Ethics and Democracy

Your Senators Are Home For Recess. Tell Them to #StopKavanaugh and #SaveSCOTUS.


Donald Trump wants to install an extremist on the Supreme Court, and it’s up to the Senate to stop him. Until August 15, senators are home for August recess. This gives us extra opportunities to show up in person and pressure them to oppose Trump’s extremist SCOTUS pick.

Here’s what you need to know.

State of Play

Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. He chose Kavanaugh from a list of extremely conservative judges, pre-approved by far-right extremist groups because of their willingness to gut reproductive rights and the Affordable Care Act. He also likely chose Kavanaugh because of his extremely permissive views on executive power (for example: he doesn’t think presidents should be criminally investigated!) See our full explainer here on the many, many reasons to oppose Kavanaugh.

The Senate is now in the process of vetting Kavanaugh, and will eventually vote on whether or not to confirm him to the Supreme Court. Read here all about our 2-part strategy to #StopKavanaugh.

Senate Republicans want to give Trump a quick win by ramming Kavanaugh’s confirmation through as soon as possible, and finishing it up before midterm elections. It’s happening so quickly, senators likely won’t even have a chance to receive and review all the documents from Kavanaugh’s record in time for the vote.

This means that August recess falls at the perfect time - right when senators are meeting with Kavanaugh and making their decisions about whether they will support or oppose his confirmation. We already know everything we need to know about Kavanaugh, and we expect senators to forcefully and immediately announce their opposition to Brett Kavanaugh, and pledge to vote no.

This will likely be the only recess during the confirmation period - it’s on us to use this time to show up and urge senators to publicly oppose Kavanaugh, as soon as possible.

What You Can Do

First, take a look at our tracker to find out if your senator has announced his or her opposition to Kavanaugh. Remember, we are asking each senator to explicitly commit to voting NO on Kavanaugh - not just expressing concerns or asking tough questions.

Next, find out where your senator will be during recess, and show up. Drop by their in-district office for a visit, go to a public event where they are expected to make an appearance, request or attend a town hall with them - these are some of the best ways to pressure senators while they’re at home during recess. Show up in person, and pressure them to #SaveSCOTUS and oppose Kavanaugh.

Then, from now until the vote, coordinate with others to flood your senators’ phone lines with calls so they can’t ignore you. Make sure they know that you are paying attention, and that you expect them to announce their opposition immediately. If they do announce their opposition to Kavanaugh, thank them and show your support.

Sample Questions for Senators

  • The next Supreme Court Justice very well may hear cases that involve Trump himself, perhaps including cases stemming from the Mueller investigation or others related to Trump’s corruption and crimes. It certainly seems like Trump specifically chose Kavanaugh in order to shield himself from accountability, as Kavanaugh has extensively written about his extreme views on presidential power. He doesn’t think sitting presidents should be criminally investigated or indicted, and thinks they have wide latitude to fire Special Counsels like Robert Mueller. Donald Trump is a threat to our democracy, and Brett Kavanaugh would shield him from accountability - will you immediately announce your opposition to Kavanaugh in order to protect our democracy?
  • Just by the fact that Donald Trump chose Brett Kavanaugh, we already know two things about him: he is willing to gut reproductive rights, and is hostile to the Affordable Care Act. In Trump’s own words, these were two requirements for any judges just to get on his “short list” for consideration - a list that was written and approved by far-right anti-choice organizations. We cannot roll back the clock on reproductive rights or affordable health care. Do you pledge to protect our rights by voting no on the Kavanaugh nomination?
  • Brett Kavanaugh is already considered one of the most anti-environment judges in America. In decision after decision, he has demonstrated willingness to rule in favor of corporate polluters and slash public health safeguards. If confirmed, Kavanaugh will further gut the EPA’s ability to mitigate harm on the vulnerable communities most impacted by the climate crisis. The stakes to our environment are too high to let Kavanaugh be confirmed to the Supreme Court, and the most vulnerable are at risk - will you announce right now that you will vote no?
  • As a judge, Brett Kavanaugh has frequently used his place on the bench to enhance the power of corporations and the wealthy. He has asserted that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which protects consumers from the predatory practices of banks, credit card companies, and student loan services, is unconstitutional. He has sided with corporations that deny their workers collective bargaining rights and has ruled against net neutrality, siding with big telecommunications companies in an effort to undermine the free and open internet as we know it. Kavanaugh’s presence on the Supreme Court would continue a dangerous trend where fundamental protections for workers, consumers, and the most marginalized communities would be sacrificed for corporations and the powerful few - do you pledge to protect the rights of us all by voting no on Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court?