Governor Cuomo: "In confirming a lifetime appointment to the nation's highest court, the process thus far has instilled zero confidence in the American people and has revealed, once again, that Washington Republicans are willing to put party above country at all costs. The Senate Democrats must do everything in their constitutional power to stop this confirmation. Let me be very clear: New York will not stand idly by as President Trump attempts to use the Supreme Court as the political arm of the presidency."
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today issued the following open letter to the U.S. Senate demanding that Judge Kavanaugh answer to the American people, including on issues that will directly impact New Yorkers.
The President's nominee is an extreme conservative with a clear partisan record. As Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation process advances, it is imperative that we know the full truth about the nominee's record and intentions.
The Senate Republicans allowing the confirmation hearings to begin the morning after 42,000 pages of documents were dropped was a shocking example of the secretive tactics used throughout this process. What are the Senate Republicans and Trump administration trying to hide in the nominee's record? I stand with Democrats calling for transparency and demand that Judge Kavanaugh answer to the American people, including on the following issues that will directly impact New Yorkers.
Judge Kavanaugh's judicial record shows that he believes the Constitution gives an unlimited right to carry even the most dangerous assault weapons. In 2011, he sided against the District of Columbia's ban on assault weapons, writing that regulating assault weapons was "equivalent to a ban on a category of speech." New York is proud to have passed the strongest gun safety measures in the country, but as a member of our nation's highest court, Judge Kavanaugh could overturn New York's laws and roll back the progress we have made. Will Judge Kavanaugh serve the interest of the NRA and put New Yorkers in danger?
Four years after New York became the first large state to pass marriage equality, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy was a pivotal vote in the Court's ruling making it the law of the land. Will Judge Kavanaugh, who would replace Justice Kennedy, trample on the fundamental right to marry the person you love?
The President made his nomination with the stated goal of overturning Roe v. Wade. Will Judge Kavanaugh undo decades of progress and jeopardize the health and rights of women in this country?
The President wants to rip health care from millions of Americans, and he is turning to the courts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, such as when his administration made the unprecedented move to join 20 Republican-led states to argue against the Act's protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Will Judge Kavanaugh carry the President's water and support the elimination of critical health care protections under the Affordable Care Act?
The federal government has a responsibility to protect our environment and the health and safety of the American people, but the Trump administration has abdicated that responsibility in favor of corporations and the fossil fuel industry. Judge Kavanaugh already has a frightening record opposing common sense environmental regulations. Will he condone the President's ongoing assault on our planet?
In New York, we embrace diversity and we encourage it in our universities. Judge Kavanaugh appears to disagree, writing in an email in 2003, for example, that the University of Michigan's equal opportunity admissions policies were "unconstitutional because race-neutral programs should be employed." Will Judge Kavanaugh join President Trump in building barriers to diversity and equal protection in our society?
The federal government's rollback of campaign finance rules, including the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, have eroded this nation's faith in its elections. In recently revealed emails, the Judge wrote that he sees "constitutional problems" with limits on campaign contributions to candidates. Will Judge Kavanaugh continue to empower corporations and the rich over the American people?
The Supreme Court's Janus decision did what Republicans and big business have been trying to do for years by undermining the strength of the labor movement. Judge Kavanaugh's record shows that he has repeatedly sided against workers, including when he ruled in favor of Trump Entertainment Resorts over unionization. New York is a union state and we stand with labor. Will Judge Kavanaugh support the ongoing assault on working men and women across the country?
The President and those around him are facing multiple legal investigations, including an investigation by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance into the Trump Foundation. Judge Kavanaugh's past statements suggest strong support for executive power, such as when he wrote in 2009 that sitting presidents should be "excused from some of the burdens of ordinary citizenship." Does Judge Kavanaugh believe President Trump is above the law?
In confirming a lifetime appointment to the nation's highest court, the process thus far has instilled zero confidence in the American people and has revealed, once again, that Washington Republicans are willing to put party above country at all costs. The Senate Democrats most do everything in their constitutional power to stop this confirmation.
Let me be very clear: New York will not stand idly by as President Trump attempts to use the Supreme Court as the political arm of the presidency. No matter what happens in Washington, I will continue to fight day in and day out to protect the people of the State of New York.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
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