The east wall of the U.S. Supreme Court bears the inscription “Justice, the Guardian of Liberty.” Yet, such lofty ideals of Justice and Liberty may soon be tainted by the appointment of the sullied candidate, Brett Kavanaugh, as Justice to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh’s poor performance at the Senate Judicial Committee hearings last week bought him an FBI investigation into his conduct as a possible sexual predator. Yet, Republicans are towing the party line in support of Kavanaugh’s appointment to a life-long position on the highest Court of the land, potentially affecting decisions the Court will have to make on immigration matters for the next several decades.
Why is this critical? Clearly, Kavanaugh’s partisan testimony during the hearings place him not as a neutral interpreter of the Constitution and judicial precedents but as a partisan political operative who, if appointed, has a clear objective: be the Guardian of the Republicans. He clearly threatened Democrats indicating “what goes around comes around.” Immigration policies mainly promoted under the mantel of the Democratic party platform will be targeted and dismantled by a sitting Justice Kavanaugh.
Policies that affect immigrants and risk being heard at the Supreme Court include the status of DACA recipients, the classification of immigrants as public charges even when legally participating in State-run social benefits programs, the status of sanctuary cities, the separation of children detained at the border with their parents and the detention of immigrants without bond. Further, when asked, Kavanaugh was unable to pronounce a position against race-based travel bans such as those instituted against the Chinese in 1889.
Also in play are issues regarding the Administration’s efforts to further marginalize undocumented children by refusing to educate them, as required by the Supreme Court decision in Plyer. This issue may also find its way back to the Supreme Court.
What is Kavanaugh’s official record on immigration? In 2008, in a dissenting opinion, he argued that undocumented workers cannot be protected by labor laws because they were not actually “employees.” Well, either all the strawberries were magically picking themselves or Kavanaugh’s interpretation could open the door to a new form of government sponsored involuntary servitude, simply by denying human beings their labor rights. Kavanaugh also gave a dissenting opinion when a 17-year old undocumented migrant, who had been raped, was detained at the border and wanted an abortion. Once again, limiting the rights of the undocumented (although the State in this case had removed all barriers to the woman’s ability to exercise her rights.)
Finally, whether or not you are a Republican or a Democrat, your nationality and that of your children and grandchildren are at risk with Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. The 14th Amendment allowed slaves to naturalize since 1868 based on birth in the U.S. The current administration does not like that. Kavanaugh, sitting on the Supreme Court, could help change birth citizenship. You don’t think that can happen? Most people didn’t think we would have the President we have now…
By The Immigration Post – Chief Editor