NEW YORK — In the wake of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s sworn testimony of sexual abuse at the hands of Brett Kavanaugh, the American Civil Liberties Union has announced its opposition to his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
As a matter of organizational policy, the ACLU does not support or oppose candidates for political or judicial office. In this instance, the national board held an extraordinary meeting, and has chosen to make an exception to that policy.
“The ACLU’s board of directors, deeply concerned by the allegations raised in recent weeks, has made a rare exception to its longstanding policy and voted to oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” said Susan Herman, president of the ACLU.
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.”
“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.