by Kerene Tayloe
With suspense like a prime-time reality show, President Trump announced his nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice, Anthony Kennedy. While many suspected Trump would name a woman to The Court, he instead nominated Brett Kavanaugh; a 53-year-old man from Washington DC who served as a clerk to the Justice he will replace. Kavanaugh has been serving on the on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for the last 12 years.
In a 2013 decision, Kavanaugh stated that "The task of dealing with global warming is urgent and important at the national and international level." Surely, that means he will be an advocate for climate change.
Well, not exactly. Actually, not at all. In the same decision, he wrote that the “E.P.A. went well beyond what Congress authorized,” when the agency attempted to limit greenhouse gas emissions, which are a major cause of climate change.
Taking a deep dive into his judicial decisions, environmentalist and public health advocates have much to be concerned about with the Kavanaugh nomination. In 2012, Kavanaugh disagreed with the EPA’s interpretation of air pollutants and attempted to kill a US EPA climate rule in favor of the Chamber of Commerce. He also ruled in 2014 that carbon monoxide rules that haven’t been updated since 1985 didn't require additional review. During his 12 years on the on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, he opposed many of the attempts of Obama Administration's to address climate change.
Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court shows continued efforts to weaken important environmental protections that will directly impact communities of color. If confirmed, we, unfortunately, will see his impact on every environmental case that makes its way before the Supreme Court for many decades to come.
With Andrew Wheeler now head of the EPA and potentially Kavanaugh joining the Supreme Court, the health of communities of color is in jeopardy.
Kavanaugh is another example of the administration’s aggressive attempts to dismantle environmental protections for our most vulnerable communities. We must activate in 2018 and 2020 to organize and vote on these important issues. In the interim, contact your US Senators to persuade them to not confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Remember, every action counts. We must continue to fight for a better future that’s truly green for all.
Kerene N. Tayloe Esq. is the policy director of Green For All and a social justice advocate who has worked tirelessly in the area of Environmental Justice, Civil Rights, and voter protection. Kerene is driven by the desire to ensure that the needs of communities of color are not overlooked. She is also a fitness enthusiast, a practicing yogi, and a burgeoning comedian.