CAIR-Philadelphia Questions SCOTUS Nominee Kavanaugh’s Record on Civil Rights and Presidential Powers, Demands He Recuse Himself from Cases Involving Trump Personally if Confirmed

(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 7/11/18) — The Philadelphia Chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Philadelphia) demands a comprehensive inquiry into Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s record on civil rights, religious freedom, the rights of immigrants, and the limitations on presidential powers prior to his confirmation.

President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh, a conservative federal appellate judge from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created upon Justice Anthony Kennedy announcing his retirement last month.

SEE: Who Is Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Pick For The Supreme Court?

CAIR also called on Judge Kavanauagh to clearly and unequivocally commit to recusing himself from any and all matters before the Supreme Court that involve President Trump exercising presidential authority to insulate himself and/or his surrogates from criminal and/or civil liability.

In a statement, CAIR-Philadelphia Civil Rights Attorney Timothy Welbeck said: “Considering the next Supreme Court Justice will undoubtedly shape the course of American jurisprudence for decades to come, it is imperative to question the record of any nominees from the current administration, and ensure any Justice confirmed to the nation’s highest court will protect the constitutional rights, privileges, and immunities for all citizens, especially racial and religious minorities. This is particularly the case considering the Trump administration has routinely engaged in rhetoric and policies that marginalize and disenfranchise large swaths of the population.”

Critics of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination suspect that President Trump selected him in large part because of his view on the expansiveness of presidential authority. For example, in a 2009 article, Kavanaugh stated that “we should not burden a sitting president with civil suits, criminal investigations, or criminal prosecution” and “if the president does something dastardly, the impeachment process is available.”

Timothy Welbeck added, “Because President Trump’s presidential campaign and numerous surrogates (five of whom have pled guilty) are presently under federal investigation, any Justice nominated by President Trump must not become entangled in constitutional queries concerning the limits of presidential authority as it relates to whether the president may be personally subjected to criminal liability, especially considering the president’s numerous statements indicating his belief that he is above the law.”

Beyond the questions Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination may raise concerning his views on presidential power, any Justice nominated by President Trump would presumably uphold his disastrous policy agendas. President Trump has made his discriminatory motivations clear since the campaign trail, and since becoming president, Mr. Trump has repeatedly demonstrated his disdain for Islam. In Trump v. Hawaii, the nation witnessed how the first Justice President Trump nominated to the Supreme Court did not thwart his efforts to enact policy that brazenly discriminates against Muslims. CAIR-Philadelphia fears the same may hold true if Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed.

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

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CONTACT: CAIR-Philadelphia Civil Rights Attorney Timothy N. Welbeck, Esq., 267-515-6712, twelbeck@cair.com; CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Jacob Bender, 267-515-6711, jbender@cair.com.