Brett Kavanaugh and Critical Issues that Depend on the New Supreme Court Nominee
Justice Kennedy’s replacement on the Supreme Court will likely be the swing vote on a number of key issues.
Kavanaugh has a track record supporting significant obstacles to a woman’s terminating a pregnancy and is very likely to vote with the conservative majority that wants to return to the states the issue of whether the government can force women to carry pregnancies to full term.
- Restrict the Environmental Protection Agency from fighting climate change
Kennedy was the swing vote in the Court’s decision that the U.S. government was legally obliged to fight climate change—Kavanaugh’s record suggests he is unlikely to vote the same way.
It is unlikely that Kavanaugh will support race-based affirmative action in admissions to public educational institutions—as Kennedy did—given his record of supporting the Center for Equal Opportunity, which supports the current lawsuit against Harvard’s admissions policy.
Kennedy’s replacement is unlikely to have the same skepticism of capital punishment and strong opposition to solitary confinement.
Kennedy brought a nuanced understanding privacy and first amendment rights to the Court. It’s likely the Court will face be many high-tech cases in the near future. Kavanaugh made a “truly expansive” ruling in the case of the NSA’a collection of call data placing national security well above individual’s privacy and first amendment rights.
Kennedy was viewed as a potential 5th vote in challenges to partisan gerrymandering—his replacement will likely vote the other way.
Obergefell was a 5-4 decision and already states such as Texas are passing laws limiting protections for same sex marriage. If Kavanaugh rules against Roe, Obergefell would likely be next since it is based on the same constitutional grounds.
- Maintaining the wall of separation between church and state
There are several on-the-record indications from Kavanaugh that he favors lowering the wall that separates church and state.
- Obamacare/coverage for preexisting conditions
The Supreme Court will soon be ruling on the ACA’s requirements of preexisting conditions. Kavanaugh has argued that the president could decline to enforce a statute such as Obamacare.
- Potential criminal investigation of Trump