Judge Brett Kavanaugh did a fair amount of wiggling around when Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) repeatedly asked him if he believes it’s wrong to fire someone for being gay. To begin with, Booker very directly asked him the question point blank, and Kavanaugh turned evasive.
For Kavanaugh, the only answer seemed to be a non-answer.
“Senator, in my workplace I hire people because of their talents and abilities,” he said in response.
So Booker tried again, this time expanding a bit more on the question and whether employers have the right to fire someone based on their sexual orientation, AlterNet reports.
“Now we shift to the law,” Booker said, “do they have a legal right to fire somebody just because they’re gay?”
To which Kavanaugh offered a new, but not necessarily improved non-answer.
“Senator, the question, as I’m sure you’re aware of, the scope of employment is being litigated right now,” Kavanaugh responded.
So Booker tried another tack, firing back that same-sex couples “really have a fear that they will not be able to continue those marital bonds,” and reminded the controversial judge that gay people can be fired in many states because of their sexual orientation.
“I guess you’re not willing to tell me whether you personally, morally, think that’s right or wrong,” Booker said.
Kavanaugh took that opportunity to remind Booker that he’s a judge, and therefore would not answer the question. In the AlterNet piece, writer David Badash notes:
“Judge Kavanaugh could have said that he has never fired someone because they are LGBT, if true, which he did not. He could have said he would never take that action. He could have made any one of a number of claims to signal that he feels at the very least it is morally wrong, but he did not.”
Some people at Thursday’s confirmation hearing were unhappy about Kavanaugh’s comments, and this was exacerbated by earlier comments he made when he refused to say whether he supported the decision in the landmark Obergefell Supreme Court case, which found that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry.
When he was asked by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) if he thought the Obergefell case was decided correctly, he turned evasive again, Badash writes, this time for The New Civil Rights Movement.
“Senator, Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, in a series of five cases,” he responded.
Then Kavanaugh began listing all of the cases, “in a clear attempt to use up as much time as possible,” Badash writes. So in other words, we’re not going to have any idea what Kavanaugh thinks about any of these topics until he’s appointed as a Supreme Court Justice.
Which is a good reason not to appoint him. Because any prospective nominee who refuses to answer key questions that affect the civil rights of millions of people shouldn’t be trusted to have their rights in mind.
You can watch Booker and Kavanaugh go back and forth in the video below.
Featured image by PBS NewsHour via YouTube video