So Kavanaugh’s been nominated to the Supreme Court. What’s next?

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On Monday, Trump announced his nominee for SCOTUS is going to be Brett Kavanaugh. First, take a deep breath. I know all of this is overwhelming, but we can get through together.

Ready? Ok. Here’s what we need to do next.

1. Take the time to learn about Kavanaugh’s background.

There’s a lot of partial truths floating around social media, and it’s important we’re razor short in our accuracy.

You can start with:
New York Times
Washington Post
ABC News
The Economist

Here’s also a handy graph from Axios, which explains where Kavanaugh would be on the ideological spectrum.

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2. Figure out if you have any senators on judiciary. If you do, call.

Link here

Senate Judiciary will be holding the confirmation hearings for Kavanaugh. So if you have members on Senate judiciary:

  1. Urge them to do their due diligence when it comes to vetting him, especially because revelations like Kavanaugh’s incredible levels of debt are coming out. This amount of debt when reported on the SF-86, would normally stop anyone from getting a national security position. So why should Kavanaugh be nominated to SCOTUS?

2. Also encourage them to push for the release of all of Kavanaugh’s emails while he was at the WH. This is precedent; Elena Kagan’s emails were released as a part of her vetting for SCOTUS.

Basically: we want the judiciary hearings to Bork Kavanaugh (named after the failed hearings for SCOTUS nominee Robert Bork), but also drag out the vetting and the hearings with paperwork, so there isn’t any vote until after midterms. Make sense?

And even if there is to be a vote before midterms, recreating what happened to Robert Bork, would encourage as many no votes as possible.

Template script:

You: Hi, my name is [name]. I am calling from [zip].

You: I am asking [Senator] to commit to a thorough vetting and questioning of Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications for the Supreme Court.

You: We need to know where Judge Kavanaugh stands on key legal rulings — e.g. Roe v. Wade. Simply stating he accepts established precedent, does not provide enough information.

You: Moreover, I am asking that [Senator] push for Judge Kavanaugh’s emails from his time at the White House to be released to the public, similar to how Justice Kagan’s emails were released to the public during her confirmation process. Justice Kagan’s emails were used to vet her legal history; Judge Kavanaugh’s emails should be used to do the same.

You: <Insert optional comments>

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3. Call your non-judiciary senators (particularly if you have a red state Democratic senator)

For non-judiciary senators (or all senators at large) we want to:

1. Continue to call and push them to push for the vote to be after midterms.

2. But also challenge Kavanaugh’s credentials, and tell your senators they can’t support the nomination. You can make those calls based on the information we have now, and continue to do so as information comes out during the confirmation process.

3. For our red state Dems, we want to continue to affirm their decision to NOT go to the Kavanaugh announcement, and get them to a no vote. Our voices have to overwhelm the conservatives in their states.

Template scripts:

You: Hi, my name is [name]. I am calling from [address/zip code].

You: Now that Judge Kavanaugh has been officially nominated to SCOTUS, I am calling to ask [Senator] to commit to upholding the McConnell standard, as set during the nomination process for Merrick Garland.

You: Merrick Garland was nominated 237 days before that year’s election, and McConnell said that was too close to Election Day for President Obama to pick, and voters should decide. Justice Kennedy’s retirement announcement was made 132 days before this year’s election. Clearly, the same standards should apply.

You: It’s also worth noting: the President is currently under active investigation, and the ramifications of that investigation might reach the Supreme Court. Consequently, he shouldn’t pick a nominee. But now that he has, the Senate should uphold the McConnell rule.

You: <insert optional comment here>

And a basic no template:

You: Hi, my name is [name]. I am calling from [address/zip code].

You: I am calling on [Senator] to vote NO on Justice Kavanaugh. His judicial track record clearly suggests should he make it onto the Supreme Court, he would be in the position to issue rulings that would harm thousands of individuals across the country.

You: Please consider the needs of your constituents first.

You: <insert optional comment here>

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4. Contact your state representatives, and ask for legislation protecting rights on the state level.

In conjunction with our federal efforts, we need to work on our state legislatures as well.

  • States with “trigger laws” that would automatically ban some or all abortions: Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
  • States with pre-Roe abortion bans still on the books: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. (Also Mississippi, because it has trigger laws and pre-Roe laws.)
  • States with laws that describe an intention to pass (more) anti-abortion laws: Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Dakota, and Ohio.
  • States with laws that explicitly protect abortion: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, and Washington.
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© Washington Post

You can read more here and here.

So now is the time to start reaching out to your state electeds (info here), and ask them to pursue legislation that will protect abortion rights and other individual rights at the state level. This is a thing that can be done — Slate digs into state-level protections here.

1. You want to ask elected to look into certain legislation for specific rights (explain you’re concerned [issue] is going to be overturned on the federal level), and ask elected to proceed.

2. If you’re well-versed on an issue, consider agreeing to a meeting and talk over ideas with staff.

You: Hi, my name is [name]. I am calling to ask [state elected] to consider pursuing legislation to protect abortion rights within our state.

For those impacted by trigger laws: I understand that Roe v. Wade is precedent at the federal level, but I think we need to affirm abortion protections at the state level as well.

For those w/out trigger laws: Given recent developments at the federal level, I am calling on [state elected] to propose legislation to ensure that a woman’s right to an abortion will be protected within our state.

OPTIONAL You: I would be happy to schedule a meeting and talk to staff as needed, about this proposal.

You: <Additional optional comments here>

You: Hi, my name is [name]. I am calling to ask [state elected] to consider pursuing legislation to protect [legislative issue].

You: Given recent developments at the federal level with the latest nomination to SCOTUS, we need to affirm that [legislative issue] will continue to be protected at the state level.

OPTIONAL You: I would be happy to schedule a meeting and talk to staff as needed, about this proposal.

You: <Additional optional comments here>

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5. Pick incumbent Senate Dems/Senate challengers to support.

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As I’ve said before: we need to do our best to flip the balance of power in the Senate. We’re two seats away from flipping the Senate, but only if we hold onto the five to eight incumbent seats that are in danger right now. E.g. North Dakota’s race has now shifted in favor of Cramer.

Here’s why:

1. If the SCOTUS vote is delayed until after midterms, a Senate Dem majority can vote down his nomination, and block other nominees.

2. If Kavanaugh makes it onto the court, a Senate firewall can help defeat the worst of Trump’s (inevitable) nominees, the worst of the GOP’s legislation, and more.

Visit where we’ve aggregated some of the most critical Senate races. Study them, and pick two incumbents and one challenger to support.

Not sure who to call? Look up your information here.

I’ll update with future items, but focus on these steps for now!

Political staffer| Global security/intel at @johnshopkins . | Bylines in @thrillist @marieclaire @curbed |Views are my own. Repped by @byobrooks

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