The Conservative Refrain Claiming Their Nominees Are Like “Umpires”

Kavanaugh to follow in the steps of Roberts, Thomas, Alito and Gorsuch with meaningless“Umpire” line


According to excerpts released this morning by the White House, later today Brett Kavanaugh will say:

“A good judge must be an umpire—a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no litigant or policy.  … I don’t decide cases based on personal or policy preferences.”

If this sounds sounds familiar, you aren’t hallucinating. Every conservative nominee to the Supreme Court since Clarence Thomas has been compared to an umpire as part of a carefully-orchestrated GOP messaging strategy.

In front of the Senate judiciary committee, nominees or their allies say they will simply “call balls and strikes” rather make the rules themselves. But when they get on the court they push their conservative ideology and overturn precedent. Examples include: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010), Janus v. AFSCME (2018), Leegin Creative Leather Products v. PSKS (2007), Montejo v. Louisiana (2009), District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), National Association of Home Builders v. Defenders of Wildlife (2007).

As you can see in this memo from NARAL’s research department, this is true for every conservative nominee to the Supreme Court since Clarence Thomas, including: John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and now, Brett Kavanaugh.

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

Sign up for Updates
By taking this action you are affirming your membership in NARAL Pro-Choice America. What's this?
By providing your phone number, you are consenting to receive mobile alerts from NARAL Pro Choice America at 59791. Message and data rates apply. Frequency varies. Text STOP to end. Text HELP for help. Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.