Democrats build abortion case against Kavanaugh 

Senate Democrats are pointing to two key decisions that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was involved in to argue he would likely vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that established a woman’s right to an abortion.

“Judge Kavanaugh’s own writings make clear that he would rule against reproductive rights and freedoms,” Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump, GOP regain edge in Kavanaugh battle READ: President Trump’s exclusive interview with Hill.TV The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump slams Sessions in exclusive Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh accuser wants FBI investigation MORE (N.Y.) said Tuesday on the Senate floor.

“Judge Kavanaugh has argued that the Trump administration could keep a young girl in federal custody to prevent her from obtaining constitutionally protected health care and he has argued that employers should be able to deny their employees access to affordable contraceptive coverage,” he added.

ADVERTISEMENT

The first matter concerns the case of a 17-year-old unaccompanied minor who was detained on the Texas border. Kavanaugh, as part of a three-judge Circuit Court panel, voted to vacate a lower court’s ruling that would have allowed the teen to have an abortion.

When the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that ruling in an en banc decision in Garza v. Hargan, Kavanaugh dissented, and criticized the ruling as “a radical extension of the Supreme Court’s abortion jurisprudence.”

Kavanaugh said that while the government must follow the precedents set in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which established the right to an abortion and prohibited the government from establishing burdensome obstacles to that right, it did not deny the teen’s rights by blocking her access to an abortion facility. 

Kavanaugh also wrote that “the government has permissible interests in favoring fetal life, protecting the best interests of a minor, and refraining from facilitating abortion.”

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSenate Democrats increase pressure for FBI investigation of Kavanaugh Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls GOP in striking distance to retake Franken seat MORE (D-Minn.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said these writings provide a clear “roadmap” on how Kavanaugh would likely rule on abortion and reproductive rights if confirmed to the Supreme Court.

“He said a lot of things in that dissent that I think give you a road map of where he is in addition to what the president has said about a litmus test,” she said.

Trump has said that he will appoint "pro-life judges" to the Supreme Court, and the people he has considered for the Supreme Court have all come from a list put together by conservative groups.

Democrats are also holding up Kavanaugh’s 2015 dissent in Priests for Life v. Department of Health and Human Services.

Kavanaugh disagreed with the D.C. Circuit’s decision not to hear a case in which Priests for Life argued that the Affordable Care Act infringed on its religious freedom by requiring it to help employees obtain insurance coverage for contraception.

He argued that government regulations requiring religious organizations to certify that they oppose providing coverage for contraceptive services, thereby triggering a process for the federal government to pay for insurance covering those services, “substantially” burdens “the religious organizations exercise of religion.”

He argued that forcing organizations to make it easier for employees to gain access to insurance for contraception “require[s] the organizations to take an action contrary to their sincere religious beliefs.”

Klobuchar said Kavanaugh’s writings show hostility to women’s right to reproductive freedoms.

Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care: GOP plays defense over pre-existing conditions | Groups furious over new Trump immigration proposal | Public health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Malnutrition Awareness Week spotlights the importance of national nutrition programs Senate Dem: Republicans have 'predetermined' outcome of Kavanaugh hearing MORE (Wash.), the highest-ranking woman in the Senate Democratic leadership, warned that confirming Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court would dramatically undermine access to abortion and contraception.

“A vote for President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown MORE’s Judge Kavanaugh is a vote to go back to the days when women had to go into back alleys for health care, when women had to ask for permission, when women were shamed, and when women and girls died because of the laws of our land,” she said on the Senate floor.