My name is Will Haskell, and I am running to be your state senator in the 26th district.
Last week, I was crushed by President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy. It is clear that we can no longer rely on the Supreme Court to defend our most fundamental rights, including a woman’s right to choose and the ability of all citizens to vote.
Luckily, state legislatures can step up to the plate and preserve crucial judicial precedent. Connecticut, for example, is one of nine states that have taken the important step of legally protecting a woman’s right to choose. With this in mind, I’d like to share with you how I would vote on two key bills that are related to Kennedy’s tenure on the Court.
In 2015, the Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s groundbreaking healthcare legislation, the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The high court’s ruling allowed the ACA to work as it was intended, dropping the percentage of uninsured Americans to below 8% and guaranteeing ten essential health benefits in all healthcare plans.
In 2011, the Connecticut legislature passed SB 921, a bill to establish a health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. This exchange has since helped more than 163,000Connecticut residents enjoy healthcare coverage who had previously been uninsured. Senator Toni Boucher voted against multiple iterations of the bill, falling in line with Republicans nationally and opposing one of the most effective healthcare reforms in our state’s history. As your state senator, I will support forward thinking reforms to our healthcare system.
Second, I want to mention the elimination of the death penalty in Connecticut. Over the course of his three decades on the Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy imagined and encouraged a more humane system of crime and punishment. Today, the U.S. ranks among the top ten nations in total executions, joining the likes of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Somalia. Meanwhile, Canada, Mexico and the European Union have all abolished the practice. Data clearly shows that the death penalty is neither a deterrent to violent crime nor a cost-effective form of crime and punishment. In a criminal justice system that has the potential to get things wrong, the death penalty impermissibly risks putting innocent citizens to death.
In 2012, Sen. Boucher voted against SB 280, which eliminated the death penalty in Connecticut for all future cases. Justice Kennedy once wrote that “new dimensions of freedom become apparent to new generations.” I’m confident that our grandchildren will someday wonder at the fact that we permitted the state to execute inmates. Until that time, I will oppose any attempt to reinstate the death penalty in Connecticut.
If you’re interested in learning more about how I would vote on bills in the State Senate, please visit our campaign website, WillHaskellforCT.com, and sign up for our weekly email updates.
Will Haskell is the Democratic candidate for State Senator for the 26th District, which includes all of Ridgefield. The Ridgefield Democratic Town Committee provides this column. Visit Will’s website.