This week Trump nominated judge Brett Kavanaugh as the next nominee to take the seat of Supreme Court Judge Anthony Kennedy, who retired at 81 after three decades embracing liberal views on gay rights, abortion, and the death penalty. Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are vowing to fight against the Supreme Court nominee. They are calling Kavanaugh a threat to women’s rights to choose an abortion fueling 10 Democrats on the Judiciary panel to gather on the steps of the Supreme Court to oppose the nominee judge. Sen. Kamala Harris of California says “women should pay close attention to the nomination,” adding that overturning abortion rights “will forever change your lives.”
While Trump has said that he has not discussed the overturning of Roe vs. Wade with Kavanaugh, the president does stand for the sanctity of life according to Vice President Pence. Pence is also extremely adamant that he would want the ruling overturned. When he was interviewed by CNN’s Dana Bash and asked if he wants to see Roe vs. Wade overturned, the president responded, “I do, but I haven’t been nominated to the Supreme Court.”
So is the United States in danger of losing women’s rights by overturning Roe vs. Wade. If Kavanaugh is confirmed, he would likely be the fifth vote to the court to overturn Roe vs. Wade.
Roe vs. Wade which became a landmark decision issued in 1973 by the United States Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that a right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment extended to women’s decision to have an abortion.
According to NPR, “Reversing the landmark case would not automatically make abortion illegal across the country. Instead, it would return the decision about abortion legality to the states, where a patchwork of laws already in place renders abortion more or less available largely depending on the individual states’ political leanings.” Amy Myrick, staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents abortion-rights advocated in court says, “We think there are 22 states likely to ban abortion without Roe. The threat is very high now”
In 2017 Kavanaugh wrote a dissenting opinion in the case in which a 17-year-old being held by immigration authorities was allowed to leave their custody to obtain an abortion. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in agreement with a Texas judge that the teenager was legally entitled to an abortion. But Kavanaugh dissented, asking the government to release the girl to an adult sponsor. Another judge on the panel, Judge Karen L. Henderson said that undocumented immigrants did not have the right to an abortion under Roe vs. Wade. Conservatives were upset at Kavanaugh because he did not express that there should have been no abortion at all. From his action, in this case, it gives us some clues that Kavanaugh believes that “the government has a strong interest in not in any way facilitating abortions.”
In his remarks after Trump’s nomination, Kavanaugh “emphasized that he respects precedent, but every nominee says that” according to Doug Linder, a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
This is just one of the issues that the Democrats are worried about, Kavanaugh doesn’t believe a sitting president can be indicted is heavily weighing on the Democrats. Businessman Jeff Greene said it best, “if Kavanaugh is confirmed he has the potential to swing our country back int the dark ages.”