Brett Kavanaugh and Hurricane Florence: A troubling connection

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I already had severe reservations concerning Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination well before  recent sexual assault allegations came to light. In a previous post, Senator Whitehouse skewers the Kavanaugh nomination, I highlight the Senator’s point by point summation of what it would mean if Kavanaugh survives the nomination process and becomes an associate justice of the Supreme Court. It’s not a pretty picture. Time and again, Kavanaugh has voted with corporate and wealthy interests. We should assume he will continue to do so if confirmed.

The connection between Kavanaugh’s nomination and Hurricane Florence may not be apparent to everyone. But if you pay attention to the ongoing environmental destruction Florence is now inflicting on the Southeast, we can see how a future with Brett Kavanaugh as the fifth conservative on the court could cause irreparable damage to our future as it pertains to climate change and pollution control.

To that end, it’s been reported that the intense rainfall from Florence has caused the collapse of a slope at a coal ash landfill managed by Duke Energy near Wilmington, North Carolina. According to a post from Jason Linkins at ThinkProgress.org, there are numerous coal ash ponds from power plants that are in Florence’s path. This waste can contain toxins such as mercury, arsenic, and lead. “Environmentalists have been warning for decades that Duke’s coal ash ponds were vulnerable to severe storms and pose a threat to drinking water supplies and public safety,” according to Michael Biesecker of the Associated Press.

As if on cue, the Trump administration, with its mind-boggling de-regulation campaign, eased the standards for coal ash disposal back in July. Can we not see a case in the future that comes before the Supreme Court, a court with Brett Kavanaugh on board, that challenges the feasibility of such a Trump administration action? And can we not assume with relative certainty that the conservative “Robert’s Five,” as Senator Whitehouse so describes the current and future court, assuming Kavanaugh is confirmed, will side with Duke Energy and other corporate interests?

If this nomination goes through I genuinely believe it will be a disaster for the country. There are too many questions surrounding Brett Kavanaugh. According to Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh’s record during his time in the Bush White House has not been entirely made public. In addition, there’s evidence to suggest he lied under oath when he testified before Congress during nomination proceedings for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals. Also, his opinion regarding whether a sitting president can or should be investigated is deeply troubling, especially when you consider the current tedious legal predicament of the current president.

And now we have what appears to be a credible accusation of sexual assault. The Republican Party is in charge of how this gets resolved. Frankly, I’m not encouraged they will do the right thing. They want this nominee confirmed … they want it over and done with before the mid-terms. Let’s face it, this nomination is the “holy grail” for the Republican Party. Kavanaugh stands for everything they care about: corporations … anti-choice … voter suppression … gerrymandering … billionaires … anti-climate change … He’s their guy through and through. In other words, in my opinion, this is a done deal. Meet Brett Kavanaugh, the newest associate justice of the Supreme Court.

I hope I’m wrong.

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