How Brett Kavanaugh's SCOTUS Nomination Could Impact Millennial Women Is Daunting
Now that Trump has finally announced his pick to replace Justice Kennedy in the Supreme Court, you might be wondering how Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination could affect millennial women. As a conservative-leaning judge, Kavanaugh sits on the far right side of the spectrum on almost every issue, from health care to gun rights to net neutrality. But the most concerning aspect of Kavanaugh's potential appointment revolves around the power he could wield in potentially reversing Roe v. Wade.
Justice Kennedy was known to be the swing voter of the Supreme Court. As a moderate Republican who often sided with the liberal side of the bench on such landmark cases as the right for same-sex couples to marry, Roberts stabilized the bench.
But Kavanaugh's rulings have consistently leaned to the right, and his potential nomination will ensure that there are five staunch conservatives on the bench. That's enough to create drastic change across progressive areas, including women's reproductive access and health care.
As The Cut fairly notes, Kavanaugh has never condemned Roe v. Wade, nor has he ever made a public statement confirming his intent to reverse it. But Kavanaugh has made several worrying legal statements and arguments related to abortion that certainly inspire questions from those wondering where he stands on a woman's right to choose.
For example, in 2017, Kavanaugh voted against an undocumented teenage girl's right to get an abortion from her detention facility, arguing that allowing her to go through with the procedure would "make the government complicit in something it finds morally objectionable," according to New York Magazine.
What's more, Kavanaugh has previously argued that Barack Obama's birth control mandate (requiring that birth control be free and accessible to all women under their health care providers) could potentially infringe upon the rights of religious organizations.
Kavanaugh is not considered to be the most conservative of the Supreme Court judges (should he be confirmed); Gorsuch is far more conservative, according to The New York Times. Many of Kavanaugh's beliefs could come off as not too severe during his public hearings.
The issue to keep in mind is that of momentum: if appointed to the bench, Kavanaugh will add the necessary weight to the conservative portion of the Court to allow a victory in any given instance. This fear of his voting power was enough cause for hundreds of people to gather and protest the nomination at the Supreme Court steps on Tuesday evening.
The crowd was joined by several notable politicians, including Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who said,
I am not going to sugarcoat this: We are in the fight of our lives. I have reviewed his record, and let me tell you, Judge Kavanaugh did not end up on this list because he is the "consensus" nominee. Judge Kavanaugh has been sitting on a pre-approved list of right-wing nominees for eight months now… His record as a judge and a lawyer is clear: He is hostile to health care for millions of Americans, he is hostile to just about anyone who isn’t wealthy and powerful… and conservatives know he would overturn Roe v. Wade.
According to The Hill, chants of "my body, my choice" were met with opposing chants of "abortion is murder" throughout the rally. This symbolizes the critical issue at the apex of this Supreme Court nomination: whether or not you think Roe v. Wade is at risk, and whether or not you want it to be.
In addition to concerns about women's reproductive rights, Kavanaugh has reflected extremely conservative opinions on gun control, even writing a dissent to a court's decision to uphold a ban on semi-automatic weapons. His reasoning for the dissent was that these weapons are used commonly in the country and that banning them was unconstitutional.
Immediately following his nomination, the NRA endorsed Kavanaugh, with Executive Director Chris Cox saying in a statement, "On behalf of our six million members, the NRA strongly supports Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. We will be activating our members and tens of millions of supporters throughout the country in support of Judge Kavanaugh."
In addition to his controversial views on gun control, Kavanaugh could potentially pose a threat to LGBTQ rights. The Family Research Center, a pro-life, pro-marriage, and anti-LGBTQ organization, endorsed Kavanaugh as well on Tuesday night, releasing the following statement:
President Trump promised a constitutionalist – someone who will call balls and strikes according to the Constitution. We trust the president that Judge Kavanaugh will fit this mold as a justice. Judge Kavanaugh has a long and praiseworthy history of judging as an originalist, and we look forward to having a justice with his philosophical approach on the Court.
Now that Kavanaugh has been nominated, he will next face a series of private and public hearings with senators in which they will ask him a torrent of questions about what he believes, what he would do in hypothetical situations, and how he will shape his Supreme Court legacy.
Millennial women should pay close attention to how he responds to these questions, specifically questions related to Roe v. Wade, women's health care, and women's reproductive choices in general. If you don't like how he's responded, call your senator and let him or her know, again and again and again.