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tv   David Savage on Roe v. Wade and Brett Kavanaugh  CSPAN  August 7, 2018 8:01pm-8:16pm EDT

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cable television companies. today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c., and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. the 1973 roe versus wade decision is likely to be discussed during confirmation hearings for supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh. we show you an episode from c-span's landmark cases series. first, a discussion with los angeles time supreme court of david savage on the judge kavanagh nomination.
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>> when they decided the case in late june, it was the most surprising decision that i have seen in the 30 years of doing it. in 1992, it looked like there were 5-7 to cut back on the right to abortion or overturn roe versus wade. that seemed to be where we were heading. i spent some summer talking to the justices. i remember talking to justice scalia, he was still steamed up about what happened. fallte a long story in the , reconstructing what happened inside the court. trying to explain to editors, this wasn't just another abortion decision, it was an earthquake. majority with the right to abortion. it will not change anytime soon. that was scalia's view.
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i remember writing that. it was also the fall bill clinton was elected. going forward, we had a situation where there is not going to be more pro-life justices appointed. 26 years down the road, now things are about to change. >> and with brett kavanaugh. >> when he is confirmed this fall, you will then have five wrong,s who think it was andeve abortion is immoral, the question will be do they ,ome together and overturn it cut back on it, or some combination? >> how have groups that are opposed to abortion gone about trying to overturn roe v. wade? >> there was then and now.
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for the last 25 years, they have tried regulations. they know they couldn't go to the court and say overturn it, allow our state to make abortion a crime across the board. they have done a lot of regulations. there have been restrictions on clinics, how clinics operate. there has been a lot of litigation. you have to be an outpatient surgical center. a lot of clinics couldn't do that. you have to have doctors on your have admitting privileges at a local hospital. that sounds like the big deal. turns out, a lot of hospitals don't want doctors who practice abortions because in a lot of communities it is very unpopular. that ended up shutting down a lot of clinics. there has been a lot of litigation about abortion, but it is also on the margin. it is about regulation.
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justices whoive are antiabortion, then it seems to me the state could go much further to say no abortions after 15 weeks. no abortions for sex election, or down syndrome. there will be much bigger restrictions coming to the court now than in the last few years. >> let's look at what the chair of the senate judiciary committee said. it was about brett kavanaugh's nomination and roe v. wade. right after, we see what assistant minority leader patty murray had to say. >> another attack on judge kavanagh is that he is outspoken to abortion rights. this attack misrepresents his record on the d.c. circuit
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judge. there, judge kavanagh acknowledged that they are beside the case based on roe v. wade. applied the president as president requires judges to so do. the same fear mongering over abortion every time there is a supreme court vacancy. ago,ember from 38 years when sandra day o'connor was going to be the first woman appointed to the supreme court. it was a real worry then that roe v. wade was in jeopardy. she is one of those that preserved it. in the versus planned parenthood case, 12 years later as she got on the court. yet, roe v. wade is still the law of the land. justices have a way of
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surprising us. justice kennedy now leaving the court was one of those. even though we didn't pursue this in depth at his hearing, those of us that are pro-life, i am one of them, were pretty assured that kennedy might be one of those votes to override roe v. wade. in 1992, in the kc versus planned parenthood case, kennedy was one of the majority of the harmnot to do any whatsoever to roe v. wade. there is no way to predict how a justice will rule on a particular case. many times, this senator has been disappointed by what he ifught a judge might do
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approved. >> the best evidence that judge kavanagh would overturn roe is the extreme anti-groups voted the likelihood to do exactly that. want to address a few aspects of judge kavanagh's records that expose how unqualified he is to make decisions that will impact women from all backgrounds for generations to come. when i examined the record and history of a supreme court nominee, i hope to see a breath of life experience, or the ability to walk in someone else's shoes. judge kavanagh has not mistreated either of those quality. expressing support for justice rehnquist dissent in row, or the justice argued for allowing restrictions on women's reproductive rights, kavanagh agreed with the idea that if a right is not explicitly stated
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in the constitution, it must be rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people. he made clear, he doesn't believe a woman's right to choose is rooted in the traditions of conscious in our people. i am deeply concerned about who judge kavanagh thinks about and trusts when he imagines the traditions and conscience of our people and makes those decisions accordingly. bench,opinions from the it only heightens my concern. in one opinion, he rolled to allow the trump administration -- ruled to a lot of trump administration to block a pregnant 17-year-old who arrived alone at our border from accessing abortion until the government could place her with a foster. he felt she needed a support network around her before she was capable of making the decision, even though she had been seeking it for months, and already met state level requirements.
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in another opinion, he expressed belief that if a woman's employer doesn't believe in birth control, that employer shouldn't have to fill out a one-page form to allow the women to get birth-control coverage directly from their own insurers. constants,ons and judge kavanagh referred to, may be in his mind a historically powerful, very while full -- powerful white man, who never faced challenges women in these cases face. , theywomen also matter deserve a justice who accounts for their rights and liberties in their decisions. >> your reaction? >> i agree with both of them. senator grassley is quite correct to say that a lot of justices went on the court in the 80's and 90's who we thought
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were conservative were not in the end willing to overturn roe v. wade. justice kennedy was the most surprising. kennedy did think abortion was wrong. he thought roe was wrong. saying he didn't think it was his job to write his wrong beliefs into law. this, hewould remember had this view that the constitution set up a system of liberty where individuals make decisions that are crucial to their life, not the government. in the gay-rights area, kennedy had this view that the constitution protects liberty. he was in the end unwilling to overturn roe v. wade. i also agree with senator murray's comments. one of the things conservative
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learned was that they didn't want to pick justices who didn't have a record, or hadn't written -- they really didn't know what justice souter thought about abortion. they just thought he was conservative and was supported by the senator of new hampshire. it turns out he wasn't a conservative on abortion. in the years since, they have been much more careful about picking judges who have records. brett kavanaugh has written and said a lot of things that you would think he is a great skeptic about rove. he did a speech where he talked about chief justice rehnquist, he thought request was his first judicial hero. that he called these things right. one of them was dissented in roe v. wade. he said a number of things you would believe. i don't know what he will do on the supreme court.
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based on whatink, he has written and said, he was skeptical about it and questions whether it is a thing the court should stick with forever. >> if abortion restrictions are upheld by a new majority on the supreme court, how do you think we could see this issue play out going forward? >> depends on what you mean -- >> and the lower courts? >> depends on what you mean by restrictions. there are these 24 hour -- there are a lot of things that women have to be told, or shown a sonogram before, make women think twice about abortion. suppose a state, mississippi or thatiana, passes a law says no abortions after six weeks. we're going to criminalize abortion. that law gets struck down by lower court judges because of roe v. wade.
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what does the court do? we will see. whether they want to move whetherstep-by-step, or they face a state that has essentially banned abortion. maybe they can find some middle position where regulations are ok. i think it is also possible that five of them will say roe was a mistake, this is not part of the constitution, this is something to be decided by the people, and that we could have a system where it is back to each state. that is the way the death penalty played out in the 70's in the future. the court was on the verge of striking down the death and of the nationwide. they then backed away from it. we now have a system that has played out where texas and mississippi, and other states
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have the death penalty. massachusetts and michigan don't. some states are in between. they never executed anyone. that abortion could go the same way. the court could step back and say this was a mistake, we will leave it up to states to decide this question. some states would restrict abortion, some would ban abortion, others would -- many states would allow exactly what we have now, women can have a right to abortion and there is no restrictions at all. >> for those who want to read your reporting, they can find your work at l.a. david savage, thank you very much. >> p


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