On Tuesday Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh was nominated by President Trump to fill Justice Kennedy’s seat on the Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh is a 53-year-old with a conservative record. His nomination was not unexpected as he is well-established and well-respected by conservatives in Washington. He also worked alongside President George W. Bush.
If Judge Kavanaugh is appointed to the Supreme Court, his voice will help determine the outcome of cases for a lifetime. With the court split down the middle and Justice Kennedy’s moderate voice absent, this nomination is a decision that will divide the court further. Liberal justices will be outnumbered by conservative justices, leaving many previous Supreme Court decisions at risk of being overturned.
Among these cases is Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision made in 1973 guaranteeing women the right to privacy and thus, an abortion in the United States. Was Roe v. Wade to be overturned, the legality of abortion would fall to individual states. According to NPR, 22 states in the U.S. would likely choose to ban abortion were Roe not in place. It should be noted that Kavanaugh has not spoken out right about his own views or intentions regarding Roe v Wade, however, President Trump and the Republican party have championed the “pro-life” movement.
Democrats, anxious about the prospect of an imbalanced Supreme Court, are prepared to do what they can to block Kavanaugh’s appointment, but the truth is there is not much Senate democrats can do. During the period before Justice Gorsuch’s appointment to the Supreme Court, Senate Republicans went “nuclear” by removing the original 60 votes necessary to confirm a justice and reducing it to just 51. In addition, Democrats in states which President Trump won during the election chose to align with those who voted for Neil Gorsuch during the last appointment so as not to disappoint constituents. It is likely that this pattern will repeat itself during the next vote.
Judge Kavanaugh has no foreseeable defects in his record that would rule him out as a viable option for the court. Regardless, his nomination is controversial. Some Americans feel that he is not representative of their values.
California Senator Kamala Harris wrote, “If you are a young woman in America or you care about a young woman in America, pay attention to this, because it will forever change your life.”