McCaskill should vote to confirm Kavanaugh

Monday, August 20, 2018

Last month, President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be the next U.S. Supreme Court justice. Judge Kavanaugh is an exceptionally qualified jurist, but when Sen. Claire McCaskill was asked where she stands on this nominee, she had absolutely nothing to say. After dragging her feet for weeks, she finally committed to meet with Judge Kavanaugh. McCaskill should know that going through the motions is not enough. Judge Kavanaugh deserves to be confirmed swiftly, with bipartisan support.

Judge Kavanaugh has served on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for more than a decade, establishing a reputation for being principled and fair. Like Justice Neil Gorsuch, he is an originalist who will interpret the law, not try to make it himself. In his time on the bench, he has ruled wisely in major cases involving the protection of life and freedom of conscience.

Dissenting from the majority in Garza v. Hargan, Kavanaugh rejected the ACLU's attempt to create a radical, new constitutional right to abortion on demand for illegal immigrant children in federal custody and stood up for the administration's impermissible interest in favoring fetal life, protecting the best interests of a minor, and refraining from facilitating abortion.

In another case, Priests for Life v. HHS, Kavanaugh defended a pro-life religious organization from the Obama administration's unconstitutional mandate forcing them to provide abortifacient drugs in their health plans.

These issues matter immensely to the pro-life voters of Missouri, who showed their trust in President Trump by electing him by a 19-point margin in 2016. Two years later, they see him delivering on his promises. The same can hardly be said about Sen. McCaskill, who presents herself as a moderate, but has repeatedly sided with the radical abortion lobby against her own constituents.

First, McCaskill voted to block Neil Gorsuch, an outstanding nominee who went on to be confirmed to the Supreme Court with bipartisan support.

Then, in January of this year, McCaskill voted to keep barbaric late-term abortions legal. The U.S. is one of only seven nations, including North Korea and China, that allow abortion on demand through birth.

The federal Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, or "Micah's Law," would have protected as many as 18,000 unborn children a year from late-term abortion after five months of pregnancy, a point by which science shows they can feel pain. Twenty states have already enacted this popular law, and Missouri could be next: pain-capable legislation passed 117 to 31 in the Missouri House of Representatives in April.

McCaskill's extreme voting record shows that she is dramatically out of step with the people she represents. The least she can do now is to vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh, as polling indicates 57 percent of Missouri voters want her to do. Fifty-seven percent of the state's voters also agree that abortion policy should be made by state legislatures -- not by unelected, activist courts.

McCaskill will be held accountable in this crucial election year. Since last July, Susan B. Anthony List's pro-life field team of more than 500 canvassers has already visited 1 million homes and counting in the battleground states of Missouri, Florida, Ohio and Indiana as part of a historic effort to educate and mobilize voters for the 2018 midterm election. SBA List canvassers have also expanded to North Dakota and West Virginia and are on track to reach 2 million homes by Election Day.

This shouldn't be a difficult decision for Sen. McCaskill. She needs to stop playing politics, stand with President Trump and her constituents, and do the right thing by voting to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.

Rep. Donna Lichtenegger (R-146) represents portions of Cape Girardeau County in the Missouri House of Representatives. She is the sponsor of H.B. 1266, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

Marjorie Dannenfelser is president of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List.

Paid for by Susan B. Anthony List, 2800 Shirlington Road, Ste. 1200, Arlington, VA 22206