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Judge Kavanaugh Gives Jewish Dad of Parkland Victim the Cold Shoulder

Fred Guttenberg

Carpool Dad Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings started today. There’s a lot that’s happened, but we want to focus in on a moment right before they broke for lunch.

Fred Guttenberg, the Jewish dad who lost his daughter, Jaime, in the Parkland school shooting in February, attended the hearings. He was the guest of Jewish Senator Diane Feinstein (D-California), and after the morning session ended, he approached Kavanaugh to shake his hand.

Guttenberg tweeted, “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.”

An AP Photographer captured the moment, which quickly went viral:

Many were quick to call the image the “defining image” of the day, saying “a picture’s worth 100,000 documents.” One tweeter summed it up as “Father of slain daughter gets cold shoulder from Supreme Court nominee.” Another pointed out, “In a better world, this picture would sink his nomination.”

And there’s video too, showing that Kavanaugh did not respond — rather, he simply stares at him and turns away. (To give the nominee the benefit of the doubt, maybe he didn’t hear? Maybe it was a misunderstanding?) However — despite the efforts of White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah to say that the handshake was thwarted by security, the video seems to indicate that Kavanaugh did heard Guttenberg before walking away:


Within an hour of posting, Guttenberg’s original photo has been retweeted upwards of 20,000 times.

“I was a normal Parkland parent who had two kids. Now I have one,” Guttenberg — who has devoted himself to advocating for gun safety since his daughter’s murder — previously told Newsweek. “The only thing I have done is exercise my right to fight for my family’s safety. No cyberwarfare. No nothing. We’ve just effectively utilized Facebook and Twitter to drive a message. If I’m not mistaken, we have a presidential administration that did the same thing.”

Header image by AP Photo / Andrew Harnik 

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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