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In break with tradition, ACLU urges Senate to vote against Kavanaugh

For just the fourth time in nearly 100 years, the group weighs in on a US high court pick.

KIEV, UKRAINE - 2018/08/04: The American Civil Liberties Union logo seen displayed on a smart phone with a background of a stock market shedle. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a nonprofit organization. (Photo by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
KIEV, UKRAINE - 2018/08/04: The American Civil Liberties Union logo seen displayed on a smart phone with a background of a stock market shedle. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a nonprofit organization. (Photo by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The American Civil Liberties Union isn’t in the habit of making recommendations on judicial nominations. In the case of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, however, the group is breaking with tradition.

The ACLU put out a statement on Saturday voicing unequivocal opposition to President Donald Trump’s high court pick, who has been the subject of weeks of relentless news coverage, amid allegations of sexual assault many years ago, when both he his accuser were in their mid-teens.

The woman who says he tried to rape her appeared Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee and gave riveting and convincing testimony about the attack that convinced the ACLU to break with tradition and recommend that Kavanaugh’s nomination be voted down.

“In the wake of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s sworn testimony of sexual abuse at the hands of Brett Kavanaugh, the American Civil Liberties Union has announced its opposition to his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court,” the group, that champions citizens’ constitutional rights, wrote in a statement on Saturday.

The ACLU is officially a nonpartisan group that has taken up both conservative and liberal causes over the course of its nearly 100 year long history.

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“As a matter of organizational policy, the ACLU does not support or oppose candidates for political or judicial office. In this instance, the national board held an extraordinary meeting, and has chosen to make an exception to that policy,” it wrote, adding that the decision was taken by its board members.

“There are credible allegations that Judge Kavanaugh has engaged in serious misconduct that have not been adequately investigated by the Senate,” the group wrote in a resolution approved by its board.

“Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s credible testimony, subsequent allegations of sexual misconduct, the inadequate investigation, and Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony at the hearing lead us to doubt Judge Kavanaugh’s fitness to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. ”

The statement added: “We cannot remain silent under these extraordinary circumstances about a lifetime appointment to the highest court of the land.”

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The ACLU said it was only the fourth time in its 98 years in existence that its national board of directors has opposed a Supreme Court nominee.