Washington D.C., Jul 20, 2018 / 10:27 am
As Judge Brett Kavanaugh prepares for Senate confirmation hearings, the Supreme Court nominee's record is being examined for indications of how he might handle a move to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Kavanaugh is widely considered to be a constitutional originalist and known to be a practicing Catholic, and how he might approach a hypothetical move to overturn the landmark abortion case is expected to dominate the confirmation process.
President Trump made numerous public commitments to appoint pro-life judges and justices as part of his presidential campaign but, as previous presidents have found, it can be hard to predict how a nominee might rule once on the court. Justices Sandra Day-O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy, whose resignation opened the seat for which Kavanaugh has been nominated, were appointed by Ronald Reagan but voted to uphold abortion rights while on the court.
During Senate confirmation hearings candidates traditionally underscore their commitment to existing precedent and their judicial impartiality, and steer clear of responding to hypothetical cases. As a result, Senators often focus questions on previous decisions reached by a nominee in lower courts. Ahead of Kavanaugh's hearings, attention is now turning to his 12 years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.