In documents obtained by The New York Times that date back to Judge Kavanaugh’s time in the George W. Bush administration, Mr. Kavanaugh, then a White House aide, seemed to raise doubts about whether Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court ruling that found a constitutional right to an abortion, was “settled law.”
He was considering a draft opinion piece to be run under the names of anti-abortion women that stated, “it is widely accepted by legal scholars across the board that Roe v. Wade and its progeny are the settled law of the land.” Responding to the email, the future Supreme Court nominee wrote, “I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent, and three current Justices on the Court would do so.”
The documents do not indicate how Judge Kavanaugh would rule, but they are fodder for Democratic questioning. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, asked Mr. Kavanaugh about the document, noting it had been made public.
Mr. Kavanaugh defended the statement he made in the email, and said “the broader point was simply that it was overstating something about legal scholars.”
“I’m always concerned about accuracy, and I thought it was not an accurate description of all legal scholars,” he said, adding later that Roe v. Wade is “an important precedent. It has been reaffirmed many times.” He declined to comment directly on Ms. Feinstein’s questions as to whether it is “correct law.”
NARAL Pro-Choice America, the abortion rights lobby, jumped on the release immediately: “Brett Kavanaugh’s emails are rock solid evidence that he has been hiding his true beliefs and if he is given a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court, he will gut Roe v. Wade, criminalize abortion, and punish women. Everything he said yesterday in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee about ‘settled law’ was nothing but a show to mislead the Senate...”
Brett Kavanaugh Hearings: Did the Nominee Mislead on Spying and Abortion? - The New York Times