CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Kavanaugh, SCOTUS and Abortion

Jul 10, 2018

Today President Trump has just named his preferred candidate for the Supreme Court vacancy left by justice Kennedy. He is Brett Kavanaugh who has served 12 years on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. The 53-year-old is a Catholic, a keen constitutionalist and originalist.

He is also a Bush insider, and a Yale College and Yale Law School graduate. He has written some 300 opinions, and he served as a law clerk to Mr Kennedy. He was one of a number of names that had been considered by Trump for this important position.

The choice had gotten down to four key possible options, the other three being Amy Coney Barrett, Raymond Kethledge, and Thomas Hardiman. While the three men had at least a decade of bench experience each, Barrett has had only one. But all were more than qualified for the post.

Of the four possible options, Kavanaugh has perhaps been the most conservative, with Kethledge and Hardiman somewhat less so. Because of her shorter experience, it is not fully clear where Barrett would have stood on all the key issues, and how conservative and constitutional she would have been. But she is strongly prolife.

Since abortion is likely to again become a key issue here, where does Kavanaugh stand on this? He seems to not have directly ruled on this too often. One court case we can mention runs like this:

In Garza v. Hargan, Kavanaugh authored a three-judge panel decision overruling a previous decision from a federal judge who ordered that an undocumented and unaccompanied teenager in Texas could leave government custody to get an abortion. The panel gave the government more time to find a sponsor for the teen, as minors must have the consent of a parent or guardian to undergo an abortion in Texas. When the appeals court for the DC circuit then reversed that decision to allow the teen to get an abortion, Kavanaugh dissented, writing that it was not a constitutional right for “unlawful immigrant minors in US Government detention to obtain immediate abortion on demand.”
www.businessinsider.com.au/supreme-court-finalists-trump-kavanaugh-amy-coney-barrett-kethledge-hardiman-2018-7?r=US&IR=T

So it is not entirely clear exactly which way he will run with the issue – if he is voted in. But the abortion issue is huge, either way. And given how much the left and the Democrats are already demonising him, he could be a good choice. Indeed, for the left and the Democrats this is going to be a fight to the death.

Trump’s first conservative nominee, Neil Gorsuch did manage to get in. If Kavanaugh gets in, the other side knows that their entire agenda could be at risk, including their most sacred cow of all – abortion on demand. The Democrats have already said they will oppose any Trump nominees, and with a possible prolifer now up for the vote, this battle is going to be intense.

The left knows that if he gets in, their crown jewel, Roe v Wade, could well be up for grabs. The 1973 SCOTUS decision rocked the world in terms of the “right” to kill babies. The laws of 50 American states were knocked down when 7 justices claimed that abortion is somehow a constitutional right.

It is not of course, and if overturned, the issue would go back to where it more properly belongs: to the states. The Dems cannot stomach the thought of this happening, so they have declared all-out war on this. But all this is not all that certain. Bear in mind that during the Reagan years the majority of the nine justices were Republicans and “conservative”.

Yet nothing happened then on the abortion issue. Thus there is no guarantee that if Kavanaugh gets in, the ’73 decision will be revisited. So it is early days yet. The fight will be hardcore, and the Democrats will pull out every dirty trick in the book.

To see how utterly hysterical and demonic the hyper leftists are, consider just one piece penned on the “threat” of another SCOTUS contender: Barrett. Take Courtney Enlow’s piece for the HuffPost, entitled “There’s A Special Place In Hell For Women Who Gut Abortion Rights.”

Her entire piece is all rather revealing, and it ends with these words: “We cannot blindly support women who would prefer that we — any of us — remain in shackles, and even be forced back into old ones.” Although Kavanaugh has not been as explicitly prolife as Barrett, he too will be targeted by the left.

And it is not just the usual suspects who are hyperventilating about “abortion rights” under threat. Sadly there are various pseudo-conservatives who also have gotten bent out of shape about a possible challenge to Roe v Wade. A clear case in point of the faux conservative Tomi Lahren who recently warned that it would be a “big mistake” to overturn it.

