There is a brand new Freethought Caucus in Congress that is making its views known in regard to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The new group representing five states consists of Reps. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Dan Kildee, D-Mich., Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., Mark Pocan, D-Wis., and Jamie Raskin, D.-Md. They recently penned a letter against the approval of Kavanaugh signed by the Caucus and ten additional members of Congress!
As pointed out in a press release by the Freedom From Religion Foundation:
The letter outlined six main areas of concern the group recognizes as disqualifying factors for Kavanaugh to serve a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court. Chief among these concerns is Kavanaugh referring to the “wall of separation” between church and state as a metaphor “wrong as a matter of law and history.” “The wall of separation is critical because genuine religious freedom requires a secular government,” the letter says.
Additionally, the letter calls attention to Kavanaugh’s history of hypersensitivity to burdens on religion, citing his 2015 dissent arguing that it is a “substantial burden” to ask a religious organization option out of the Affordable Care Act contraceptive mandate to fill out five blanks on a form, while two years later he deemed that forcing a 17-year-old girl detained as an illegal immigrant to continue her pregnancy did not constitute an “undue burden” on her constitutionally protected reproductive rights. Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, interrogated Kavanaugh on this very point and his answer fell flat.
Finally, the letter notes the threat Kavanaugh poses to 70 years of Establishment Clause jurisprudence, the danger he poses to our secular public schools, and his history of hostility towards secular Americans and state-church plaintiffs.
The members of the Freethought Caucus are Reps. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Dan Kildee, D-Mich., Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., Mark Pocan, D-Wis., and Jamie Raskin, D.-Md.
Additional members of Congress who signed onto the letter include Reps. Judy Chu, D-Calif., David Cicilline, D-R.I., Mark DeSaulnier, D-Calif., Henry “Hank” Johnson, Jr., D-Ga., Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., James McGovern, D-Mass., Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.
It is time to write to your Representative and stop this nomination. In the meantime, the growth freethought to promote public policy formed on the basis of reason, science, and moral values in halls of Congress is a refreshing change from the past.