Commentary

Supreme Court expert likens Kavanaugh’s assurances on Roe v. Wade to an internet scam

Brett Kavanaugh

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to check out Supreme Court watcher Ian Millhiser’s assessment of the assurances provided by Donald Trump’s latest Supreme Court nominee on the question of whether he will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. To put it mildly, Millhiser is unpersuaded. Indeed, he likens Kavanaugh’s performance in a meeting with Senator Susan Collins of Maine (a pro-choice Republican) to the infamous internet scam in which people are asked to send money to a Nigerian bank.

This is from “Brett Kavanaugh thinks that Sen. Susan Collins is stupid: If you believe Judge Kavanaugh won’t kill Roe v. Wade, ‘U.S. Senator’ probably isn’t the right job for you.”:

“Like an email scammer, offering to pay Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) millions if she deposits thousands of dollars in a Nigerian bank, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh reassured Collins on Tuesday that she doesn’t need to worry herself about his views on Roe v. Wade.

Collins is nominally pro-choice, and has even claimed that a Supreme Court nominee “who would overturn Roe v. Wade would not be acceptable to me.” Yet, like an Internet ad promising to “Turn Your Computer Into a Money-Making Machine!” Collins’ promise to oppose an anti-Roe nominee is hardly reliable.

Among other things, Collins voted to confirm arch-conservative judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and she claims that she doesn’t think Gorsuch will overrule Roe.”

Millhiser then goes on to explain why the claim that Kavanaugh will leave Roe alone because he shares Chief Justice John Roberts’ philosophy makes no sense. He details a series of cases in which Roberts has voted to render Roe an empty shell, including Gonzales v. Carhart (which “upheld a federal ban on so-called ‘partial birth abortions,’ and the Court’s opinion was riddled with language suggesting that the government has broad authority to ban abortions”) and Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, (in which the Supreme Court struck down a Texas law shutting down the overwhelming majority of the abortion clinics in that state with an array of expensive architectural requirements, while simultaneously requiring abortion doctors to maintain a difficult-to-obtain credential and Roberts voted the wrong way).

Millhiser’s conclusion:

“So, by all means, Senator Collins should take Judge Kavanaugh at his word when he says he will approach precedents like Roe exactly the same way Chief Justice Roberts approaches them. If she does, and if she is true to her own word, she must vote ‘no’ on Kavanaugh.”

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