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Peace & Life Connections Index

#419 Kavanaugh, Showing We're Needed - July 13, 2018

Brett Kavanaugh on Our Issues

Brett Kavanaugh and family

As is our custom with new U.S. Supreme Court nominees, we offer what we know, based on news reports. Abortion In his dissent on a case allowing an immigrant teenager’s abortion, Kavanaugh wrote "the government has permissible interests in favoring fetal life, protecting the best interests of a minor, and refraining from facilitating abortion." But added: "all parties to this case recognize Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey as precedents we must follow." Many assume he’d vote to overturn Roe. That was hoped for Anthony Kennedy also. Kavanaugh clerked for Kennedy. Death Penalty While several news outlets assume as a conservative he’d support capital punishment, they give no details. Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty offers good conservative reasoning for opposition to executions. Kavanaugh’s a devout Catholic, and the Catholic hierarchy’s position is to end it. We can’t yet guess how Kavanaugh feels. Euthanasia No comments were found. Unlike previous nominee Neil Gorsuch, who wrote an entire book on the topic, there’s nothing (other than being a devout Catholic) to indicate his position. At least, unlike abortion, there’s no complication of a legal precedent to be overturned War Kavanaugh considers war powers (see pages 1475-1489 of a law review article he wrote): “As a political and policy matter, it makes sense for there to be an inter-branch consensus among our federal elected officials . . . .Such consensus maximizes public and political support for the war effort while minimizing the risk that war will be undertaken hastily without proper consideration.” [writing about the executive and legislative branches] Poverty As he mentioned in his opening remarks when nominated: “These days, I help serve meals to the homeless at Catholic Charities.” How might this impact rulings? His tendency to favor businesses can cause skepticism. But at least having the experience of direct interaction with people in poverty is better than not having it. Racism Also in his opening remarks, he said: “My mom was a teacher. In the 1960s and 70s she taught history at two largely African American public high schools in Washington, D.C.” He helped reinstate a lawsuit on racial discrimination, writing that “being called the n-word by a supervisor . . . suffices by itself to establish a racially hostile work environment.” As a Yale law student, he published a law review article about jury selection, proposing a way to strengthen against racial discrimination.


When the Pro-Life Movement Knows It Needs Us While Rachel MacNair was making contacts to promote our Grassroots Defunding campaign, Kelsey Hazzard of our member group Secular Pro-Life gave a workshop at the recent National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) convention in Kansas on presenting the pro-life case in a secular way. An audience member asked about the issue of immigrant children torn away from their parents, worrying that the single-issue pro-life focus would keep organizations from taking a stand on that, thereby reducing pro-life credibility. Rachel let the workshop audience know that at that very moment, we had a pro-life contingent in the Families Belong Together D.C. rally. The feeling in the room seemed to be an understanding that, by doing that, we were providing a real service to the entire pro-life movement.

Rachel MacNair & Kelsey Hazzard

Selfie: Rachel MacNair & Kelsey Hazzard at NRLC Convention


Latest CLN Blog Post There was a stir recently when leaders of “Republican Majority for Choice” gave up on the Republican Party in disgust. Jim Kelly considers the basic question of how that party came to oppose abortion. His thesis is that fiscal conservatism doesn’t win elections but social conservatism does, in The Future of Fake Social Conservatism.


Quotation of the Week Aldous Huxley The Olive Tree, 1936 The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.


Responses/News tips/Questions to share are all welcome.

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