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  • Kelsey Klementowicz

ICYMI: Kavanaugh Would Undermine a Woman's Right to Choose


Concord, N.H. - Last week, Senate Judiciary hearings began on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, even as Republicans still refuse to release 93% of Kavanaugh’s White House records and despite Michael Cohen’s implication of President Trump in a campaign finance violation. U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan have announced their opposition to Kavanaugh, after calling for a delay of the nomination hearings. As Senate Democrats questioned Kavanaugh on a variety of issues, including his stance on Roe v. Wade, the New York Times published several leaked emails, revealing Kavanaugh’s opinions in areas he had previously refused to comment on. NHDP Chair Ray Buckley issued the following statement: “After weeks of secrecy, these newly leaked emails show exactly why President Trump and Senate Republicans have been so determined to keep Americans in the dark on Brett Kavanaugh’s record. His stance on issues like Roe v. Wade, the Affordable Care Act, unions, and affirmative action rival those of the most extreme members of his party. It’s no wonder he has Governor Sununu’s wholehearted endorsement." New York Times: Leaked Kavanaugh Documents Discuss Abortion and Affirmative Action By: Charlie Savage WASHINGTON — As a White House lawyer in the Bush administration, Judge Brett Kavanaugh challenged the accuracy of deeming the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision to be “settled law of the land,” according to a secret email obtained by The New York Times... Judge Kavanaugh was considering a draft opinion piece that supporters of one of Mr. Bush’s conservative appeals court nominees hoped they could persuade anti-abortion women to submit under their names. It stated that “it is widely accepted by legal scholars across the board that Roe v. Wade and its progeny are the settled law of the land.” Judge Kavanaugh proposed deleting that line, writing: “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.” [Read the email.] He was presumably referring to then-Justices William Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia, along with Justice Clarence Thomas, conservatives who had dissented in a 1992 case that reaffirmed Roe, Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The court now has four conservative justices who may be willing to overturn Roe — Justices Thomas and John G. Roberts Jr., Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch — and if he is confirmed, Judge Kavanaugh could provide the decisive fifth vote... Other documents provided to The Times included a document showing that in September 2001, after the terrorist attacks, Judge Kavanaugh engaged with a Justice Department lawyer about questions of warrantless surveillance at the time that lawyer wrote a memo an inspector general report later portrayed as the precursor to the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program. On Wednesday, Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, seemed to allude to the existence of such an email, grilling Judge Kavanaugh about whether his testimony at his May 2006 appeals court hearing that he had not seen or heard anything about the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program before its existence leaked the previous December was accurate. [Read the email.] In another document, Judge Kavanaugh expressed a critical view about some Department of Transportation affirmative action regulations, writing: “The fundamental problem in this case is that these DOT regulations use a lot of legalisms and disguises to mask what is a naked racial set-aside,” he wrote, adding that he thought the court’s four conservative justices at the time would probably “realize as much in short order and rule accordingly.” [Read the email.] On Thursday morning, after this article was published, two Democratic senators unilaterally released several other “committee confidential” emails. Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey, posted a series of emails about racial issues that included the affirmative action-related email obtained by The Times... In another email, analyzing a complex May 2003 ruling by a panel of three district court judges about a campaign-finance disclosure law, Judge Kavanaugh appeared to exhibit hostility to a rule that corporate and union funds could not be used to pay for issue ads that attacked or supported a specific candidate for federal office; instead funding for such ads would have to come from separate funds and be disclosed to the Federal Election Commission... And in yet another, he offered advice for an appeals court nominee who was scheduled to meet with two Democratic senators: “She should not talk about her views on specific policy or legal issues,” he wrote. “She should say that 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.” [Read the email.]


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