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What’s At Stake If Brett Kavanaugh Joins the Supreme Court

| July 11, 2018

abortion restrictions

Restrictions ahead. (Otherwords)

By Olivia Alperstein

President Donald Trump has nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Why should you care? Because everything from reproductive rights to voting, education, and health care is now at stake.


Kavanaugh, a judicial ideologue committed to pulling the Court further to the right, may also reverse decades of key rulings that uphold the constitutional right to personal liberty and autonomy.

All Americans say they value personal freedom, especially the right to make our own decisions about our private lives. Every day, we take that liberty for granted, from exercising our right to free speech to lighting up sparklers on the Fourth of July. Cherishing our liberties is as American as apple pie — but our right to exercise those liberties could be undone.

Nowhere is the issue more critical than on reproductive rights. Kavanaugh’s nomination will mean a major battle to undo key protections in Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case that firmly established the right to access safe, legal abortion.

Striking down Roe would immediately outlaw abortion in states where pre-Roe anti-abortion laws are technically still on the books. As many as 22 states could be impacted over the course of two years.

That’s bad enough. But it’s also critical to remember the reasoning behind the historic 7-2 ruling: that people have a constitutional right to privacy.

Specifically, the Supreme Court upheld and enshrined the protections included in the First, Fourth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments, holding that those protections applied to decisions a person might make about their own body.

Ultimately, that decision informed several other critical rulings, including cases that forbade bans on same-sex romantic relationships and affirmed the right to same-sex marriage. According to Roe, the right to make your own choices is one of the founding principles that govern this country.

If Roe is overturned, that could set off a chain reaction that upends this critical foundation behind other landmark cases — both those that came before and those that came after.

The constitutional right to privacy informed Loving v. Virginia, which struck down criminalization of interracial marriage, and Griswold v. Connecticut, which enabled the legalization of contraceptives. The constitutional right to privacy also played a key role in Carpenter v. United States, a recent ruling that prohibits warrantless collection of cellphone users’ data without reasonable cause.

Judicial precedent set by the Supreme Court has built a solid foundation for interpretation of the law — but all it takes is a stacked court to have that foundation tumble like a house of cards.

Supreme Court appointments are for life. The rulings these justices make affect the entire judicial system for decades, if not centuries, to come. Each year, dozens of critical cases come before the court that deeply impact people’s rights and daily lives.

While outgoing Justice Anthony Kennedy wasn’t perfect, he was committed to upholding the personal right to privacy as enshrined in U.S. law. Kavanaugh, however, could roll back our hard-won freedoms — and those of future generations.

The Senate will be voting soon on whether to confirm Kavanaugh. A lot more than just a vacant bench hangs in the balance.

olivia alpersteinOlivia Alperstein is the Deputy Director of Communications and Policy at Congressional Progressive Caucus Center.

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27 Responses for “What’s At Stake If Brett Kavanaugh Joins the Supreme Court”

  1. Richard says:

    Where does it state in the US Constitution that the Supreme Court could “roll back our hard-won freedoms”? The Supreme Court does NOT make law like what some of the LEFT WING sitting Supreme Court members have tried to do. But rather they are committed to upholding the constitution and and laws that are made by congress. Another left wing liberal attempting to put words in peoples mouths.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Here we go putting a scare in people. Roe vs. Wade was to take away abortion decisions from the States & make it Federal. If it is overturned, it will give the States the power back to decide if they want to keep abortions legal or not. With that said, all you liberals are so worried about and all of a sudden care about immigrant children being separated from their parents, but you don’t care if a life is killed by abortion. It’s not about the kids for liberals, it’s about the votes!!

  3. Brandon Cross says:

    This article certainly shows the liberal stance regarding this nomination, and we will hear this over and over again, probably for the next 30 years or so.

    The sky will not fall and the sun will continue to rise each and every day?

