Center for Reproductive Rights Opposes Confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh

Kavanaugh’s judicial record, writing, and public statements are fundamentally hostile to reproductive rights

(PRESS RELEASE) Statement from Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, opposing the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court:

“For the first time since our founding in 1992, the Center for Reproductive Rights is opposing the confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee. Based on our in-depth analysis of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s record, we urge members of the United States Senate to reject the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to serve as the next Associate Justice.

“As recognized in decades of Supreme Court rulings, the right to make decisions about whether and when to have children is protected by the U.S. Constitution.  These important decisions sit within the realm of personal liberty which the government may not enter.  They are vital to the health, dignity, and equality of women in the United States, and this nomination puts them at risk.

“We do not make this decision lightly.  We have never taken a position on a Supreme Court nominee before. The Center for Reproductive Rights wins cases before a wide range of federal judges, who have been appointed by both Republican and Democratic presidents.  As an organization that litigates cases in federal courts, including in the U.S. Supreme Court, we are rigorous about factual accuracy and careful legal analysis.  We are a nonpartisan organization that does not support or oppose political parties or candidates.

“After a thorough review of Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial opinions, speeches, and writings, we have grave concerns about how he will rule on reproductive rights cases.  His judicial philosophy is fundamentally hostile to the protection of reproductive rights under the U.S. Constitution. 

“As an appellate judge, Judge Kavanaugh misapplied Supreme Court precedent to allow the government to continue blocking an undocumented minor from accessing an abortion. He has praised and applied a narrow, backward-looking approach to defining the scope of individual liberty under the Constitution at odds with the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence protecting the right to abortion.  In speeches, he has praised then-Justice William Rehnquist’s dissent in Roe v. Wade (1973) and Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), where each justice rejected the constitutional right to abortion.  He has given a high degree of deference to religiously-affiliated employers who wish to avoid “complicity” in women’s use of contraception.  Finally, Judge Kavanaugh has criticized the Supreme Court’s decisions upholding the Affordable Care Act, which has provided critical maternal and reproductive health care access to millions of women.

“With the release of our report, we remind the Senate that the stakes of this nomination are extraordinarily high.  There are dozens of cases making their way through the lower courts whose outcomes could guarantee or deny access to reproductive health care for millions of women across the United States.

“The American people want a Supreme Court nominee who will respect the basic liberties guaranteed to all of us under the Constitution. Based on his record, Judge Brett Kavanaugh is not that nominee.”

Watch the Center for Reproductive Rights’ video statement about our opposition to Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination here.

Read the Center for Reproductive Rights’ full report of Judge Kavanaugh’s record on reproductive rights here.