But real deal conservatives were quick to put her in her place. For example, Kevin McCullough wrote an impassioned piece, denouncing her dodgy version of conservatism. He blasted her “Six Lies About SCOTUS & the Right To Life.” He began:

I don’t generally like the practice of criticizing fellow conservatives. Then again actual conservatives—at least ones I know—have never uttered the words, that to “overturn Roe v. Wade would be a big mistake.” Those are words spoken by liberals, progressives, and millennials who count their own voice as being quite important to “the cause.” To amplify the matter that same said “conservative” follows it up with even worse tripe.

Here are two of his six points:

4. She is hypocritical on “Government dictating the outcome.” Of all the dishonest things she says in the few sentences I quote here this is on par with the most brazenly dishonest I’ve ever seen. In the longer version of the video she attempts to say that “culture and church and civic groups” should be the ones who control the moral question of the matter, yet those entities are made up entirely of people who presumably would be acting on their convictions when it comes to voting and to pursuing legislative and governmental outcomes—especially in a free country. Additionally, the fact that government has been the entity that sealed the fate of more than 60 million “legally killed” children seems to be wholesale ignored by the ignorance or dishonesty of the statement. This is the guttersnipe argument we expect from people who vote for Nancy Pelosi. This is not the viewpoint of those who voted for the disruptive presidency of Donald Trump with the expectation that he would come in and make significant course correction.

5. She is not “personally a person who would choose life.” She uses this statement exactly the way John Kerry did in his presidential run against President Bush. He repeatedly referred to his Catholic faith and how he “personally” viewed the matter in some way different than how he would effectively serve as an executive or as he had as a Senator. The issue of life doesn’t work this way however. Because the issue is not about the trial, trauma some statistically nearly impossible scenario that somehow concerns the woman’s feelings. The issue pertains exclusively to the matter of the other person that is involved in every pregnancy—the child itself. If the child is a living human being, it is morally right for that child to both “live” and to be able to “pursue happiness.” Dress it up any other way you wish. Make up any scenario you want. The moral issue is the soul of the person being killed and God is unequivocal in His assertion that He created it, and it is good.

He concludes this way:

Her lack of clarity on this simple issue in and of itself is cause for nearly complete disqualification from the conservative cause because it is a worldview at odds with what makes conservatism the superior political pursuit. She lacks a moral root. Saying it may be discomforting for her—it should—at least for the hope of persuading her to approach the issue with greater consistency. I don’t like to criticize fellow conservatives. But these points needed to be made.

These are talking points from the Godless and extreme American political, societal, and theological left. They serve no place in a country that wishes to seek the greatest moral good possible. And they certainly serve no use in the discussion of the Supreme Court when there is an opportunity to right an historic wrong that visited the worst mass killing in history upon a nation that seeks to be blessed by God.

So all this is indeed hugely important. We need to pray for Kavanaugh and we need to pray that he gets in. Pray that the life issue becomes a priority for him. The life of millions could well be at stake.

Postscript

There are a few other aging liberal justices, including the 85-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg. With two and a half – and possibly six and a half – years left of a Trump presidency, there are likely to be other vacancies to arise, and other possible conservative nominees to come.

And some White House insiders are already saying that Amy Coney Barrett could well be next. So all this may be the start of a major turnaround in the US. Time will tell.

www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-enlow-coney-barrett-abortion-roe-feminism_us_5b3bc164e4b09e4a8b281782
www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/tomi-lahren-pro-roe-v-wade_us_5b42396ce4b07b827cc1cb65
townhall.com/columnists/kevinmccullough/2018/07/08/tomi-lahrens-six-lies-about-scotus–the-right-to-life-n2498220

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16 Responses to Kavanaugh, SCOTUS and Abortion

  • The left would have demonized Mister Rogers if Trump nominated him. Check a man by the name of Tom Hoefling whose posts on Facebook are spot on. I also got an e mail from the conservative American Family Assoc encouraging me to contact my representatives to vote against his nomination. Since my non representatives are very liberal and support baby murder I already know where they stand. If America wanted to end abortion, we would. Sad but we move further and further from God….

  • I too received the post from the AFA (US) with the same message. I listened to Brett Kavanaugh’s speech and could not make up my mind about him.
    Thanks for your report Bill. It certainly provided more thoughts on the President’s choice.
    We can but hope and pray and wait on the Lord.
    God Bless you Bill.

