Law & the Courts

Kavanaugh: Roe Is ‘Important Precedent of the Supreme Court’

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., July 10, 2018. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Judge Brett Kavanaugh faced his first full day of questioning from members of Congress on many controversial issues as his confirmation hearings continued on Wednesday.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) peppered the Supreme Court nominee with questions about his stance on the 1973 landmark abortion-rights case Roe vs. Wade, which Kavanaugh has described as “settled law.”

“What do you mean by ‘settled law’? Do you believe it is correct law?” asked Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Have your views about whether Roe is settled precedent changed since you were in the Bush White House?”

“One of the important things to keep in mind about Roe vs. Wade is that it has been reaffirmed many times over the past 45 years,” Kavanaugh responded. “I will tell you what my view right now is, which is it’s an important precedent of the Supreme Court that has been reaffirmed many times.”

“The Supreme Court didn’t just reaffirm it in passing,” he added, mentioning Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which reaffirmed Roe in 1992.

“I don’t want to go back to those death tolls in this country,” Feinstein responded, presumably referring to back-alley abortions that activists claim took place frequently before abortion was legalized. “And I truly believe that women should be able to control their own reproductive systems, within obviously some concern for a viable fetus.”

“I understand your point of view on that, senator, and I understand how passionate and how deeply people feel about this issue,” Kavanaugh said. “I don’t live in a bubble. I live in the real world. I understand the importance of the issue.”

Feinstein also asked the nominee what his personal “position today is on a woman’s right to choose?”

Kavanaugh declined to answer the question directly but stressed that “as a judge” he believes Roe is an important precedent and Casey is “precedent on precedent.”

Kavanaugh’s position echoes the one he offered in 2006 when he was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit. “If confirmed to the D.C. Circuit, I would follow Roe v. Wade faithfully and fully,” Kavanaugh said during that hearing. “That would be binding precedent of the Court. It’s been decided by the Supreme Court.”

The abortion issue monopolized the national spotlight in the weeks before the start of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing. Abortion-rights supporters worry that he would vote to overturn Roe, should it be re-litigated, and groups such as NARAL and Planned Parenthood have organized campaigns urging senators to vote against his confirmation.

NOW WATCH: ‘Democrats Protest As Kavanaugh Hearing Begins’

Most Popular

White House

The Mueller Report Should Shock Our Conscience

I've finished reading the entire Mueller report, and I must confess that even as a longtime, quite open critic of Donald Trump, I was surprised at the sheer scope, scale, and brazenness of the lies, falsehoods, and misdirections detailed by the Special Counsel's Office. We've become accustomed to Trump making up ... Read More

An Idea for Student Loans: Get Rid of Them

Here is a three-part plan for something practical the federal government could do to relieve college-loan debt. Step 1: The federal government should stop making college loans itself and cease guaranteeing any such loans. Step 2: It should prohibit educational lending by federally regulated financial institutions ... Read More
White House

The Problem with the Mueller Report

So much for collusion. The media conversation has now officially moved on from the obsession of the last two years to obstruction of justice. That’s because the first volume of the voluminous Mueller report, the half devoted to what was supposed to be the underlying crime of a Trump conspiracy with Russia, ... Read More

Screw York Yankees

You are dead to me. You are a collection of Fredos. The cock has crowed, you pathetic sniveling jerks. The team I have rooted for since 1965, when I first visited the House that Ruth Built, where I hawked peanuts and ice cream a lifetime ago, watched countless games (Guidry striking out 18!), has gotten so ... Read More
White House


Some of you will be familiar with a lefty, partisan Democratic organization called MoveOn, formerly MoveOn.Org. It was founded during an investigation into President Bill Clinton’s shenanigans (which were not, Democratic mythology notwithstanding, strictly sexual in nature) and argued that it was time for the ... Read More