"‘I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land,’ read the leaked email, published by The New York Times on the third day of his Supreme Court hearing.
By Paul Blumenthal Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote an email in March 2003 questioning whether Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion rights decision, was ‘settled law of the land.’ The email had been deemed confidential by Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans but was provided to The New York Times by an anonymous source.
Kavanaugh, whom President Donald Trump nominated for the Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy, has attempted to portray himself as believing that the abortion rights secured under Roe v. Wade and affirmed by Casey v. Planned Parenthood are precedent. Roe, according to Kavanaugh in his confirmation hearing, is ‘an important precedent of the Supreme Court that has been reaffirmed many times.’
The email from his time in the George W. Bush White House was in response to a draft opinion article in support of one of Bush’s appeals court nominees. The piece was written with the intent to place it under the names of anti-abortion women. The draft 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.’
Kavanaugh’s email, however, stated: ‘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.’
Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has refused to request all documents from Kavanaugh’s tenure in the Office of White House Counsel and has not requested any documents from Kavanaugh’s time as staff secretary to the Bush White House. He has also failed to release 189,000 documents that he has labeled ‘committee confidential.’ The leaked email published Thursday is one Grassley deemed confidential.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) appeared to refer to this document during his questioning on Wednesday, asking Kavanaugh about his position in the White House. Kavanaugh distanced himself from what he wrote, arguing that he took a different approach as a judge and treated it as precedent."