To attack Kavanaugh in advance of any reconsideration of Roe v. Wade, they hope to obtain Kavanaugh writings about abortion from his days in G.W. Bush’s White House
In full panic mode after passage of the fetal heartbeat bills in Alabama and Georgia, Democrats and their special interest group allies are pulling out all the stops in hopes of preventing a possible overturn of Roe v. Wade. One avenue activists are exploring is by way of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler.
The NY Daily News reports:
“With the stroke of a pen, Chairman Nadler can obtain the documents that Republicans worked so hard to conceal during [Brett] Kavanaugh’s confirmation last year,” said Brian Fallon, a former Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton aid who heads the group Demand Justice.
As chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Nadler can do that simply asking the National Archives
Democrats wanted to pore over millions of documents from Kavanaugh’s time in the White House of George W. Bush, where he was staff secretary and a White House lawyer. The idea was to see if, among other things, Kavanaugh had expressed opinions about the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights ruling that would be disqualifying.
“These materials could potentially prove Kavanaugh lied under oath or they could at the very least provide a basis to insist he recuse himself from any case regarding Roe,” said Fallon. “Kavanaugh should not get the final say on abortion rights, and House Democrats should be pursuing every option at their disposal to prevent that scenario.”
Fallon amplified the NYDN piece on his Twitter feed Friday morning, noting that though Nadler had the power to help “reveal Kavanaugh’s true position on Roe v. Wade,” he hadn’t used it:
Remember when Senate Dems sued last fall for documents that could reveal Kavanaugh's true position on Roe v. Wade? Well, Jerry Nadler now has the power to obtain those very docs with a simple request letter to the National Archives … but hasn't done ithttps://t.co/SDS6a1pPYp
— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) May 24, 2019
Fallon is the executive director of the dark money “Demand Justice” group, a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization that Influence Watch says “aims to influence the political leanings of America’s courts by supporting the appointment of liberal judicial nominees and opposing right-of-center nominees.”
While Kavanaugh can’t be removed from a case, there would no doubt be massive campaigns from the left to put pressure on him to recuse himself in the event of a supposed conflict.
Because of intense pushes from some in their voter base and activist groups like “Demand Justice,” several Democratic presidential candidates have said they are open to making some changes to the Supreme Court’s structure, changes that they believe would ultimately mold the court in their favor:
At a town hall Tuesday in Nashua, New Hampshire, California Senator Kamala Harris was confronted by a man who said Republicans “stole a Supreme Court nominee” by refusing to allow a vote on Merrick Garland during the last 10 months of Obama’s presidency.
Warren, Harris, Gillibrand and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey as well as Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg also have indicated willingness to consider restructuring the Supreme Court as a remedy to its conservative tilt, including adding adding seats or limiting the terms of justices.
In April, socialist presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said he would be on board with term limits for Supreme Court justices or possibly “rotating” appeals court judges onto the Supreme Court:
“What may make sense is, if not term limits, then rotating judges to the appeals court as well,” Sanders said at the We the People Summit in Washington. “Letting them get out of the Supreme Court and bringing in new blood.”
The path Sanders discussed is most like one proposed by the scholars Daniel Epps and Ganesh Sitaraman, who have set forth, among other options, what they described last year as a “panel solution.”
Spelling out their logic in an op-ed for Vox, the pair suggested it would be possible to “eliminate the high stakes of Supreme Court appointments” by rotating justices, “like a panel on a court of appeals.”
“Every judge on the federal court of appeals would also be appointed as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ‘panel’ would be composed of nine justices, selected at random from the full pool of associate justices,” Epps and Sitaraman wrote. “Once selected, the justices would hear cases for only two weeks, before another set of judges would replace them.”
Politico reported in March that Democrats believed expanding the number of seats on the nation’s highest court was the hard-hitting response the party needed after what happened with Merrick Garland:
But Democrats say that after Republicans blocked Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland and other lower court judges during President Barack Obama’s final term only to quickly fill those vacancies once President Donald Trump was in office, the party needs an equally bruising response.
Gillibrand said in an interview that she believes Justice Neil Gorsuch essentially possesses an illegitimate seat after Garland was denied even a committee hearing. The New York Democrat added that the Senate should move swiftly to impose strict ethics rules on the Supreme Court.
“It’s not just about expansion, it’s about depoliticizing the Supreme Court,” said Warren (D-Mass.), who mentioned bringing appellate judges onto Supreme Court cases as an option.
“It’s about depoliticizing the Supreme Court”? Who does Warren think she’s kidding?
Gillibrand, whose campaign is stalled and desperate for traction, has been arguably even more aggressive than the rest of the pack when it comes to ideas for reshaping the court. Last week she told MSNBC that “action” must be taken against Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch if they fail to uphold Roe v. Wade:
“That is the law of the land, and I think both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh lied to the Judiciary Committee when they said they would uphold precedent. And if they then go back on this — this statement they made during their confirmation hearings — I think we should look towards what we will do to address it, because we need far more oversight and accountability over these Supreme Court Justices, and if they lied in their hearings, then we should take action.”
Watch the segment below:
Gillibrand, who is also on board with the movement to purge pro-lifers from her party, did not specify the type of “action” she believed should be taken, but presumably she’s talking about impeachment.
I’m no legal expert, but I’m pretty sure that impeaching a Supreme Court Justice for ruling differently than you would like on a court case is not how any of this works.
In any event, while Nadler is key in the left’s efforts to preserve abortion rights, the additional options being floated by Democrats that could radically reshape the Supreme Court to their advantage will no doubt be very concerning to Republicans. After all, it’s not just a question of “if” Democrats will consider any of these ideas, but which ones they’ll attempt to implement and when.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.