    Just Sayin

  4. Franklin J Clair Jr says:

    Why would you think that Judge Kavanaugh would or could change existing laws? The Supreme Court does not and cannot make laws. only the Congress can. Judge Kavanaugh is a constitutionalist not an activist. It seems to me that the only reason you bring up these issues is to incite fear and hatred among the population.

  5. Bill White says:

    This article is strictly propaganda . There are no facts stated regarding Judge Kavanaugh only ideological innuendo .

  6. Anonymous says:

    So what’s the problem, the court was stacked with liberals when they upheld Roe v Wade. It wont be the end of the world for women, but the beginning of life for what would have been millions of murdered unborn children. I love it!

  7. Agkistrodon says:

    No “ifs” about it. He will be the next SC justice, and there will be more to come. , nominated by Donald J Trump. Remember what Barrack said, “Elections have consequences”. I knew when he said that, those cheering would not like it when the worm tuned. The worm has turned, get over it.

  8. Edith Campins says:

    A woman’s right to make decisions about her body should never be up to the states.
    @anonymous, how many children have you adopted? Fostered?
    This administration, under cover of the trump scandals, has been methodically cutting benefits for poor, AMERICAN, children. So, you want them born, you jjust don’t care what happens to themafter they are born.

  9. Jay Bonner says:

    There is no evidence this nominee would change Roe vs Wade and he alone could not change it even if he wanted to. Once again the left is using scare tactics and another excuse to protest. The left has become the protest party, protest against a baker who refuses to bake a cake based on his religious beliefs but not protest a restaurant for fefusing service based on political beliefs, protest against Presdient Trump’s supposed anti-woman policies but not protest has President Trump has more woman cabinet members and in positions of authority than Obama ever had, protest against Ice, but not against the murder rate in Chicago, protest about family members being seperated at the border but not protest against Planned Parenthood who separates family members from their children everyday, protest against the tax plan yet take all the monetary benefits, protest, protest and protest.

  10. Outsider says:

    You are correct, anonymous. Even IF Roe vs Wade were overturned, which would be a long process in itself, individual states would make laws regarding abortions. Does anyone really think California and New York would do anything other than make abortion on demand the law of the land?

  11. Sherry says:

    AGAIN! Often those who passionately advocate the overturn of Roe vs Wade. . . abolishing the right to privacy and “forcing” women to give birth to children, no matter the circumstance. . . are often the same hypocrites who then “blame” some of those same women for needing food stamps. Blaming the victims, in some cases!

    They are also often the same hypocritical religious zealots who fight against providing low cost birth control. The reality is, they are actually “pro-fetus”. . . NOT “pro-life”!!

    Allowing each state individually to decide which of our sovereign “rights” are constitutionally lawful, and then having a different set of laws for each and every state is nothing short of lunacy! But, then again, insanity prevails in our current federal administration!!!

    Liberals “DO” wants the votes. . . for “doing the courageous, factual, intelligent, compassionate, RIGHT THING”!!!

  12. Trailer Bob says:

    “holding that those protections applied to decisions a person might make about their own body”. Really…their own body? Apparently some people are simple minded enough to think that life only begins when the human baby is removed from the mothers womb. I guess liberals care more about criminals and perverts than they do a living human being. Hey, don’t want babies…take birth control or use condoms. Another thing to consider is that if we didn’t guarantee free food and medical care, free housing… maybe there wouldn’t be so many women getting pregnant who could not even afford to feed themselves. Take a look at pictures of aborted human children, then tell me it is simply a right. It is actually murdering a human that is helpless to defend itself. N0t so hard to do what I did…have one child because that is all I was sure I could afford to bring up properly. Stop giving societies losers a way of thinking what they do with their is going to be paid for my the rest of us.

