Beckley Register-Herald – As the renewed investigation into Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s background proceeds this week, it’s important to note there are a variety of reasons why his nomination to the US Supreme Court would harm West Virginians. One is that he would be a gift to Wall Street and an attack on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) which protects West Virginians from predatory lenders and helps keeps payday loan operations out of our state. Story link.
Almost one year ago, Judge Kavanaugh sided with mortgage servicers and found that the CFPB, which Congress created to enforce the law to protect consumers and catch financial scams, was unconstitutional. In this decision, Judge Kavanaugh demonstrated a complete lack of respect for Congressional will and a willingness to go against well-established law to reach his desired conclusion. In one fell swoop, Judge Kavanaugh was going to take out the agency that has been reigning in illegal payday lenders, Wells Fargo when they scammed millions of their customers, Equifax before and after its leak, and dozens of other companies. Thankfully, the full circuit court later threw out his decision, his colleagues ruling against him.
As demonstrated by this decision and the rest of his decisions on the DC Circuit bench, Brett Kavanaugh engages in judicial activism for the very rich. He has tried to knock out agencies and policies that hold the very rich accountable when they con the rest of us- from the poor up to those with middle incomes- to enrich themselves even more. He pushed for a decision that would have let bosses force their workers into retirement or fire them just because of their age. He wanted to give some of the nation’s biggest insurance companies the ability to merge and further push up insurance premiums.
And why shouldn’t he stand up for the rich? He came from a rich man’s school in the Maryland suburbs. He lived a rich man’s life, and went to a rich man’s college. His actions on the court have shown that he will not hold Wall Street, payday lenders, and private insurance corporations accountable to the American people.
Senators Capito and Senator Manchin have many reasons to pick from to vote no on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. Here’s one more: we do not need a justice on the court who will show such loyalty to the rich, at a massive cost to the rest of us. Standing with Judge Kavanaugh is standing with Wells Fargo, payday lenders, and the idea that the very rich shouldn’t be held to the same standards as the rest of us.
Linda Frame serves as the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy’s payday lending campaign coordinator.
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