By CLYDE HUGHES, AC JosepH Media
The NAACP Willingboro and Vicinity Branch president Samantha Whitfield this weekend asked that New Jersey residents and others to call their elected officials to halt the nomination hearing of U.S. Supreme Court candidate Brett Kavanaugh until after the November elections.
Whitfield made the comments during the branch’s podcast released Saturday, hosted by second vice president William Weston. The branch covers Willingboro as well as Beverly, Burlington City, Burlington Township, Delanco, Delran, Eastampton, Edgewater Park, Florence, Hainesport, Mount Holly and Westampton.
Kavanaugh, currently a judge on the critical U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, has been nominated by President Donald Trump to replace Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kenney, who retired this summer. Kennedy has been a critical and sought after swing vote on the court that is otherwise evenly divided into conservative and liberal wings.
Kennedy has casted the deciding vote on a variety of issues included the most recent on gay marriage, unions and voting rights. Some fear that with Kavanagh’s appointment would solidify the court’s conservative base, moving it to the right for a generation.
Republicans have sought to hold hearings before the November elections in order to force U.S. Senate Democrats running for re-election in states that Trump won handily in 2016 – like Indiana, North Dakota and West Virginia — to vote for Kavanaugh or use a “no” vote against them in elections.
“What we’re asking for is not only for New Jersey residents to call their senators, but for anyone else listening and for people in New Jersey to encourage their friends, family and networks in other states to call their senators and write their senators and tell them to halt the hearing,” Whitfield said on the NAACP podcast. “This could affect us for decades.”
Weston added that in light of the Trump administration’s recent troubles, it may be prudent to slow the nomination down. Last week, Trump’s former election campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted on eight counts in connect with the probe being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, according to CNN.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, also pleaded guilty last week to campaign finance crimes and other charges as part of the probe, suggesting that he was ordered to do so by the president, per USA Today.
“It is imperative to push back and halt this nomination,” Weston said. “Especially as it appears this administration starts to crash down on itself.”
Whitfield and Weston also urged listeners to not sit on the sidelines during the mid-term elections, a time where many voters take a pass on key federal, state and local races.
“You may feel like it (doesn’t make a difference but it does), especially in local elections,” Weston told the podcast audience. “You may think it’s only mid-terms but it’s time to turnout and make your voice heard. We’re nonpartisan but we want everyone to exercise their right to vote.”
Whitfield said that it was important for African-Americans to recall what it took to get blacks the right to vote freely in the first place in the United States.
“You have to think about the history of gaining the right to vote (for African-Americans) and how our ancestors had the to fight,” Whitfield said. “They had to risk their lives, and some of them lost their lives, in this fight to be able to get this right to vote.”
Listen to the entire Willingboro NAACP podcast here.
The branch holds its meetings the second Tuesday of each month at the Willingboro Senior Center in Willingboro.