  13. Trailer Bob says:

    “holding that those protections applied to decisions a person might make about their own body”. Really…their own body? Apparently some people are simple minded enough to think that life only begins when the human baby is removed from the mothers womb. I guess liberals care more about criminals and perverts than they do a living human being. Hey, don’t want babies…take birth control or use condoms. Another thing to consider is that if we didn’t guarantee free food and medical care, free housing… maybe there wouldn’t be so many women getting pregnant who could not even afford to feed themselves. Take a look at pictures of aborted human children, then tell me it is simply a right. It is actually murdering a human that is helpless to defend itself. N0t so hard to do what I did…have one child because that is all I was sure I could afford to bring up properly. Stop giving societies losers a way of thinking what they do with their life is going to be paid for my the rest of us.

  14. Anonymous says:

    This nation is base on three “basic RIGHTS” as was written into the Declaration of Independence: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. If you have been aborted, you cant experience any of these basic rights. Read the following:Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to navigationJump to search
    This article is about a famous phrase. For other uses, see The Pursuit of Happiness.
    Office for Emergency Management. Office of War Information war poster 1941–1945
    “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence.[1] The phrase gives three examples of the “unalienable rights” which the Declaration says have been given to all human beings by their Creator, and which governments are created to protect.
    Contents
    [hide]
    • 1 Origin and phrasing
    o 1.1 Meaning of “happiness”
    o 1.2 Lockean roots hypothesis
    o 1.3 Virginia Declaration of Rights
    o 1.4 Alternative hypotheses
    • 2 Comparable mottos worldwide
    • 3 References
    Origin and phrasing[edit]
    The United States Declaration of Independence was drafted by Thomas Jefferson, and then edited by the Committee of Five, which consisted of Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston. It was then further edited and adopted by the Committee of the Whole of the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.[2][3] The second paragraph of the first article in the Declaration of Independence contains the phrase “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.
    Jefferson’s “original Rough draught” is on exhibit in the Library of Congress.[4] This version was used by Julian Boyd to create a transcript of Jefferson’s draft,[5] which reads:
    We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; …
    The Committee of Five edited Jefferson’s draft. Their version survived further edits by the whole Congress intact, and reads:[6]
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ——

  15. Agkistrodon says:

    it is the 21st cetury, if you don’t know how babies are made, you probably shouldn’t have sex. You have the right to YOUR body, but not the one growing inside you. That individual has their own rights. And whay if that baby is a female, what of her reproductive rights?

  16. Brian says:

    This is just another dose of “the sky is falling” Trump hatred. If Trump nominated Jesus Christ the liberal resistance crowd would object.

  17. 12 says:

    To Edith Campins: As stated in the Declaration of Independence, all people are created equal and have certain inalienable rights endowed by our creator, three of which are “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. You make the statement that a woman’s right to control decisions about her body should never be up to the states. I agree with you up to a point about this. However, where do women’s rights stop and the living unborn child’s rights to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” start? The courts have tried to pick a point at which life begins. The more liberal courts feel a baby can be aborted at birth in a partial birth abortion procedure, as long as only the head, and no other body part, is protruding from the vagina. The baby is then killed and after this act the rest of its corpse can be delivered. More conservative courts feel that life begins with the fertilization of the egg by sperm, and a viable embryo is formed. I personally believe the latter is true. There have been criminal court cases, and wrongful death lawsuits in which, charges were brought against the perpetrator of the accident or murdered pregnant woman, and the courts upheld that the unborn fetus was indeed a living human being entitled to the same considerations under the law as with any other human. Edith, where do one person’s rights start, and another’s end? An extreme example, but I feel will make the point about the three basic rights “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” is; the “Serial Killer”. He is truly happy only when he is killing, raping, holding captive and torturing his victims. Is his right to happiness greater than his victims right to life, or the victims right to be free from him and be to alive and well to pursue their own happiness? I believe any sane person would say an emphatic “NO”. He is not entitled to deprive others of these basic God given rights. I truly believe the unborn child has these inalienable rights to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. This “TRUMPS” {a little Pun, ha, ha} a woman’s right to control her own body in this case, because she is infringing upon the unborn child’s right to” Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness as I explained in the example of the serial killer’s right to pursue his deranged pursuit happiness that infringes on his victims’ rights as stated in the founding document of our nation “The Declaration of Independence”, which was ratified by the 2nd Continental July 4th, 1776.congress. I truly believe our society and courts are guilty of mass murder when they approve and carry out millions of abortions every year so a woman can have the “so called freedom to have control over her own body”. Life is sacred from inception to geriatrics, and to take it intentionally and callously is abhorrent to the creator who bestowed these inalienable rights on human beings.
    Edith to answer your question have I ever adopted or foster parented any children, the answer is yes, through my taxes paid to local, state and federal governments every year. No conservative is without feeling and none would want any to starve or a child be deprived in any way. When debates come along about the cost of food stamps, welfare or free medical it is because there are so many documented cases of abuse of the system that we know about and much more we that we don’t. I get tired of seeing my tax dollars’ go to people who make a felonious living by defrauding the welfare systems, so that the children who are intended to be helped by it don’t get enough to fulfill their needs.

