What could Brett Kavanaugh at SCOTUS mean for America?

If confirmed  Brett Kavanaugh will create a conservative majority at SCOTUS. What do you expect from Justice Kavanaugh after what we have seen in the last few weeks, what effect he might have on SCOTUS in terms of decisions related to big issue as e. g. Roe v. Wade, gay marriages, and what effect he might have on credibility of the Supreme Court? Read few comments.

Brett Kavanaugh, Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Credit: https://www.senate.gov/

Jonathan Goldberg-HillerAssociate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Hawaii at Manoa

If Kavanaugh is confirmed (likely at this writing), he will become part of a 5 vote conservative block. What is unique is that this block has very few ideological differences among them, unlike the remaining four justices. Thus, there is every reason to think that there will be five reliable votes for both ideological cases (abortion, gay rights, religious “freedom”) and for the real prize of conservatives: corporation rights. This set of issues doesn’t excite the GOP voters, but it is what the GOP elite wants: stopping environmental laws that inhibit profits, reducing the impact of antidiscrimination laws (including, ironically, sexual harassment laws) on corporate decisionmaking, destroying unions). This will all come to pass, but there is a danger. Once the Court looks like a predictably rubber stamp, it will become a target. There is nothing in the constitution about the number of justices, and by winning Congress and the Presidency, it is possible to expand the number of justices on the Court to rebalance it. There will also be efforts to embed jurisprudence under state constitutions in a state-by-state manner. Unless these directly contradict federal rights, they are untouchable by the Supreme Court. In short, once the Court looks like a political body, it does not look any longer like a Court, and that makes it vulnerable.

Stuart Streichler, Affiliate Associate Professor, Law, Societies and Justice Program, Faculty Associate, Center for Human Rights, University of Washington 

I believe it is quite possible that, if confirmed, a Justice Kavanaugh would vote to overrule the court’s previous decisions in some areas, including abortion rights and reproductive freedom as well as same-sex marriage. At the very least, he should be expected to uphold state legislative restrictions on access to abortion. Also, it looks like he would support gun rights as much as anybody now sitting on the court. Given his attacks on Democrats during the confirmation hearings, his vote in close controversial cases will undoubtedly have an effect on how Americans perceive the legitimacy of the Supreme Court.

Clyde WilcoxProfessor, Department of Government, Georgetown University

I think the biggest impact would be in executive power, where he would likely help protect Trump from various investigations, and also in supporting GOP efforts to make voting harder.  Probably he would vote to overturn Roe. I doubt if he would flip the court on SSM, but he might expand the ability of businesses to refuse to serve same sex couples.

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