Concerned Women for America, an anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ-equality group committed to promoting its “biblical worldview” in public policy, has launched a Women for Kavanaugh campaign.
CWA President Penny Nance recorded the first episode of her new podcast, “Use Your Voice,” on the day President Trump was preparing to announce the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. “We are at a tipping point in our nation’s history,” she said, adding later in the podcast, “This has generational consequences for our nation.”
CWA joined most other Religious Right groups in immediately announcing support for Kavanaugh, who, Nance said last week, “has shown through action, not just words, his choice to esteem women.” CWA has launched a $500,000 campaign called “Women for Kavanaugh,” which it describes as “rallying our happy warriors across the nation to use their voices in support of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation.” According to the campaign, “The left’s hatred of Trump is blinding them to the simple record of this exceptional nominee.”
Like some other Religious Right leaders, Nance has been publicly downplaying the movement’s goal of overturning Roe v. Wade, saying that “we don’t go at this the way the left does.” She claims that the group is not calling for specific outcomes but simply looking for a justice committed to a “constitutionalist” judicial philosophy. CWA General Counsel Mario Diaz said on the group’s podcast, “This Supreme Court vacancy is not about Roe.”
But it is hard to take any of that seriously. It is clear that the 2016 presidential election was, for CWA, about overturning Roe.
In fact, Nance was among a group of anti-choice activists who signed a letter in early 2016 declaring that Trump could not be trusted. “The next president will be responsible for as many as four nominations to the Supreme Court,” the letter said. “Mr. Trump has given us only one indication about the type of judges he would appoint, and it does not bode well for those who would like to see the court overturn Roe v. Wade.”
But after Trump pledged to appoint justices who would overturn Roe, Nance joined other anti-choice leaders as a member of then-candidate Trump’s “Pro-Life Advisory Council.” Since Trump took office, Nance has said the anti-choice movement has had “unprecedented” access to the White House. Nance took part in a dominionist prayer rally last fall where activists prayed that God would create more vacancies on the Supreme Court so that Trump could nominate justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade.
Nance and CWA were big supporters of Trump’s first nominee, far-right Justice Neil Gorsuch. This time around, CWA’s first choice had been Amy Coney Barrett, but Nance has since acknowledged that her tenure as a judge was very short. If Republicans pick up more Senate seats in the mid-terms, she told radio host Kevin McCullough, Barrett may yet get her chance, quipping, “When she’s more baked we’ll take her out of the oven.”
CWA’s talking points on the Kavanaugh nomination say that he is “imminently qualified” and that there is “no legitimate reason” to oppose his confirmation. But that’s not how the group approached President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland, whose qualifications were unquestionable. In that instance, Nance declared that preventing Senate consideration of the nomination was “the most important battle of our lives.”