LGBT groups criticized the U.S. Senate
on Saturday for confirming Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court
after a bitter nomination fight.
Soon after senators voted 50-48 mostly
along party lines, Kavanaugh was sworn in by Chief Justice John G.
Roberts, Jr. and the retired Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, whom
Kavanaugh will replace. The swearing in ceremony took place in
Kavanaugh's nomination was clouded by
accusations of sexual misconduct. He also lashed out at Democratic
senators during a Senate hearing on the allegations, leading some to
say he lacked the temperament to sit on the nation's highest court.
A chorus of women shouting “Shame!”
were removed from the Senate gallery as Senators voted. Other
protests took place on the steps of the Supreme Court and the
President Donald Trump cheered the
news. “He's going to go down as a totally brilliant Supreme Court
justice for many years,” he told reporters.
LGBT groups disagreed, saying that
Kavanaugh was unqualified for the lifetime appointment.
“In one of the most consequential
votes of their lifetimes – and of their constituents’ lifetimes –
50 members of the United States Senate opted to back a dangerous,
unqualified nominee who demonstrated he lacks the temperament,
honesty and objectivity required of any judge and continues to face
multiple credible allegations of sexual assault that have not been
fully investigated,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a
statement. “The harmful consequences of the Senate’s decision to
support Brett Kavanaugh will last decades. We thank the 49 senators
who had the courage to do the right thing, vote their conscience and
oppose this nomination.”
Griffin added that Kavanaugh's
confirmation would activate Democrats in November.
“In the wake of this news, there is
only one course of action. The millions of Americans who have fought
a valiant struggle against this Trump-Pence nominee must make their
voices heard in November and beyond by electing lawmakers who will
stand up for our rights rather than sell us out,” Griffin said.
LGBT law group GLAD said that serious
questions remain about Kavanaugh's qualifications.
“Serious questions remain about both
the thoroughness of this process, and about Judge Kavanaugh’s
ability to credibly respond to multiple allegations brought forward
against him. In his testimony last Thursday he failed to demonstrate
the steady and independent judicial temperament Americans have a
right to expect from any judge, most especially a justice of the
Supreme Court,” said GLAD Executive Director Jason Wu.
Rea Carey, executive director of the
National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, called the process a
“[Senate Majority Leader] Mitch
McConnell and [President] Donald Trump have both repeatedly taken a
stand that women, and by extension LGBTQ people, should not have
control of our bodies or a right to live with dignity and respect,”
Carey said in a statement. “Their actions strengthen our resolve
to Queer the Vote now, in November, in 2020, and beyond.”
Shannon Minter, legal director at the
National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), called Saturday's vote a
“slap in the face to women and all sexual assault survivors” and
“a terrible blow to the legitimacy of the Supreme Court.”
“Kavanaugh's belligerence and
hyperpartisan attacks at last week's hearing demonstrates that he
does not have the temperament or impartiality for a lifetime
appointment to our nation's highest court,” Minter added.
Kavanaugh will take his place on the
bench on Tuesday.