'Court can always overrule its precedent,' he said in 2003. So much for Roe being 'settled law.'
Trump’s extremist Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, has been working very hard to give senators the impression that he wouldn’t support overturning Roe v. Wade and ending legal abortion nationwide.
During his Senate confirmation hearings this week, Kavanaugh has repeatedly said that he respects the “precedent” of Roe v. Wade and other major abortion cases. He also reportedly told Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) that he considered Roe to be “settled law.”
An unknown source leaked documents to the Times that had been designated “committee confidential” — viewable to the Senate Judiciary Committee, but not to the public.
One of those documents is an email Kavanaugh wrote in 2003 while he was working as a White House lawyer in the Bush administration.
“I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent, and three current Justices on the Court would do so,” Kavanaugh wrote.
He was commenting on a draft opinion piece supporting one of Bush’s conservative appeals court nominees, which included the line, “it is widely accepted by legal scholars across the board that Roe v. Wade and its progeny are the settled law of the land.”
Kavanaugh recommended deleting that line — because, as he said, “Court can always overrule its precedent.”
This email is incredibly damning to anyone, especially “moderates” like Collins, who have defended Kavanaugh based on the idea that he would respect Supreme Court precedent by not gutting or overturning Roe v. Wade.
This email also sheds new light on why Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) specifically asked Kavanaugh on Wednesday whether his views on Roe had changed since the Bush administration.
Her question suggested that she knew about something specific he had said on the issue that contradict his suggestions that he will respect Supreme Court precedent on abortion rights.
Now we may know what that statement was.
But we also didn’t need this statement to know what Kavanaugh really thought about Roe and women’s bodily autonomy.
He was shockingly dismissive of Roe’s importance in his responses to Feinstein — brushing off the deaths of hundreds of thousands of women from unsafe abortion as a “point of view.”
And he has a long record of hostile rulings and statements about reproductive freedom and privacy rights.
This leaked revelation just confirms what we already knew: Kavanaugh is a huge threat to reproductive freedom, not to mention Americans’ right to privacy in general, if he is confirmed.
Published with permission of The American Independent.