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Protect the Supreme Court

Every day since Election Night 2016 it feels like there’s a new nightmare to face. Watching the results come in with my friends in my dorm room is a moment I will never forget. That night my friends and classmates, LGBTQ students, disabled students, students with a variety of immigration statuses, students of color, students with minority religious faiths, and students with other marginalized identities started to process what a Trump administration would mean for all of our futures.

Just as we knew in that moment, President Trump, his cabinet, and those allied with him in Congress have done immense damage, not only to policies and laws designed to make society slightly more equitable for the underrepresented among us, but to the news cycle and public discourse.

I admit, the Trump news cycle can be daunting, even for me as a member of the GLSEN Public Policy team. Despite the challenge of keeping up with every new issue, it’s important to be vigilant in recognizing the threats to our freedom and safety as they come.  This is why I need you to understand how Brett Kavanaugh’s impending lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court is not just a political issue, but will have an impact on the rest of my life and the rest of GLSEN students’ lives as well. As a transgender young adult, looking to go out in the world after graduation, there’s so much at stake for me.

I’m concerned about Kavanaugh’s potential to overturn the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

I’m worried about how Kavanaugh could influence interpretations of Title VII, the law that impacts workplace non-discrimination.

I fear for the LGBTQ K-12 students who may be denied a safe education if taxpayer money is diverted from public schools to vouchers for schools that are not legally held to the same standards.

It’s scary that Kavanaugh could influence the Court to rule that businesses and places of public accommodation do not have to serve me because my very existence as being queer and trans is against their beliefs.

It terrifies me that Kavanaugh has the capacity to erase my dreams of having a family.

I’m also facing the reality that Kavanaugh is a real threat to my ability to access reproductive health care.

This is the reality for me, others like me, and even scarier, others less advantaged than me. Even with all this worry, I recognize that my privilege will shield me from a lot of the threats that Kavanaugh poses to marginalized folks. While these things will hit hard for people like me, they will hit harder for people who aren’t white, able-bodied, not religiously affiliated, and citizens by birth.

I’m terrified to see what Kavanaugh, working for the Trump administration, means for public education, LGBTQ people, civil rights, immigration, affirmative action, voting rights, organized labor, environmental protections, common-sense gun regulations, and the outsized influence of money in politics. What’s even scarier is that once Kavanaugh is on the bench, he’s been appointed for life. Clarence Thomas, the longest serving justice has been influencing the Supreme Court for 26 years and counting, and its possible for Kavanaugh to follow in his footsteps.

We all need to make our opposition to this nomination heard. The vote looks close and we have a real chance to make change. There is so much at stake; we all need to be taking action to make sure our decision makers know not only that Kavanaugh is a disaster for the Court, but that each and every one of us opposes his nomination. Here are a few things you can do to help:

  1. Take a second to text THREAT to 21333 and follow the text-to-call instructions to let your Senator know that you oppose the Kavanaugh nomination. Even if you think your Senator is a confirmed “yes” or “no,” hearing from constituents can impact their decision.

  2. Share this post and any other materials on why to oppose Kavanaugh with your friends, family, and networks. The more people we mobilize, the more change we can make.

  3. Show up for a “Unite for Justice” in opposition to Kavanaugh’s appointment on August 26th. In cities across the country, advocates in support of civil rights, public education, and other progressive causes are rallying in opposition to Kavanaugh’s nomination. Find a rally near you at uniteforjustice2018.com.

Take these actions now and often, and together we can work to stop this nomination in its tracks. There’s far too much at stake to let Kavanaugh be seated on the Court without a fight.

Sarah Everett is part of GLSEN's Public Policy Team.

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