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 May 18, 2024

Brett Kavanaugh Compares Ending School Segregation To Abortion Rights Debate

The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to make significant decisions that could reshape aspects of American society ranging from electoral maps to abortion rights, amid ongoing controversies involving former President Donald Trump.

Balls and Strikes reported that as the Supreme Court term approaches its conclusion, pivotal decisions are anticipated that could impact racial gerrymandering, access to abortion, and cases linked to Donald Trump.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh recently defended the Court's authority and decisions during a conference in Austin, Texas, aimed at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Hosted by Chief Judge Priscilla Richman, the conference provided a platform for Kavanaugh to discuss the nuances of judicial decision-making in high-stakes environments.

Contextualizing the Supreme Court's Decision-making Process

Kavanaugh, during his dialogue, drew parallels between current judicial decisions and past landmark cases like Brown v. Board of Education and Miranda v. Arizona.

He emphasized that these cases were initially unpopular yet are now foundational to American constitutional law.

He argued that the unpopularity of certain decisions might suggest their eventual historical significance.

This perspective comes at a time when the Court, according to Kavanaugh, enjoys a 47 percent approval rating—the highest it has been in over a year.

In his interview, Kavanaugh stated, "Unpopular Supreme Court decisions aren’t necessarily bad—and suggested that their unpopularity may be evidence that they are good and correct." This comment illuminates his stance on the essence of judicial courage and integrity, particularly in the face of public opinion.

Reflecting on the Warren Court, Kavanaugh added, "Decisions like these made the Warren Court unpopular basically from start to finish. But, many of those 'unpopular' decisions are landmarks now that we accept as parts of the fabric of America, and the fabric of American constitutional law."

Following the Supreme Court's 2022 decision in Dobbs, which overturned federal abortion rights, there has been significant public backlash, particularly reflected in subsequent electoral outcomes where anti-choice activists suffered defeats. This indicates a disconnect between certain Court decisions and public sentiment.

Discussing the impact of current Court decisions, Kavanaugh remarked, "What’s right isn’t always popular, and what’s popular isn’t always right."

He stressed the importance of judicial independence from public opinion, noting that "Extraneous influences like ‘the public’s reaction’ cannot be allowed to affect the Court’s decisions."

Kavanaugh's Controversial Comparison of Historic and Recent Rulings

Kavanaugh's comparison of the Court's decision in Dobbs to landmark cases has sparked debate. Critics argue that positioning Dobbs alongside decisions like Brown v. Board of Education is not convincing to those outside his conservative circles.

This viewpoint reflects broader criticism of the way current justices, particularly conservative ones, use historical precedents to justify contemporary decisions that are deeply divisive.

In conclusion, as the Supreme Court wraps up its term, the focus is on how its upcoming decisions will not only shape immediate legal outcomes but also reflect on the legacy of the current justices. Kavanaugh’s remarks highlight the complex interplay between court decisions, their historical context, and their reception by the public. These unfolding events will likely be a significant chapter in the ongoing story of the U.S. judiciary and its impact on American society.

Written By:
Christina Davie

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