U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh may be finding his “sweet revenge” following the severe treatment he received during his nomination process as he now leads the court through new controversial cases that could point toward conservative victories.
Kavanaugh in April Jones v. Mississippi helped end two precedents from 2012 and 2016 that protected juvenile offenders from life-without-parole sentences.
On May 19, Kavanaugh ended another precedent in Edwards v. Vannoy that blocked prisoners convicted by non-unanimous juries in Louisiana or Oregon “from taking advantage of last year’s decision in Ramos v. Louisiana (2020) to require jury unanimity in criminal cases nationwide,” according to Jost on Justice.
Some legal experts are concerned that the justice’s treatment toward precedent will set Kavanaugh up for a much bigger case, such as a legal decision regarding the controversial abortion issue in Roe v. Wade.
Conservative justices currently hold a 6 to 3 advantage in the court, making it the strongest assembly of justices favorable toward the pro-life position perhaps since the controversial abortion case took place in the 1970s.
A Mississippi abortion case has already been slated for next fall. Advocates on both sides of the issue will watch closely as the legal ruling could have wide impact concerning the pro-life cause.
Kavanaugh has not always been predictable when it comes to pro-life cases.
In a 2019 case, the justice joined with the court to overturn an appeal to reinstate a strict Indiana abortion law, which was signed by Vice President Mike Pence when he was still governor of the Midwestern state, according to Newsweek.
“You’re going to see the right to life people very harshly criticizing Justice Kavanaugh because this is the second time he disappointed them by presumably … agreeing not to interfere with a decision below that is perceived as being pro-abortion,” former New Jersey judge Andrew Napolitano said at the time.
Two months into his role, the court announced that it would not review two lower court decisions that temporarily banned Louisiana and Kansas from cutting Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid funding.
According to CNBC, “While three of the court’s conservatives voted to take up the cases, Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts declined to join them, ensuring the cases would not receive the necessary four votes for review.”
Many pro-life advocates were outraged at the events.
Others believe Kavanaugh may be seeking a more strategic case before he lends support.
Kavanaugh’s long game has yet to be revealed, but he appears to not be done yet when it comes to his pro-life views. This year could be the year the court not only hears a significant pro-life case, but actually rules in favor of it in a way that changes the conversation on this issue.