Brett Kavanaugh avoided lots of Sen. Kamala Harris’ questions | Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Trump’s new Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh avoided a question by Senator Kamala Harris about his support of the equal marriage ruling.
The California Democratic Senator grilled the new Supreme Court judge nominee on Thursday (6 September). But it was a basic question about equal marriage that stumped Kavanaugh.
Kamala Harris asked him: ‘The question is very specific. Can you comment on your personal opinion on whether Obergefell was correctly decided. It’s a yes or no. Please.’
Obergefell V. Hodges (2015) was a landmark civil rights case, where the Supreme Court ruled that marriage was a fundamental right to all citizens. This legalized same-sex marriage across all states.
Yet Kavanaugh side-stepped the question, turning instead to the recent Supreme Court decision on Masterpiece Cakeshop, LTD, V. Colorado Rights Commission.
I asked Brett Kavanaugh a very specific question: does he believe the case that made marriage equality the law of the land was correctly decided?
He refused to answer. pic.twitter.com/FO6kCLmk2f
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) September 7, 2018
‘He replied: ‘Justice Kennedy wrote: “The days of discriminating against gay and lesbian Americans or treating gay and lesbian Americans as inferior in dignity and worth are over.’
Avoiding the question
In this case, the Court sided with baker Jack Phillips who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple based on religious beliefs.
Harris then pressed him on that quote, asking whether he believed the days of discriminating against LGBTI people were truly over.
He responded: ‘That is the precedent of the Supreme Court agreed with by…’
Before Harris pressed: ‘Sir, I’m asking your opinion. You’re the nominee right now so it is probative of your ability to serve on the highest court in our land.
‘So I’m asking you a very specific question. Either you’re willing to answer or not. And if you’re not willing to answer it, we can move on. Do you believe Obergefell was correctly decided?’
Kavanaugh continued: ‘Each of the justices have declined as a matter of judicial independence. each of them to answer questions…’
However, Harris cut him off, refusing to let him waste her time.
LGBTI and women’s groups condemn Brett Kavanaugh
The US’s largest LGBTI campaign group, the Human Rights Campaign, spoke out against Brett Kavanaugh’s inability to answer the question.
President of the organization, Chad Griffin, said: ‘Brett Kavanaugh’s refusal to answer very basic, very direct questions about the Supreme Court’s historic ruling bringing marriage equality nationwide is alarming and completely unacceptable.
‘The Obergefell decision is settled law. If this nominee cannot so much as affirm that or the fundamental equality of LGBTQ people and our families, he should not and must not be granted a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court.’
Brett Kavanaugh struggled to answer other questions posed by the Senator, including one about laws on the male body.
Can you think of any laws that give the government the power to make decisions about the male body?pic.twitter.com/lDcXPZ56hX
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) September 6, 2018