Kavanaugh questions Supreme Court’s role in abortion debate: ‘There are two interests at stake’

Justice Brett Kavanaugh pulled no punches Wednesday as he questioned whether the U.S. Supreme Court bench should have any say at all over the issue of abortion.

The high court was hearing oral arguments in a case challenging a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

As the Daily Wire reported, challengers of the measure were pressed by Justice Kavanaugh on why it should be up to SCOTUS to decide whether abortion is a right.

“Two interests at stake”

At one point, Kavanaugh urged U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, who is arguing on behalf of the Biden administration for the law to be struck down, to look at the issue through the lens of the opposing side.

“The other side says, though, that there are two interests at stake,” the justice said, according to the Daily Wire. “That there’s also the interest in fetal life at stake, as well. And in your brief, you say that the existing framework accommodates — that’s your word — both the interest of the pregnant woman and the interest of the fetus.”

He adds: “And the problem, I think the other side would say, and the reason this issue’s hard, is that you can’t accommodate both interests. You have to pick. That’s the fundamental problem. […] One interest has to prevail over the other at any given point in time. That’s why this is so challenging, I think.”

Kavanaugh went on:

When you have those two interests at stake, and both are important, as you acknowledge…why should this court be the arbiter rather than Congress, the state legislatures, state supreme courts, the people, being able to resolve this?

“The right answer”

Prelogar, for her part, sought to make the case that the right to abortion is enshrined in the Constitution and thus, shouldn’t be up to the states to weigh in on.

“Justice Kavanaugh,” she said, “it’s not the right answer because the court correctly recognized that this is a fundamental right of women and the nature of fundamental rights is that it’s not left up to state legislatures to decide whether to honor them or not.”

However, as the Daily Wire noted, Kavanaugh appeared to express skepticism toward the idea abortion is a “fundamental right,” given that the Constitution makes no explicit mention of it.

Kavanaugh wasn’t the only justice to make leftists nervous this week. Amy Coney Barrett also spoke during the hearings, where, according to Business Insider, she made note of how previous abortion cases have stressed “the burdens of parenting,” but observed that states have since moved to make it easier for women to place their children for adoption.

“It doesn’t seem to follow that pregnancy and then parenthood are all part of the same burden,” Barrett, who has herself adopted two children, remarked.

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