I haven’t watched the Kavanaugh hearing today. My wife and I made other plans a while back. In addition, I overdosed on that circus yesterday.
I gather from the Washington Post’s live updates that nothing of signifcance has happened today — in others words, nothing that will derail the nomination. Kavanaugh apparently declined to answer questions about whether he would uphold requiring coverage for preexisting conditions; whether the president has an absolute right to pardon himself; and whether presidents must respond to subpoenas. These are all issues Kavanaugh might be required to decide.
Kavanaugh was clear that Roe v. Wade is settled precedent. He told Sen. Feinstein:
One of the important things to keep in mind about Roe v. Wade is that it has been reaffirmed many times over the last 45 years, as you know, and most prominently, most importantly reaffirmed in Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992.
Kavanaugh called Casey “precedent on precedent.” He declined, however, to say whether Roe was correctly decided. His reticence on these matters is consistent with the rule nominees have followed since the Ginsburg hearings 25 years ago.
The Post takes up the question of where Kavanaugh’s decisions stand place him on the ideological scale It cites a study by legal scholar Adam Feldman that puts Kavanaugh well to the right of the average D.C. Circuit judge (keep in mind that this court is still dominated by liberals), but not as far to the right as some of his colleagues.
I think that’s right. As I said when Kavanaugh’s name popped up on the short list of possible replacements for Justice Kennedy, he is not the left’s worst nightmare of a pick.