During Judge Kavanaugh’s first day of confirmation hearings, he refused to concede to Senator Diane Feinstein that there is a fundamental right that women have to abortion.
Despite Senator Feinstein’s attempts to get Judge Kavanaugh to commit to supporting abortion once he is confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice, Judge Kavanaugh declined to support the idea that women have a right to abortion. Judge Kavanaugh also declined to say whether he thought if Roe v. Wade was correctly decided. Judge Kavanaugh instead answered similarly to how previous Supreme Court nominees have answered similar inquiries during their confirmation hearings. Namely, he stated that Roe v. Wade is a precedent set by the Supreme Court and that therefore the decision is deserving of respect. This is not to say that legalizing abortion cannot or should not be overturned though, as one Supreme Court precedent – that of partial birth abortion – has already been reversed.
Today, during his second day of confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh was asked a series of questions by Republican Senator Lindsay Graham. Judge Kavanaugh has mostly been questioned by Democratic Senators thus far, but Senator Graham was attempting to make the point that the Constitution nowhere refers to abortion as a fundamental right.
The exchange can be viewed in the second video below.
“Is there any phrase in the Constitution about abortion?” Senator Graham asked Kavanaugh.
“The Supreme Court has found that under the liberty clause, but you’re right that specific words,” Kavanaugh paused before continuing, when Senator Graham interjected and made his point that the Supreme Court basically invented the “right” to an abortion in the Constitution in 1973 with the Roe v. Wade ruling. Kavanaugh did not continue in the line in which he was headed before Senator Graham’s interjection, yet it is clear he was agreeing with Senator Graham that the Constitution nowhere specifically mentions abortion as a right protected or guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.
TIME reports that, “in 2015, while serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Kavanaugh sided with a religious organization that objected to providing contraception for employees with insurance.” Today, Judge Kavanaugh referred to contraceptives as abortion inducing drugs when responding to a line of questioning from Republican Senator Ted Cruz about his decision in the case.
Last year, Judge Kavanaugh gave a speech in which he said that the Roe v. Wade decision was a “freewheeling judicial creation of unenumerated rights that were not rooted in the nation’s history and tradition.”