President Donald Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to fill the position of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. While three of Trump’s final four picks would have been home runs among conservatives, liberals would have thrown a fit about any nominee because they are concerned with three cases: Roe v. Wade, Obergefell v. Hodges and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Looking at Kavanaugh’s record on precedent we can take a look at these three cases and how their futures will be affected.
Roe v. Wade
The 1973 case involving abortion rights has been in the spotlight since then candidate Trump’s promise to nominate pro life justices. Protecting the lives of the unborn should be enough reason to overturn Roe v. Wade, but Senators who protested in front of the Supreme Court over Kavanaugh’s selection like Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren have turned this into a women’s rights issue. However, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, it does not criminalize abortions, but takes the issue out of the Federal Government’s hands and returns it to the states.
Looking at Kavanaugh’s record of voting based on precedent, the argument is strong that he would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Planned Parenthood v. Casey
This case largely dealt with women’s rights to privacy in terms of abortions. However, other provisions included the doctor’s need to provide specific information and risks about abortion before the procedure and a provision requires minors to get consent from a parent.
The case involved emergencies where a mother’s life would be in danger if she delivered the baby. This case helped to uphold Roe v. Wade and thus would also go if Roe v. Wade ever gets overturned.
Oberkfell v. Hodges
This case is one where conservatives must tread lightly. Oberkfell v. Hodges rules that states have to recognize a marriage license of a same sex couple. President Trump has already said he would not advocate overturning this case.
Even though the Federal Government ought not be involved in marriage, overturning this case would reflect negatively on the Supreme Court and the justices who vote to overturn it, thereby harming the reputation of the President who appointed those justices and the party to which he or she belongs. Although returning this issue to the states is the right thing to do, it would be political suicide for whoever chose to overturn the case.
How Kavanaugh Might Vote On These Cases
Kavanaugh has said that he would rule based on precedent, not his beliefs. However, he praised the dissent in Roe v. Wade, so it is likely that Kavanaugh overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, but his position on Oberkfell v. Hodges is less clear.
Either way, buckle up. These confirmation hearings are going to be rough and it is going to be a battle to get Kavanaugh confirmed by October 1 when the Supreme Court returns for fall session.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.