Kavanaugh urged Supreme Court to avoid decisions on Trump finances, abortion: report
Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote a series of memos to his colleagues on the nation’s highest court urging them not to take up recent cases on Louisiana abortion regulations and Democratic subpoenas for President Trump’s financial records, CNN reported Wednesday.
The justice recommended his colleagues avoid ruling on the merits of the Louisiana law, a case viewed by both pro- and anti-abortion rights groups as the high court’s first chance to revisit the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision since President Trump appointed Kavanaugh and Justice Neil Gorsuch to the court. Under his proposal to return the case to a lower trial court, the law would not have taken immediate effect but the justices would not have put their views on it on record. The court ultimately ruled 5-4 against the law.
Kavanaugh also proposed the court sidestep a ruling on the House subpoena for the president’s financial records, saying a decision would have meant the court taking sides in a political dispute. He would ultimately join six of his fellow justices in ruling that Trump had to comply with the subpoena if the House could justify its request but did not need to immediately do so. In a separate case involving a subpoena from Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Kavanaugh and Gorsuch both ruled in the DA’s favor.
The communications, according to CNN, showed an eagerness by the court’s newest justice to find solutions that pleased the court’s liberal and conservative wings, in contrast to the furious partisan fight that emerged during his confirmation hearings in 2018, including testimony by Kavanaugh himself suggesting sexual assault allegations against him were part of a wider conspiracy.
In other cases, while he voted with the minority against letting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program stand and against protections from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, he wrote with a distinctly more conciliatory tone than the court’s other conservatives, writing that gay and lesbian Americans “have exhibited extraordinary vision, tenacity, and grit.”