanting to defend their local businesses from corporate chains encroachment from enacting progressive taxes on chain stores

    *Struck down state laws restricting corporate spending on ballot initiatives and referenda

    *Struck down federal laws limiting corporate spending in elections, opening the door to political corruption and drowning out the average American’s ability to influence who serves in political office

    The time has arrived when a democratic litmus test should be given to all Supreme Court justice nominees on their views on corporate constitutional rights during the confirmation process.

    Below are a list of questions I request you ask Brett Kavanaugh in hearings and at other opportunities before the confirmation vote.

    And then please OPPOSE any nominee who supports corporate constitutional rights.

    ===
    (Contact Move to Amend at info@movetoamend.org if you would like a PDF version of this questionnaire)

    You’re considered a “strict constructionist” (i.e. to literally interpret the U.S. Constitution as written). Corporations are nowhere mentioned in our constitution. How do “strict constructionists” justify anointing state-created corporations with Bill of Rights and other rights contained in the Constitution?

    Charters or licenses were democratic instruments once used by the public and state legislatures to define and limit corporate actions. Corporations, collections of capital and property, could not act beyond their charter provisions. Do you feel that these originally defined collections of capital and property should possess inalienable constitutional rights intended for human beings?

    What are inalienable constitutional rights? Who should possess them?

    The 14th Amendment was one of the three post civil war amendments passed to ensure equal protection for former slaves. Two decades later, the Supreme Court declared that the 14th Amendment’s equal protection rights also applied to corporations. Do you feel that the 14th Amendment framers intended the amendment to apply to corporations?

    Corporations won constitutional “search and seizure” rights to avoid subpoenas which may uncover corrupt financial and business practices, and to avoid health and safety inspections, and to prevent citizens and communities from stopping corporate pollution. Do you agree that corporations “search and seizure” rights should exist, which preempt the public’s right to know through inspections?

    The 1978 First National Bank v Bellotti ruling was the first Supreme Court case granting corporations the right to influence elections. In a dissenting opinion, Justice William Rehnquist stated: “It might reasonably be concluded that [corporations], so beneficial in the economic sphere, pose special dangers in the political sphere.” Do you believe that corporate money in elections poses “special dangers in the political sphere”?

    The Supreme Court asserted in the 2014 Hobby Lobby decision that a business corporation has religious rights. Do you believe that an entity created by the state possesses religious rights that could have the effect of discriminating against entire groups of people?

    The constitutional right “not to speak” has been granted to corporations to avoid listing product ingredients, even when the public health, safety and welfare may be at risk by not having the right to know. Do you feel a corporation’s constitutional so-called “right not to speak” should preempt the public’s right to protect their own health, safety and welfare?

    ===

    An ever-increasing number of future Supreme Court cases are likely to concern corporations. This underlines the urgency of knowing how Supreme Court nominees view the relationship between constitutionally protected corporate rights and human rights. This issue meets the standard of a litmus test for qualification of any High Court justice nominee to becoming a public servant in our democratic republic.

    PLEASE OPPOSE ANY NOMINEE WHO SUPPORTS CORPORATE. Thanx.

  2. Morning, great work, also: Latest actions, etc., on felonious Kavanaugh on google:

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/+realitywon

    Latest on felonious Kavanaugh on Disabled Greens News and Discussion:

    https://groups.yahoo.com/groups/DisabledGreensNews/conversations/messages/9254

    Struggle Against Kavanaugh Continues:

    https://groups.yahoo.com/groups/DisabledGreensNews/conversations/messages/9247

    ANOTHER SET OF KAVANAUGH ACTIONS ON Disabled Greens News and Discussion:

    Just say naugh to Kavanaugh 🙂

    https://groups.yahoo.com/groups/DisabledGreensNews/conversations/messages/9245

    The president went extremely too far in his comments yesterday, misogynisticly attacking another sexual assault victim to attempt to re-oppress her into self-censuring for the abuser of her; as he usually does, sadly. It was actually pathological lying by RumputiN, slandering, harrassing and re-victimizing Dr. Ford; and furthering him and his rootin’ tootin’ felonious organized crime family’s international crime spree- for he seems to mostly nominate and appoint serial lifelong repub criminals to all high positions in the exec. branch, to take public pressure off his criminal insanity, bad behavior, and because they mirror him and that. There’s so much evidence of felonious Kavanaugh’s lifelong criminality, his continuous felonious lying to the Senate, his attempted rape, conspiracy to attempt rape of Dr. Ford, etc.. His sexual abuse of Mrs. Ramirez, and subsequent abuse of her by bragging, etc.. His conspiring to do the same or similar crimes routinely, as witnessed by Ms. Swetnick, over a long period of time, etc.. His over the last several months interstate criminal conspiracy to get fellow peers to come forward and lie about Mrs. Ramirez’ account to discredit her, others to conspire to find pictures of him and her at events in order to destroy that evidence; which has been published. His letters and calendar entries that indicate he has lied numerous more times concerning his drinking only beer occasionally, etc., to this Senate judiciary confirmation committee, etc., indicating his lying is pathological- and he doesn’t meet the three minimum ethics bars for confirmation of any judge. His lifelong criminal conspiracies all indicate he isn’t fit to flip burgers at MceeDees, let alone be appointed to a lifelong position as a Supremacy Court Justice; as well as the fact that he should be prosecuted with the RICO Statute and impeached from his current position as an Appeals Court Judge. “Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s record and judicial philosophy demonstrate a clear hostility towards reproductive rights. We cannot afford to go back to a world before Roe v. Wade – when abortion was illegal and unsafe for millions of people in the U.S..” Actually, felonious Kavanaugh’s, as he’s lied six times to Congress (and should be impeached from his current Appeals Court Judge position instead of being illegally installed in the Supremacy Court), attempted installation in the Supremacy Court is more like RumputiN’s felonious crime family being installed in the Blackhouse by the united suck of assassins police, military, intelligence industrial complexes, Bernie or bust ‘bots, O’bama, tea partiers, remocrats dempublicans (that’s dinos and DinoS, dem soc), wiki leaks, Assange, sinos, dinos, ainos, linos, ginos (I was aghast when I first saw Stein across the table from utin and rump in Moscow on the news), as well as global hackers, and the monetizing of the social media too far, ’cause money’s all that matters, Moore monetizing on Trump’s name by using ‘Trumpland’ as the title of his book before the 11-16 election, even though he knew full well it would inspire remocrats to get out the vote more and realize a swing of some votes to RumputiN because a % of our polity just wants to vote for who they think will win for bragging rights, Barr, Kanye, etc.. Kavanaugh has lied over 6 times to Congress, that’s documented, he’s not only not fit to be a Supreme Court Justice, he’s not fit for the Appeals Court position he criminally occupies. RumputiN feloniously dictated that the 100k documents that the Senate requires additionally would not be provided; Kavanaugh cannot be confirmed!!! They only supplied 40k documents 12 hours before the hearings begun, giving Senators almost no time to skim through them; this is criminal procedure as well- don’t allow anything to proceed to a confirmation of the criminal (he lied in front of the Senate to Durbin during his Appeals Court confirmation, referred for prosecution) Kavanaugh. FBI should investigate the latest felonies of him for attempted rapes, sexual assault from 4 victims with numerous witnesses, etc., before Kavanaugh is confirmed, so the Senate can hear all the facts about felonious Kavanaugh before he gets an up or down vote. Thanx for all you do. Copy, share as you will. reality

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