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Trump picks Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court justice

by Courtney Deeren - Copy Editor
Tue, Sep 11th 2018 03:00 pm

Earlier this week the confirmation hearings began for Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s second nominee for Supreme Court Justice. This choice comes with concern for many people due to Kavanaugh’s views on abortion and reproductive health. 

According to Abby Gardner’s article in Glamour magazine, Kavanaugh is seen as the tipping point in the conservative and liberal balance of the courts. Meaning if confirmed, the courts will be mostly pushing conservative viewpoints. 

Some may recognize Kavanaugh’s name from his time as a White House lawyer and staff secretary under former President George W. Bush. 

“An outstanding decision.... Brett is a brilliant jurist who has faithfully applied the Constitution and laws throughout his 12 years on the D.C. Circuit… He will make a superb Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States” Bush said. 

 Kavanaugh was one of those involved in the investigation leading to former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1998. In the 1990’s Kavanaugh helped the head of the Clinton investigation, Kenneth Starr, co-write Independent Counsel, a law which laid the framework for the impeachment on the grounds of his affair with Monica Lewinsky. However, Kavanaugh would later go on to write that no president should be subject to criminal investigations or civil lawsuits while in office. 

Kavanaugh has been accused of not being transparent during these hearings, and there was even a disagreement during the live coverage about an email scandal. Democratic sen. Pat Leahy questioned the candidate about the scandal which involved the hacking of senate democrats’ emails. This accusation comes from the 2000s case involving Manuel Miranda. These allegations come alongside others claiming that Kavanaugh has lied under oath numerous times. 

Many of those in opposition of Kavanaugh are women, as he poses a threat to pro-choice laws and women’s reproductive health. Quotes from Kavanaugh saying birth control is “abortion inducing” are plastered all over social media. According to Anna North’s article on Vox, what was actually said wasn’t as simple. Apparently, he was paraphrasing comments made by Priests for Life, a Catholic group. It is still unclear whether or not Kavanaugh sides with this group. Trump’s declaration which he would appoint all pro-life justices has also sparked some concern over Kavanaugh’s nomination. 

During the confirmations Kavanaugh has not directly said which side he falls on, but has said many times that Roe v. Wade is a settled case. The concern came from many believing Kavanaugh would try to overturn Roe v. Wade. If those are his plans, he certainly hasn’t alluded to that in his hearings, which were highlighted by CBS news live. 

 There are still those concerned that Kavanaugh is not completely transparent for these hearings. There were around 100 thousand documents that have not been released for review. 

A New York Times editorial had this to say: “More than once this week, he testified in a way that appeared to directly contradict evidence in the record.” 

No one seems to really know which side Kavanaugh actually stands on, whether it is on the topic of abortion, or birth control. These uncertainties have caused panic for women everywhere. Access to birth control and reproductive health is important, and over 95 percent of women have used birth control throughout their lives.

One thing that is certain, is Kavanaugh's stance on whether or not religious groups should be mandated to provide birth control. In the aforementioned case with Priests for life, Kavanaugh sided with them. He deemed it a substantial burden on their religious exercise, and said it should be allowed for employers to opt out of supplying birth control to their employees. 

Kavanaugh’s delivery of contradictory evidence is an obvious concern for many, especially after the suspicion  surrounding Trump, when he failed to reveal his own documents. One thing is for certain in all of Trump’s appointees; he is creating a panel of people that are hard to trust and believe. 

 

cbeag1@brockport.edu | @CourtneyDeeren

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