SCOTUS nominee Kavanaugh tried to severely limit 9/11 victim fund payouts in 2001


Confirmation of nominee Brett Kavanaugh as the next Supreme Court justice would be bad news for almost all of America, and there is no shortage of evidence to prove it.

Helping victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City shouldn’t be controversial, but the New York Daily News reports that Kavanaugh wanted to severely limit the federal government’s liability to do so in the aftermath of the attacks.

In October 2001—while America was still deep in nationwide mourning for the victims of the deadly attacks—Kavanaugh, in his capacity as an associate White House counsel, proposed to an aide to George W. Bush that a cap of a mere $500,000 be established on payments for the victims.

Fortunately, the suggestion didn’t stick. Kenneth Feinberg, who was put in charge of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, didn’t put any limits on the amount of payout 9/11 victims and families could receive.  

To put Kavanaugh’s proposed limit into perspective, consider this:

Feinberg ultimately used factors like “pain and suffering” plus “economic loss” stemming from a victim’s death to calculate figures.
Payment amounts ultimately ranged from $220,000 to $7,100,000.
Ninety-five victims who didn’t use the fund sued the airlines. They received over $500 million in a settlement.

While it’s understandable that it was his job as White House counsel to take the government’s interests into account, the fact that he could so heartlessly work actively to protect the government at the expense of victims and their families is chilling. It provides yet more evidence that Kavanaugh doesn’t hesitate to throw victims under the bus if needed to protect the powerful institutions in charge.

As Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “This window into the thinking of Brett Kavanaugh days after the horrific 9/11 terror attack raises real questions about Judge Kavanaugh’s priorities and judgment.”

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