This post was written the week of October 1, 2018.
To be honest, I have not watched every minute of the Judicial Committee hearings with Supreme Court nominee Appeals court justice Brett Kavanaugh. I have watched enough however to be concerned that Judge Kavanaugh could be confirmed by the full Senate later this week to sit on the highest court of the land, the United States Supreme Court. My concerns are many, but let me mention a couple.
Judge Kavanaugh and I have a couple of things in common. We are only children and have both attended elite prep schools instead of attending the local public high school. We also come from privilege that is both a blessing and a curse. The blessings are obvious, in that we have been able to pursue the careers we felt called and drawn to (though being an Episcopal priest is a lot different than aiming to be a Supreme Court associate justice). There are plenty of curses that come along with privilege: we minimize difference and are blind to opposing views since we believe that we hold the truth for all things. Also, as was sadly evident last week, when Judge Kavanaugh appeared for a second time before the members of the Judicial Committee that somehow this seat on the Supreme Court has been divinely left for him to ascend to. He will do anything to fulfill this even to the point of perjuring himself under oath (I should say allegedly perjured himself, that is still to be determined). I will leave it at that for the moment, but I think you catch my drift.
While we come from similar backgrounds, we clearly have different perceptions on women and their autonomy. As an ordained person, who is passionate about a woman’s right to make her own choices as to her health care, which includes her reproductive rights, I am very worried what Kavanaugh might do as an Associate Justice. I am afraid that he skated through the confirmation process and was not truthful about how he would rule in a case that might attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade. I think he would vote to overturn Roe, which would be a dangerous, and I fear the long-lasting precedent that would take years to correct. After his performance last week before the senate committee, I also worry about whether he would truly listen to the other side. It appears to me that his mind is already made up despite him publicly not saying so. We have much to be concerned about in the days, months and possible years ahead.
There is a glimmer of hope. As more and more clergy become active in supporting a woman’s right to choose, women who face difficult and life changing decisions will know that they are no longer alone. Clergy will have their backs! So, as hard as it is to be hopeful today, I affirm again that I stand with Planned Parenthood of Delaware.
The Rev. David Andrews
The Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew