Brett Kavanaugh

Ever since his daughter Jamie was killed earlier this year, Fred Guttenberg has made it his mission to push public officials to take action on gun reform. Count Brett Kavanaugh among those who won’t.

When the ongoing confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh adjourned after the morning hearings, Fred Guttenberg walked to the table where Kavanaugh sat, with his hand stretched out. In one video, Guttenberg is heard saying his daughter was “murdered in Parkland” after introducing himself to Kavanaugh. The judge looked at him, refused to shake his hand, then turned away as security escorted him away.

“Just walked up to Judge Kavanaugh as morning session ended. Put out my hand to introduce myself as Jaime Guttenberg’s dad. He pulled his hand back, turned his back to me and walked away. I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence,” Guttenberg tweeted.

In another angle, Kavanaugh is clearly seen looking directly at Guttenberg, before security personnel intervened, and refusing to shake his hand. Kavanaugh was alone for several seconds prior to security escorting him away from the table. This is significant, as the White House incorrectly stated that Kavanaugh wanted to shake Guttenberg’s hand, but that he was unable to do so due to capitol security taking him away.

The Brett Kavanaugh hearings are particularly controversial, as the Trump administration blocked the release of roughly 100,000 pages of documents related to the judge’s time as former President George W. Bush’s staff secretary. Kavanaugh served as staff secretary to Bush between 2003 and 2006, during the peak of the second Iraq War.

One of the scandals that took place during Kavanaugh’s time as White House staff secretary was the revelations of various human rights abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Prisoners held captive at the facility were subjected to brutal punishment, torture, and sexual abuse. Many of the instances documented in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s extensive 2014 report on CIA torture happened while Kavanaugh was in the White House.

As NPR has pointed out, the Supreme Court has largely stayed away from the gun debate in terms of cases that have come before the nine justices. However, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens called for the repeal of the Second Amendment in an op-ed for the New York Times earlier this year.

If Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court, it’s likely he will be the deciding vote in any potential Second Amendment-related case that comes before him. And given the National Rifle Association’s (NRA’s) full-throated endorsement of the circuit court judge following President Trump’s nomination, it’s likely Kavanaugh would not rule in favor of people like Fred Guttenberg.


Nick Jewell is a freelance political writer, and a proud resident of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. Email him at 

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