Speed Reads

Trump picks Kavanaugh

Here's a brief rundown of Brett Kavanaugh on abortion rights

Now that President Trump has announced Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his choice to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, people are taking a closer look at what Kavanaugh has said publicly about abortion rights.

Kennedy is a conservative who often served as a swing vote, and activists on both sides of the abortion debate have been discussing whether his successor might help overturn Roe v. Wade. Kavanaugh, 53, is a conservative, but NBC News reports he has not made many public statements or legal decisions about abortion rights.

Kavanaugh is federal appellate judge on the D.C. Circuit, and during his confirmation hearing in May 2006, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) asked if he considered Roe v. Wade "an abomination." Kavanaugh responded that if confirmed, he would "follow Roe v. Wade faithfully and fully. That would be binding precedent of the court. It's been decided by the Supreme Court." Schumer asked what he personally thought about the ruling, but Kavanaugh said it wasn't "appropriate" to reveal his own opinion.

Last October, he was part of the decision regarding a pregnant undocumented teenager in a detention facility seeking an abortion. The court ruled that the girl could briefly leave the government's custody in order to have the procedure, but Kavanaugh dissented, writing that the Trump administration admitted the teen had the right to an abortion, but the court should not have decided she had the right to an "immediate abortion on demand." He also argued that the procedure could have waited until she was released to an American sponsor, as the delay would not have imposed an undue burden on the girl's right to an abortion.