  18. 107 says:

    TRUMP was blessed with becoming President to save this country. God is in control and this country and world if full of evil and God is sick of that fact! The morals and values and outlandish ways of today’s society is not what God planned and intended. It is time to clean this up and restore the faith of the American people. We don’t have a chance if this country doesn’t take a different course. God knew what he was doing when he gave TRUMP the health, wealth, passion and ability to be our President. The fake media and those that are not respecting our President look like a bunch of fools with the finger nails sliding down the glass wall in desperation. Trump picking 2 Supreme Court Justices is the best thing that could happen for this country for the next 40 years or more. Hopefully these selections along with those that are already appointed will restore the common sense to this country and abolish some of the evil and wrong doing.

  19. Sherry says:

    It is my passionate belief that “men” should have absolutely NO right to voice their opinion about this subject unless and until “they” are in the position of being “FORCED” to give birth to a child!

  20. Agkistrodon says:

    Just as a some women shouldn’t speak for ALL women.

  21. Kelly says:

    If men should not voice an opinion on the subject, just because they are not the ones giving birth to a child. Then women should not be able to take a man to court and”FORCE” them to support that child!

  22. Anonymous says:

    To Agkistrodon July 14, 2018 @ 6:09 pm: Thank you, that remark is spot on! Somebody needed to say it and Sherry needs to understand and practice it!

  23. Kelly says:

    Sherry Im just wondering with the comment you made about believing “men” should have no right to voice their opinion on the subject until they are “forced” to give birth to a child if you have ever been forced to give birth to a child or if you have ever willingly had children, since you seem to have no problem voicing your opinions? I also can’t help but wonder what your opinion is on women who decide on their own, to have a child the father does not want to have and then those women forcing that man to support that child?

  24. Sherry says:

    Like I said: It is “MY” passionate belief that “men” should have absolutely NO right to voice their opinion about this subject unless and until “they” are in the position of being “FORCED” to give birth to a child!

    It is also “MY” passionate belief that when a woman impregnates herself WITHOUT a man, she should be solely responsible for everything involved in the miraculous birth and upbringing of that child!

  25. Agkistrodon says:

    Got an axe to grind eh? Just caused you picked wrong doesn’t make them all bad.

  26. Brandon Cross says:

    SHERRY….
    Things are not always black or white? Actually, most things are a combination, therefore shades of gray.
    I do agree with you that women have the right to make decisions about this issue. Yet, unless a woman has been forcibly inseminated or has a medical issue that would endanger their life, there is a bit of responsibility involved?

    Having said this, MY opinion is in early stage of pregnancy abortion should be available to women that have made a responsible decision to do such. Key word here… Responsible….

    Here is my question to you…why should the government be required to support perhaps a personal mistake and finance this personal decision, made following an incident that was regretted and based maybe in most part on poor judgement of the consequences?

    Truthfully, please tell me your thoughts.

    Just Sayin

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