“I’m just a newbie, still learning about this stuff,” says Judge Kavanaugh.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court seat being vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy, said today that he has never heard of Roe v. Wade, the seminal and controversial Supreme Court case that established a constitutional right to an abortion.
Kavanaugh made his remarks in a meeting with several senators whose votes are considered critical for his confirmation.
According to sources who requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the discussion, Kavanaugh was asked about his views on Roe v. Wade and responded, “Hmm … Roe v. who? Gosh, I just don’t think I’ve heard of that one. Is that a precedent? Because I just love following precedents.”
Pressed further, Kavanaugh said, “Look, is it possible this so-called Roe case was mentioned in law school? Sure, I suppose so. But I’ve just never heard of any Jane Roes. Unless, maybe, you are referring to one of my many, many, female law clerks. It’s hard to keep track of them all. Because, you know, I hire so many of them.”
The judge also sought to dispel concerns that he had overly expansive views of presidential power.
“My views on the presidency are squarely within the mainstream of constitutional scholars,” Kavanaugh said. “I simply believe that presidents have some rights that regular citizens do not. We cannot allow presidents to be investigated for relatively minor offenses, like, say, shooting someone on Fifth Avenue.”
Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, who many political analysts believe will cast the deciding vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, said she was satisfied with his statement on Roe v. Wade.
“As everyone knows, I am a strong supporter of a woman’s right to choose,” Collins said. “That’s why I only vote to confirm judges who are sure to uphold Roe v. Wade. Like Neil Gorsuch.”
Collins said she plans to support Kavanaugh’s nomination.
“I was just so impressed with his sincerity,” she said.
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