Sara Lonardo,

Issued September 06, 2018

SEIU members to U.S. senators: confirming Brett Kavanaugh would be disastrous for our country

WASHINGTON, DC - Following the first three days of public testimony in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s sham Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Service Employees International Union members are demanding senators reject Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination in order to protect their healthcare and rights for working people. Given that Senate Republicans are rushing the confirmation process with unprecedented secrecy and withholding hundreds of thousands of documents, raising questions about if the Senate should be proceeding at all, it becomes even more important for Kavanaugh to provide real answers rather than demur.  

While senators were questioning Kavanaugh yesterday, a federal judge was hearing oral arguments in a Republican case that’s trying to take away protections for people with pre-existing health conditions. Despite the very real threats to Americans’ healthcare, Kavanaugh refused to promise to uphold these protections as constitutional when the case inevitably comes before the Supreme Court.

SEIU members whose senators have not stated how they will vote on Kavanaugh cited his failure to commit to ensuring working people’s access to quality, affordable healthcare and the ability to join together in unions, despite having repeated opportunities to do so during three days of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“A vote for Kavanaugh is a vote to destroy the Affordable Care Act, eliminate the law’s requirements relating to pre-existing conditions, and end the Medicaid expansion that so many families, including mine, are counting on for access to quality, affordable health care,” said SEIU Local 1989 retiree and current state representative Donna Doore from Maine. “Senator Collins must protect the health of Maine families by rejecting Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. Our lives literally depend on it.”

Jason Striker, a home care worker and member of SEIU Healthcare Indiana Illinois from Indiana, also worried about the effect Kavanaugh would have on affordable access to healthcare. “Kavanaugh was pre-approved by an extremist group whose mission is to completely dismantle the Affordable Health Care Act with no replacement. The havoc this would inflict on my patients and my community is terrifying. Senator Donnelly has stood up to protect our healthcare before. I hope he does again by voting no on Kavanaugh.”

Vikki Tully, a West Virginia Head Start teacher and member of SEIU Local 1199 West Virginia/Kentucky/Ohio, said that her senator, Joe Manchin, should reject Kavanaugh because he would make it harder for West Virginians to improve their lives by joining together in unions. “Growing up, my grandfather used to tell me what it was like to work in the coal mines before there were unions and how much safer and healthier he and his co-workers were after they were able to hold management accountable for implementing strong standards in the mines,” said Tully. “Senator Manchin has always been an independent voice who cares about his constituents. I believe he’ll do the right thing for us once again and reject Kavanaugh’s nomination.”