After President Donald Trump made clear that he would not be asking his nominee to the Supreme Court specific questions about abortion or Roe v. Wade, Democrats have made just the opposite clear: this is the issue they are most concerned about and will not be afraid to ask Brett Kavanaugh for his specific thoughts.
Democratic senators said on Monday Kavanaugh should be required to discuss his personal view on abortion, the Washington Times reports.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has been pushing the issue since before Trump nominated Kavanaugh: “The next nominee has a serious and solemn obligation to share their personal views on these legal issues no matter who President Trump selects tonight,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.
On Wednesday, Schumer pushed the issue again, tweeting, “#SCOTUS justice is one of the most important positions in the world, and certainly in America. Shouldn’t we know everything about the nominee? Not just some of the stuff the White House wants us to know, but everything.”
Of course, Kavanaugh’s response to abortion and the Roe v. Wade case is already predictable: he will surely say that he will remain neutral and impartial and decide the case based solely on his legal interpretations.
Trump made clear that he would not discuss specifics over the abortion issue with any of the nominees on his Supreme Court shortlist.
Even back in June, when President Trump first announced Kavanaugh’s nomination to the high court, reporters asked whether Trump discussed the Roe case with him.
“No, I haven’t. I really haven’t,” Trump responded to them.
While Kavanaugh’s personal position is probably against the Roe decision, he has a history of respecting the decision legally. In 2006, during his confirmation hearing to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, he said he would “follow Roe v. Wade faithfully and fully,” because he viewed it as “binding precedent of the court.”
Who asked him his opinion on Roe v. Wade during that hearing? None other than Chuck Schumer.
Kavanaugh might, of course, try to dodge specific questions about Roe v. Wade in his Supreme Court confirmation hearing. This would be a problem for Democrats, who would not have tangible evidence that the nominee intends to destroy the world, like their base has been claiming since before he was nominated to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.
These confirmation hearings will most likely feature softball questions from Republicans and highly-specific, targeting questions from Democrats. The result, fortunately for Republicans, is already all but certain. The only question is how long it will take.