As the SCOTUS confirmation hearings enter their final stages, many people are still contemplating the potential impact of Judge Brett Kavanaugh on the court and the United States.
In July, President Donald Trump nominated his second Supreme Court justice, conservative Judge Kavanaugh to replace retired conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy. Judge Kennedy was nominated by Republican president Ronald Reagan but in his 30 years as a Justice, he sometimes sided with the liberals, making him a swing vote.
This nomination has sparked a wide discussion on Judge Kavanaugh and his impact on the court.
“The Supreme Court makes decisions that affect all of us, often in the most intimate ways of our lives,” said professor Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of Law at University of California, Berkeley. “And the justices affect that.”
Impact on the Court
Justice Kavanaugh currently serves on the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. In comparison to Justice Kennedy, he is more restrictive on gay rights and abortion rights, with liberals and conservatives falling on opposite sides of his possible impact.
“I think his appointment will have an effect on Roe v. Wade. It will significantly affect the way women think about their reproductive rights,” said Cristina Rodriguez, Professor of Law at Yale Law School, whose research interests include constitutional law and theory.
However, Kavanaugh’s effect on Roe Vs. Wade is being strongly debated.
“I don’t think anything will happen to Roe v. Wade. It is media noise and getting people hyped up about things for no reason,” said Andy Rajpal of Charlotte, North Carolina.
According to the Washington Post, Kavanaugh believes that “a judge must interpret the constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent.”
This view is also debated in the US, some people agree with it, while others disagree.
“We should apply a modern perspective [to the Constitution] because America has changed a lot. It is in the best interest of Americans,” said sophomore Egan Lai, from San Francisco, Calif.
Kavanaugh also garnered a lot of attention because of his past in politics. Before becoming a judge, he served in some important positions in the White House. He wrote a lot of memos and helped investigate President Bill Clinton.
If confirmed, only time will tell the changes Kavanaugh will make. As Rajpal said, “you have to give people a chance. You have to give them time and the benefit of the doubt.”