Washington, D.C.—July 9, 2018: President Donald Trump announced the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). The vacancy on the court follows the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy. For decades, Justice Kennedy has been considered the swing vote on the court for Pro-Life cases, and his retirement offers conservatives the opportunity to vet and confirm a strict constructionist who will recognize the rights of all human beings.
Kavanaugh is currently a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to which he was nominated in 2003 by President George W. Bush. Kavanaugh has strong legal credentials, having graduated from Yale Law School and clerked for Justice Kennedy on the Supreme Court in 1993.
At just 53 years of age, Judge Kavanaugh has the opportunity for serving on the court and affecting American jurisprudence for decades. In a recent case before his court, Judge Kavanaugh supported Texas’ right to refuse to accommodate and pay for an elective abortion for a minor in the state’s custody, noting that there is a state interest in “favoring fetal life.” He has a proven record as a conservative and strict constructionist who respects and will faithfully interpret the Constitution as written, not attempting to find abstract principles and hidden penumbras.
President Trump’s nomination is consistent with his previous statements in favor of appointing a Pro-Life justice who would contribute to overturning Roe v. Wade. At the beginning of his term in office, Trump nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch, who is known as a strong Pro-Life defender of the rights of hospitalized patients. President Trump’s announcement of another strongly Pro-Life nominee comes after several senators, including Texas’ own John Cornyn, voiced criticism to nominating a judge who would clearly overturn Roe v. Wade.
SCOTUS will likely rule on several cases related to Pro-Life legislation, including Texas’ life-saving Dismemberment Abortion Ban. This law, passed as Texas Right to Life’s top legislative priority in 2017, protects preborn babies from the barbaric abortion procedure in which the living child is ripped limb-from-limb while his or her heart is still beating. Whole Woman’s Health v. Paxton, the abortion lobby’s case challenging the Dismemberment Abortion Ban, is currently being considered in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Following appeal, this case is expected to be argued before the Supreme Court and the court’s newest justice.
A principled constructionist justice would be an invaluable addition to SCOTUS by pointing to the humanity of the preborn and consistently recognizing the constitutional protection of the Right to Life of all human beings. Texas continues to pass incremental legislation directing public discourse toward the humanity of the preborn and the state’s legitimate interest in protecting preborn lives and women’s health. SCOTUS’s rulings on Pro-Life cases will shape this strategy that seeks to undermine the untenable foundation of Roe v. Wade.
The Senate is expected to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination in September or October. The Pro-Life movement cannot squander this opportunity to set America on a path to re-establishing the Right to Life of all human beings. Texas Right to Life urges the U.S. Senate to fully vet and examine Kavanaugh to ensure he will be a strong constructionist justice.
Founded in 1973, Texas Right to Life is the oldest and largest Pro-Life organization in Texas. Recognized as the statewide leader of the Pro-Life movement in Texas, Texas Right to Life works through legislation and education to protect the rights of the unborn, persons with disabilities, the sick, the elderly, and the vulnerable through legal, peaceful, and prayerful means.
Contact: Melissa Conway
Director of External Relations
Texas Right to Life