In recent emails leaked to The New York Times, Judge Brett Kavanaugh—who may soon be the country’s newest Supreme Court Justice—questions whether Roe v. Wade is “the settled law of the land.” The pivotal 1973 Supreme Court case says the constitution protects women’s right to have abortions.
Overturning that decision has been a major cause for many pro-life advocates.
The documents stem from 2003. From The New York Times: “Judge Kavanaugh was considering a draft opinion piece that supporters of one of Mr. Bush’s conservative appeals court nominees hoped they could persuade anti-abortion women to submit under their names. It stated that “it is widely accepted by legal scholars across the board that Roe v. Wade and its progeny are the settled law of the land.”
However, the leaked emails show that Kavanaugh wanted to change the text, saying, “I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent, and three current Justices on the Court would do so.”
As the Times notes, at least four justices currently on the court might overturn Roe V. Wade, given the opportunity in court.
Kavanaugh’s thoughts on abortion—or overturning Roe v. Wade—still remain unclear though. During his confirmation hearing this week, he said, “As a general proposition I understand the importance of the precedent set forth in Roe v. Wade.”