The American Civil Liberties Union is throwing itself into the campaign to halt Brett Kananaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation. Kavanaugh will join a small group of Supreme Court nominees that the ACLU has taken a stand against (the other three were William H. Rehnquist, Robert Bork, and Samuel Alito). Unlike the other judges that the ACLU opposed, the objection to Kavanaugh is his behavior rather than his judicial philosophy.
Susan Herman, the ACLU president, said, “We oppose him in light of the credible allegations of sexual assault against him.” In support of this position, the civil rights group has prepared an ad linking him to other famous men who have faced similar allegations.
As Politico reports, “The ad runs footage of former President Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby and Kavanaugh denying allegations against them and will launch on cable and broadcast TV, including during the Denver Broncos game on Monday evening. The ad also shows photos of Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose, all of whom were fired after sexual misconduct allegations.”
The foregrounding of former President Bill Clinton in the ad might help blunt the accusation that the non-partisan group is throwing itself in a highly partisan battle. The ACLU’s advocacy on this matter is risky, because during the Trump presidency the group has already been accused of becoming a liberal political organization, rather than one that protects liberties across the political spectrum. In hearings last Thursday, Kavanaugh claimed that opposition to his nomination was fueled by a desire for “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.”