  • I dont even know why this would be a matter of abortion in the first place?? Roe v Wade was just a bad ruling finding the right to privacy in the constitution which wasnt even there to begin with. The issue of abortion is secondary to just being constitutional in this matter.

  • I wish I shared your optimism, Bill. When he said he’ll bring an open mind to every case I heard “Souter” and “Kennedy” esp. as he hasn’t got much of a record on abortion.

  • Thanks Gene. As I said, time will tell.

  • Tomi Lahren is libertarian not conservative. They/ she will be the opposition when the DNC dies. Socialism is dead; Become free-stuff without a mechanism. African american liberation is dead; Become black racism and the militant beggar.
    It now comes down to free sex and the more unnatural the better.
    The libertarians are the free market sex party. The Democratic socialists are leftist sex party.
    The US is headed for a ALP/ DLP style split that may keep Trump’s new Republican party in power for decades, until it to finds something to split on. Probably robotics.

  • If Kavanaugh gets confirmed I’m not sure if there would be the numbers on the court yet, but a further justice or two nominated with a Republican majority in the Senate would increase the chances if they were replacing Roberts and/or the justices nominated by Democrat Presidents.

    He’d be expected to be more conservative than Kennedy, but there’s a pretty wide gap between Kennedy and Thomas on the court.

    I think the big question marks are over the Chief Justice Roberts and Kavanaugh.

    Roberts will likely be the new “swing” justice and as the Chief Justice he has the greatest seniority so on any decision if he is in the majority (whether that’s anywhere from 5-4 or 9-0) he gets to decide who writes the opinion of the court (he can choose himself) so he has a fair bit of control over how strong/weak most decisions are if he wants to.

  • Thanks guys. Given that even many conservatives are not necessarily totally thrilled with Kavanaugh, for various reasons, it is hilarious to see the left foaming at the mouth over Trump’s nominee. He could have nominated Santa Claus and the left would still have gone apoplectic.

  • And Kavanaugh loves God, his family, and his country. That makes him a dangerous extremist in the eyes of the Democrats and lefties.

  • Great article – thanks

  • One of my US conservative friends doesn’t like him because apparently G W Bush and senator McCain approve of him.

  • Hardly my concern but a religious balance might be of interest. With five or six Roman Catholics and three Jewish on the Court it shows how little regard is held for, or skill displayed, by the vast evangelical community in the USA, in spite of TV evangelists.

  • Thanks Travis. It may not be a sectarian conspiracy as such however. Sadly too few evangelicals have engaged in the culture wars over the years, and too few have done the hard yards of going to law school and becoming qualified judges, etc. In the same way too few evangelicals have gotten into politics, the media, academia, and so on. Sure, all these areas have a strong anti-evangelical bias nowadays. But a possible reason why we have no or few evangelical justices in SCOTUS is there are not that many good ones around. I am however open to being proven wrong on this.

  • Indeed, both former President George W Bush and Senator John McCain (a former Republican nominee for President who lost to Barack Obama in 2008) have put out statements supporting the nomination.

    McCain is battling brain cancer. There’s speculation that if McCain’s vote is required to get Kavanaugh confirmed that McCain may resign so that someone who would vote for Kavanaugh and can attend the Senate could replace him.

    John McCain is in Senate Class III which is not up for re-election till the midterms in November 2022. So if his vote isn’t needed he can wait and hope his health improves so that he can attend the Senate again.

  • Further to…. The American Family Association has issued a further statement stating that after being contacted by many pro-life supporters and now have no plans to fight President Trump on his nomination to the US Supreme Court. They hoped that their concerns prove to be unfounded.

  • It’s really impossible to predict what judges will be like once made a Supreme Court Justice.

    Some like Clarence Thomas turned out to be much more conservative than expected, others much less.

    Over the course of many years views held by justices may change.

    To get confirmed justices can’t come out too strongly pro-life (unless perhaps if there was a large Republican majority). On the other hand if they come out as being pro-abortion a Republican President is highly unlikely to nominate them. So they walk a fine line, not revealing their true views.

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