Brett Kavanaugh on Abortion



See if anti-abortion rules are burdensome before banning

The Supreme Court blocked Louisiana from enforcing a law that women's groups said would leave only a single doctor legally allowed to perform abortions in the state. By a 5-4 vote, the court said the restrictions must remain on hold while challengers appeal a lower court decision.

It was the Supreme Court's first significant action on abortion for Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh voted with the conservatives--Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch. Kavanaugh filed a dissent, writing only for himself. He said he would have allowed the law to take effect in order to see whether it would impose a burden on women's access to abortion in the state.

Kavanaugh said that because Louisiana promised to put the law into effect gradually, he would have waited to see how many doctors were able to get hospital admitting privileges. So far, he said, the two sides in the case have offered only "competing predictions" about its effect.

Source: NBC News on 2019 SCOTUS case: "June Medical vs. Louisiana" , Feb 7, 2019

Roe is an important precedent, but stricter regulations ok

During his first round of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh said he views Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, as "important precedent of the Supreme Court" that has been "reaffirmed many times." Yet he declined to say he would not vote to reverse Roe, saying that such a vow--on any case--would violate judicial norms.

Overall, his testimony reinforced his past writings suggesting he would permit the government to more strictly regulate abortion, for example, with additional requirements that could delay the procedure or stiffer rules for physicians who would perform it.

Trump has long vowed to appoint justices who would reverse Roe and allow the states to determine whether abortion should be legal. Kennedy had been a swing vote in favor of abortion rights.

Source: CNN.com on lead-up to SCOTUS Confirmation Hearings , Jul 9, 2018

Disallow 17-year-old illegal immigrant to seek abortion

Judge Kavanaugh has spent the past dozen years embracing the philosophy of the conservative legal movement as he assembled a record on the powerful federal Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. On issues as diverse as abortion and gun rights to disputes over national-security policies and business regulations, Kavanaugh emphasized textual limitations while frequently favoring corporations over regulators, and the government over individuals claiming rights violations.

Last fall the appeals court voted to allow an undocumented pregnant 17 year-old in immigration detention to seek an abortion without delay. Judge Kavanaugh dissented. He wrote that while the appeals court was bound to obey Supreme Court rulings, those precedents left room for the government to apply "reasonable regulations that do not impose an undue burden."

Source: N.Y.Times on lead-up to SCOTUS Confirmation Hearing , Jul 10, 2018

Other Justices on Abortion: Brett Kavanaugh on other issues:
Samuel Alito(since 2006)
Amy Coney Barrett(since 2020)
Stephen Breyer(since 1994)
Neil Gorsuch(since 2017)
Ketanji Brown Jackson(nominated 2022)
Elena Kagan(since 2010)
Brett Kavanaugh(since 2018)
John Roberts(since 2005)
Sonia Sotomayor(since 2009)
Clarence Thomas(since 1991)

Former Justices:
Merrick Garland(nominated 2016)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg(1993-2020)
Anthony Kennedy(1988-2018)
Antonin Scalia(1986-2016)
John Paul Stevens(1975-2010)
David Souter(1990-2009)
Sandra Day O'Connor(1981-2006)
William Rehnquist(1975-2005)

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Page last updated: Mar 20, 2022