What Do Young People Stand to Lose with Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court? Our Lives.
By Cici Battle
Young people have been on the front lines of so many progressive movements in our country for decades. We’re seeing that trend continue in 2018, as a surge of young people fed up with the growing normalization of gun violence and xenophobia are boldly leading the charge for systemic policy change.
We deserve a country that welcomes change, not one that wants to turn back the clock. But since he took office, Donald Trump has taken every opportunity to roll back that progress. And now that he’s nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, we stand to lose not just our hard-won rights, but the system that made those wins possible.
Trump already placed one extremist on the Court when he nominated Neil Gorsuch for the seat that Mitch McConnell stole from Merrick Garland and President Obama.
Since then, we’ve witnessed our rights eroding one decision after another. We can expect an even more harrowing battle for progress if Kavanaugh is confirmed, and it’s young people like me whose futures—and our lives—are at stake.
We won’t have it.
We’ve known since 2016 that overturning Roe. v. Wade and undermining the ACA were top priorities for Donald Trump when it came to selecting his judicial nominees. If Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed for a lifetime seat on the Court, we can count on a path paved right back to the days when women’s bodily autonomy and protections for pre-existing conditions didn’t exist.
Don’t be fooled by those who try to say that Kavanaugh is a centrist. It’s a lie.
Kavanaugh’s history as a judge includes decisions that ruled against working folks, consumers, racial equity, and more. Just last year, for example, he rejected a 17-year old undocumented immigrant’s request for an abortion.
This is a battle for our rights, our country, and our lives.
A Court with Kavanaugh on the bench pushes it even further to the right. There’s no doubt the Court’s extreme right-wing majority would take every opportunity to undermine our rights and overturn Roe. The consequences would be devastating for every American—but it’s young people who will have to live with them the longest.
For young folks living in poverty, young immigrants, and young women of color—whose access to reproductive health care impacts their ability to pursue educations and jobs and thrive—the consequences of a far-right Court could rob them of the chance of the bright futures they deserve.
Here’s just one example: The uninsured rate of young people dropped the most significantly after Obama passed the Affordable Care Act, down to just sixteen percent. But Donald Trump is hell bent on chipping away at the ACA until there’s nothing left, and a Court with Brett Kavanaugh on it is among his most potent weapons for undermining the ACA’s protections.
I could go on. After all, Trump and his administration have also attacked clean air and water protections, endangered LGBTQ people and terrorized communities of color. But if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to our country’s highest court instead of the fair-minded, unbiased judge we deserve, the damage Trump has already inflicted on our communities and our country will reach frightening new lows.
As director of Young People For Action, I’ve spent years building movements with more than 1,900 young people from all over the country. The young leaders of this country demand social justice. And now that our Court is in jeopardy of skewing even further to the right, there is no question what our priority will be over the next few months.
Eighteen to 30-year-old adults are the largest voting bloc this country has ever seen—and we refuse to accept a Court that threatens to roll back the clock and strip us of the progress we’ve made.
We can’t and we won’t let that happen. It’s time to fight for our rights, our lives and our futures, because we won’t tolerate one ounce of regression. #OurCourtsOurLivesThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License
Christin “Cici” Battle is the director of People For the American Way Foundation’s Young People For, the organization’s national leadership development organization for college-aged folks.