We Now Know How Brett Kavanaugh Coached Bush's Judicial Nominees to Respond to Roe V. Wade Questions, and Now He's Using The Same Tactic
On the final day of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh's hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) continued her vociferous opposition to Kavanaugh's appointment.
This time, she did so in a tweet:
Brett Kavanaugh coached Bush's judicial nominees to give the same kind of vague answers he gave us on Roe v. Wade t… https://t.co/URbfBD17fp— Kamala Harris (@Kamala Harris)1536341551.0
The previously confidential 2002 email sees associate counsel to then-President George W. Bush seeking input from Kavanaugh, his colleague at the time, on how Bush-nominated Judge Priscilla Owen should answer questions on controversial issues from Democrats who believed her to be too conservative.
She should not talk about her views on specific policy or legal issues. She should say she has a commitment to follow Supreme Court precedent, that she understands and appreciates the role of a circuit judge, that she will adhere to statutory text, that she has no ideological agenda."
To anyone keeping up with the hearing over the last three days, Kavanaugh's advice may seem eerily familiar.
Judge Kavanaugh's ambiguous stance on Roe v. Wade, the historic 1973 Supreme Court case that upheld a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy, has been unsettling to many Americans and remains at the forefront of the numerous hesitations to confirm him. His repeated refusal to give a clear answer on the issue has only exacerbated these concerns.
.@SenBlumenthal just asked Brett Kavanaugh: Can you commit, here today, to never overturning Roe v. Wade? Kavanau… https://t.co/OaxFejd2M8— Alliance for Justice (@Alliance for Justice)1536185315.0
Brett Kavanaugh tells Sen. Feinstein that Roe v. Wade is an important precedent of the court: "As best I can, I alw… https://t.co/metdrH7wkE— CBS Evening News (@CBS Evening News)1536215410.0
Kavanaugh has clung to precedent on a vast array of issues over the course of the hearing, but his evasiveness on Roe v. Wade has rightly taken center stage. Yet another email shows that Kavanaugh's reverence for precedent may only extend to Senate Judiciary hearings:
I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent, and three current Justices on the Court would do so.”
These statements, for many, have rendered his answers in the hearing useless, especially for Senator Harris.
Now the American people know what we know. We have every reason to believe Kavanaugh will overturn Roe v. Wade. https://t.co/P4vEFdIezk— Kamala Harris (@Kamala Harris)1536245605.0
Why is Brett Kavanaugh willing to say that U.S. v. Nixon was correctly decided but is not willing to say the same thing about Roe v. Wade?— Renato Mariotti (@Renato Mariotti)1536262917.0
If Brett Kavanaugh becomes a Supreme Court justice, will he help gut or overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abort… https://t.co/Owte9CoPAo— Hillary Clinton (@Hillary Clinton)1536154941.0
Judge Kavanaugh: - Doesn’t believe Roe v. Wade is settled law - Acknowledges it could be overturned - Called birth… https://t.co/JocIRZxoZD— Senator Patty Murray (@Senator Patty Murray)1536360306.0
In the face of these unsettling statements, Kamala Harris has been unrelenting in getting to the bottom of Kavanaugh's stances on women's rights.
One of Harris's questions during the hearing recently went viral when the senator asked Kavanaugh if he could name any laws allowing the government to legislate procedures on men's bodies.
After silence and stammering, Kavanaugh admitted that he couldn't think of any.
Sen. Kamala Harris to Brett #Kavanaugh: "Can you think of any laws that gives government the power to make decision… https://t.co/tIHNV4132U— Vox (@Vox)1536243300.0
This question and others asked by Harris during the hearing have been praised by much of the public.
@KamalaHarris Senator Harris . I’ve been watching the hearings this week. What you’ve been doing is amazing. Please… https://t.co/0mTh8o4Fhf— Florencio Cora (@Florencio Cora)1536298659.0
Kamala Harris is a modern-day hero. She is the voice of sense and reason in a world that doesn’t make much sense an… https://t.co/B8xSazRzR9— Nicholas Ponticello (@Nicholas Ponticello)1536357387.0
@KamalaHarris We’re watching, listening & learning. Brilliant questioning. Thank you, Senator Harris 🙏🏼🙏🏼— SCHATTO (@SCHATTO)1536276126.0
Though the hearings are over, the fights for and against Kavanaugh's confirmation are just beginning. And while the nominee may claim Roe v. Wade is settled law, his answers to Harris and other senators have left pro-choice activists completely unsettled.