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Moore and Berger's public support of Kavanaugh, while unnecessary, isn't surprising

On Monday Republican legislative leaders Phil Berger and Tim Moore publicly announced their support of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh in a letter addressed to Sens. Thom Tillis, Richard Burr, and Chuck Grassley. Berger and Moore said that they “stand ready to assist in any way [they] can to help ensure Judge Brett Kavanaugh becomes the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice.”

Moore's office also indicated that they hoped to gather signatures of support from other members of the General Assembly.

It makes sense that Berger and Moore support Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh is a staunch defender of the anti-abortion movement. In a dissent issued in a case involving the rights of a pregnant immigrant teenager in federal custody, Kavanaugh said that the “government has permissible interests in favoring fetal life, protecting the best interests of a minor, and refraining from facilitating abortion.”

That falls in step with the legislative majority’s many attempts to block abortion access in North Carolina, including increasing state funding of fake clinics called crisis pregnancy centers to $2.3 million, a 516 percent increase. 

During his time as a D.C. Circuit judge, Kavanaugh has spent time attempting to roll back many environmental protects. He dissented from a ruling that upheld the EPA’s decision to eliminate cost from the equation when regulating power plants, saying it is a “matter of common sense, common parlance, and common practice” to consider cost when regulating anything. Additionally, when the EPA attempted to adapt the language of 1970’s Clean Air act to permit the regulation of then-unforeseen greenhouse gas emissions, Kavanaugh said the EPA had “exceeded its statutory authority.”

Since gaining power in 2010 the Republican majority has also made headway in reigning in the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, slashing its budget and refusing to adequately fund cleanup of several environmental disasters. Republicans even voted in favor of further budget cuts to DEQ just days after the story of toxic contamination in the Cape Fear River, known as the GenX crisis, came to light. Most recently, the legislature allocated $2.3 million to DEQ to assess and clean the rivers, but chose to funnel most of the appropriations to the NC Policy Collaboratory, a venture directed by a former Berger staffer.

Though the NC legislature’s public display support of Kavanaugh's confirmation is unnecessary, it makes perfect sense that Berger and Moore want their members to sign on to this letter. It's a ringing endorsement of the kind of harmful policies they've enacted since taking control of the NCGA.

Update: The General Assembly has released the full list of legislators who have added their signatures to the letter. It includes all Republican legislators except for Sen. Tamara Barringer (R-Wake) and Reps. Chris Malone (R-Wake), Linda Johnson (R-Cabarrus), Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson), Larry Potts (R-Davidson), and Linda Hunt Williams (R-Wake). Find the letter here (via @LaurenHorsch).