Judge Brett Kavanaugh is undergoing his Senate confirmation hearing this week, and each day new facts are revealed about President Trump’s pick for Supreme Court. As the Huffington Post reports, Kavanaugh wrote an email in 2003 musing about whether Roe. v. Wade is a “settled law of the land.” The law, which was passed in 1973, is considered by many to be a landmark decision regarding abortion rights in the United States. Though the email had originally been marked confidential, the Huffington Post reports that the New York Times was provided the email by an anonymous source.
Despite Kavanaugh’s attempts to convey himself “as believing that the abortion rights secured under Roe v. Wade and affirmed by Casey v. Planned Parenthood are precedent,” Kavanaugh has often sided against abortion rights and the right for women to have access to contraception. The Huffington Post cited a previous court case of Kavanaugh’s: the Priests for Life v. HHS case. In the 2013 case, Priests for Life (a Catholic group against abortion) filed suit against the Department of Health and Human Services after they objected to “the provision under the Affordable Care Act that required certain health care providers to cover birth control.” Kavanaugh sided with Priests for Life, and in his dissent called birth control an “abortion-inducing drug.”
When asked about Roe v. Wade, Kavanaugh said it was an “important precedent of the Supreme Court.” The email in question, which was sent during his time in the Bush Administration, was a response to an article written in support of one of Bush’s appeals court nominees. While the article stated that Roe is the settled law of the land, Kavanaugh questioned that fact, saying that it was not settled because there were several court justices who would overturn the ruling.
When asked about his email by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conneticut), Kavanaugh walked back his comments and said that as a judge, he treated Roe as precedent.
Nearly all documents associated with Kavanaugh have been deemed confidential by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). Grassley has yet to ask for all documents from when Kavanaugh served in the Office of White House Counsel, and he has not requested any documents from when Kavanaugh served as staff secretary under President George W. Bush.
Additionally, six other confidential emails have been released which show that Kavanaugh lied under oath in his previous confirmation hearings. According to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), the emails show that Kavanaugh knew about receiving stolen documents from Senate Democrats that outlined their strategies for their judicial picks.