Milwaukee, WI — We, the Milwaukee Democratic Socialists of America, demand that Wisconsin senators #VoteNoOnKavanaugh. Brett Kavanaugh represents a misogynistic system that perpetuates violence against women and attempts to deny women’s agency and choice. Credible allegations from multiple women reveal that Kavanaugh engaged in serious sexual violence which the Senate is refusing to investigate. He lied under oath about these allegations. As a judge, Kavanaugh’s decisions have undermined the rights of women and strengthen the power of people like him.
Kavanaugh is symptomatic of the institution he seeks to join. Just this year, the Supreme Court took away the right of women to band together with their coworkers to fight sexual harassment, pay discrimination, and wage theft––forcing them into binding arbitration agreements with their employers (Epic Systems v. Lewis). The Court also prohibited states from cracking down on so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” which peddle lies about abortion and reproductive rights across the country (National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra). It threw out the case of a 17-year-old undocumented woman held in federal immigration custody seeking to protect her right to obtain an abortion (Azar v. Garza).
This is all part of the Court’s decades-long assault on women’s rights––gutting civil-rights protections in the Violence Against Women Act (US v. Morrison), giving employers carte blanche to pay women less than men (Ledbetter v. Goodyear), and allowing states to pass an increasingly diverse array of laws that limit women’s access to reproductive services.
Like Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court is no friend to women. While prominent jurists like Ruth Bader Ginsburg have carried the torch for women’s rights, they operate in an institution that is choked by its own reactionary roots. The Court was created as bulwark against democratic enthusiasm, as an advocate for the prerogatives of property over the rights of the people. Since its inception the it has stood on the side of entrenched interests, blocking the formation of unions, the expansion of women’s suffrage, the provision of social services, and the civil rights of African Americans. It has reversed course only when massive social movements have taken matters into their own hands, or when it has faced the prospect of being radically restructured.
Sadly, there are more Brett Kavanaughs where this one came from, trained and subsidized by a well-funded conservative legal movement. Ultimately, ensuring that people like him have less control over women’s bodies will require mobilizing to abolish the Supreme Court as we know it. We can start by keeping this reactionary misogynist off the bench. #VoteNoOnKavanaugh.