Brett Kavanaugh, one of the finalists on the U.S. Supreme Court, has been criticized by some conservatives and liberals for his handling of a 2017 case in which a 17-year-old immigrant wanted to have an abortion.
Both sides find things to dislike in the Kavanaugh dissent and what’s known about how he’d rule on abortion.
Trump will announce his choice on July 9, 2019 at 9 p.m. Eastern time. He’s kept his decision close to the vest, although multiple news accounts reported that Kavanaugh and Thomas Hardiman were the finalists. Kavanaugh’s abortion stance is unlikely to cause as much controversy as the writings of another finalist, Amy Coney Barrett, would do. However, it’s already caused some concern with conservatives and liberals, which is a tough task to pull off.
Some on the left are concerned the new Trump pick could join a more conservative court to overturn Roe v. Wade. The conservative criticism of Kavanaugh has focused on a perception that his dissent in an abortion case was not as strong as that of another conservative, mirroring conservative angst over a dissent he wrote on Obamacare.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Case Involves a Kavanaugh Dissent Over Whether the Government Needed to Allow an Undocumented Immigrant Teen to Have an Abortion
White HouseSwearing-in Ceremony for Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia with his wife Ashley Estes Kavanaugh.
The case in question is called Garza v. Hargan. An undocumented immigrant in federal custody wanted to have an abortion, and the case revolved around whether the government should allow her to do so. The D.C. Circuit ultimately ruled that the Trump administration should allow the woman to have an abortion. You can read the decisions in the Garza v. Hargan case here.
Kavanaugh dissented from that majority opinion. However, “unlike another conservative judge,” Kavanaugh “did not directly challenge her right to have an abortion under certain circumstances,” New York Magazine reported. That upsets conservatives, but Roe supporters aren’t happy, either, because Kavanaugh didn’t side with the majority ruling the teen should get the abortion.
“Brett Kavanaugh was all in to block a young, undocumented woman from accessing abortion and would happily overturn #RoevWade,” NARAL, which supports Roe, wrote on Twitter.
Conservative concern about Kavanaugh on abortion mirrors conservative concern about Kavanaugh on Obamacare; in both cases, Kavanaugh dissented, but he was not strong enough in his dissent in doing so for some conservatives. SCOTUS blog explained, “Kavanaugh noted that the government had conceded the teen’s right to an abortion. He went on to assert that delaying the procedure while the government sought a sponsor was permissible under the Supreme Court’s precedent because it did not impose an undue burden on that right.”
The basic concern that some conservatives have raised: They think that Kavanaugh did not take a strong enough position on the case. “This case exemplifies why Kavanaugh is not the best available Supreme Court prospect,” Philip Jauregui of the Judicial …read more