Why black farmers support Judge Kavanaugh | Opinion (The Commercial Appeal)

 

Thomas Burrell

Published 3:21 p.m. CT Sept. 14, 2018

 

The Memphis-based Black Farmers and Agriculturalist Association (BFAA), with 20,000 members nationwide, is backing the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Last October, Judge Kavanaugh ruled in favor of a class-action racial discrimination lawsuit we filed against the U. S. Department of Agriculture.

The ruling affirmed the claims of some 15,000 black farmers and their heirs who were denied crop loans and other assistance based on race.

In his ruling for the U. S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, Judge Kavanaugh upheld the Constitution and overturned a previous ruling against us by U.S. Dist. Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, an African-American judge and Obama appointee.

If race was a motivating factor for Judge Kavanaugh, he would have ruled against us. He was prepared, attentive, and had a command of the facts. We looked at his integrity and he seems to be ruling in cases according to the law.
Kavanaugh gave BFAA a reprieve for justice. Justice is a matter of equality. Implicit in every statue of American law is the fact that no one is above or beneath the law. We are all equal.

Kavanaugh gave BFAA its right to be heard and justly treated under the law. His decision affirmed that black farmers could not be precluded from equal treatment.

On Oct. I, BFAA will have its opportunity to present our claim to the assigned Merits Panel in Washington, D.C. BFAA supports Kavanaugh because the enforced administration of the panel’s decision will mean sizable rewards for our membership — possibly totaling more than $1 billion.

The money will never pay for the lost property, busted hopes, and years of alienation from the guaranteed principles of America. But getting paid is a start. Getting paid is not a Democrat or Republican thing. Getting paid is just and practical for what we suffered.

Judge Kavanaugh has taken bold positions on other complex issues and has demonstrated that he is dedicated to Constitutional values, not to legislating from the bench.

BFAA is confident Judge Kavanaugh will apply the law as a judicial responsibility without personal opinion or political persuasion.

What President Trump does in the Oval Office should not be an indictment against Judge Kavanaugh. Both of them have a responsibility is to protect and guard the Constitution.

Judge Kavanaugh judicial responsibilities and authority do not prevent President Trump from exercising his executive authority to enter into tariffs for the benefit of the United States.

Our black farmers are eager to see Judge Kavanaugh confirmed to the U. S. Supreme Court. We believe he will be a fair, independent,  mainstream judge who will uphold the Constitution.

Thomas Burrell, founder and president, Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association, Inc.