Opinion: Why Millennials Of Color Will Be Harmed By A Kavanaugh Supreme Court Confirmation

Karen Fleshman
Written by Karen Fleshman

The younger you are, the more marginalized your identity, and the more you will suffer under a Supreme Court with a unified conservative voting block.

Out of all the terrible things the 45th president has done, nominating Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court due to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement is the worst for its potential long-term impact on our lives.

As a Gen X white professional woman, I stand to lose very little if we allow there to be a solid conservative voting block on the Supreme Court.

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President Donald Trump talks with Judge Brett Kavanaugh, his Supreme Court nominee, and his family at the White House, July 9, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

I’ve had my abortion. My gay friends who wanted to have gotten married. I am certain Kavanaugh would mess with my Obamacare, but fairly confident that the State of California would come through.

But if I were a millennial of color, I would be harmed tremendously by Kavanaugh’s confirmation for the next 30 years.

First, some background:

  • For him to begin serving on the Supreme Court, 51 senators must vote to confirm Kavanaugh.
  • 45 wants nothing more than to get him hastily confirmed before the Nov. 6 2018 midterm elections to prove to his base he is “Making America Great Again” by turning it into a living hell for everyone else.
  • 51 Senators are Republican, 49 are Democrats.
  • There are a total of nine justices on the Supreme Court, and they make decisions by majority vote.
  • Once confirmed, Supreme Court justices serve for the rest of their lives or until they decide to retire.

If he is confirmed by the Senate, Kavanaugh will join four other Supreme Court justices nominated by Republican presidents to form a solid conservative voting block on the Supreme Court.

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Protesters confer during a rally opposing the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court,  July 10, 2018, in Jackson, Miss. Planned Parenthood organizations rallied nationwide to protest the nomination. Abortion rights advocates fear the shutting down of the state’s only abortion clinic should Kavanaugh get seated on the bench. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Kavanaugh is 53. He could easily serve on the Supreme Court for 30 years.

Justice Kennedy was appointed in 1987, and is just now retiring.

If we allow Kavanaugh to be confirmed, he will affect millennials of color for the next 30 years.

  • You will continue to be executed by police with impunity, because Kavanaugh stands with the National Fraternal Order of Police.
  • You will continue to be massacred, on city streets and in schools, churches, and movie theaters, because Kavanaugh stands with the National Rifle Association (NRA).
  • You will not have freedom to marry who you choose, nor to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, because Kavanaugh stands with the religious right.
  • You will have your civil rights, voting rights, housing rights, and rights to a workplace free of discrimination decimated because Kavanaugh stands with the Ku Klux Klan.
  • You will continue to suffer from a society where the top 20 percent of income earners control 86 percent of the wealth, because Kavanaugh stands with the rich.
  • Immigrant children will continue to be separated from their parents and suffer extreme abuse because Kavanaugh stands with the Border Patrol Union.

How do we know this?

Because those are the endorsers, donors, and voters who got Trump elected.

The good news? Kavanaugh’s confirmation is not a done deal.

This is the time, all folks who care.

Our lives, our children and grandchildren depend on how we stand up and fight back between now and Nov. 6.

An administration that is under criminal investigation and who lost the popular vote simply cannot appoint a Justice with extremist views who will harm so many people.

Women, people of color, parents, poor people, LGBT people, young people, progressive whites — we make up the majority of the electorate.

We sent Obama to the White House twice.

I implore you.

We need everyone on deck.

I don’t want to hear “Kavanaugh’s confirmation is a done deal, there is nothing we can do about it.”

No it’s not.

We must #StopKavanaugh, demand that the confirmation of a new Supreme Court justice not take place until January 2019 when a new Congress will be sworn in, and vote in the midterm election on Nov. 6, 2018 as if our lives depend on it.

How can we #StopKavanaugh?

  • Gather together with our like-minded friends and organize.
  • Get in touch with your local chapters of organizations opposing Kavanaugh and work together, such as Color of Change, MoveOn.org, NAACP, the National Urban League, the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, Women’s March,  Indivisible. They are planning rallies in all 50 states on August 26 to oppose Kavanaugh.
  • Educate your family and friends, especially the younger ones, about the impact Kavanaugh would have if confirmed. Urge them to join you.
  • Pray, call, write, email, Instagram, tweet and urge our families and friends to do the same. Let’s make #StopKavanaugh trend Eevery day for four months!
  • Register to vote and get your friends and family registered too! And make sure you and everyone you know actually vote on Nov. 6.
  • Research who your representative is — all 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for grabs in the midterm election. Is your senator up for reelection? Is he or she opposed to confirming Kavanaugh? And, if so, how specifically is he or she opposing? Tag your elected officials on pics #WeAreRegisteredAndWatchingYou #StopKavanaugh
  • Protest and engage in civil disobedience.

On the Fourth of July, Therese Patricia Okoumou captured all of our imaginations by magically scaling the Statue of Liberty to demand children be released.

On June 28, I was one of 630 women arrested at the U.S. Senate to protest family separation.

We can and must put our bodies at risk to stop this process. Too much is on the line.