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Senate Judiciary Committee Clears Kavanaugh

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved Brett Kavanaugh, moving his nomination to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to the Senate floor, where there is expected to be debate about his qualifications and his role in the Bush Administration. Kavanaugh is best known for his work with Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr during the Clinton presidency. He was nominated in 2003, despite his lack of judicial experience, and this is the first time his nomination has moved out of committee. Earlier this month, the American Bar Association lowered its estimation of Kavanaugh’s nomination, replacing a “well-qualified” rating with “qualified,” as six members of the panel had revised their evaluations.

There is strong opposition to Kavanaugh because of his lack of experience, and possible connections to Bush administration memos allowing wire-tapping of American citizens and torture of military detainees. The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights decried the committee vote, and executive director Wade Henderson said “There is no room on our nation’s second highest court for unqualified political appointees.” Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) agreed, telling Reuters that “This nomination is a triumph of cronyism over credentials.” The Feminist Majority is part of a broad coalition of progressive organizations opposing Kavanaugh.

Sources:

Boston Globe, 5/12/06; Feminist Daily News 7/30/03; Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, 5/11/06; New York Times 5/9/06; Reuters 5/11/06