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John Kerry on the Confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia

by Pamela Leavey

The Senate confirmed White House aide Brett Kavanaugh as an appeals court judge today, after nearly three years of hold-ups. The confirmation signals, yet another victory in Bush’s drive to “place a more conservative stamp on the nation’s courts.” Kavanaugh was confirmed on a vote of 57-36.

Republicans praised Kavanaugh but he was widely opposed by Democrats who said he is “ill-suited to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.” John Kerry issued the following statement on Kavanaugh’s confirmation:

“If there’s anything the last five years have proven – from Iraq to Katrina – it’s that competence matters. Federal judgeships cannot be political gifts to political cronies. Mr. Kavanaugh’s legal experience consists largely of three years with Ken Starr and responsibility in the White House Counsel’s Office for selecting right-wing judicial nominees.

“Mr. Kavanaugh has been nominated to one of the most important federal courts with huge impacts on worker rights and employee safety, clean air, and clean water. But not once in his hearings did Mr. Kavanaugh point to any experience in these areas of the law.

“Brett Kavanaugh doesn’t have the experience for this job. An attorney who has played a central role in only five court cases isn’t ready to manage one.”

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