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Professor Lisa Tucker Shares Insights on Supreme Court as News Media Covers Kavanaugh Nomination

Professor Lisa Tucker

July 11, 2018

As partisans debate the appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court, reporters consulted with Professor Lisa Tucker about the controversial nomination.

Kavanaugh may be poised to undermine abortion rights, Tucker observed in a July 9 interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, noting his dissenting opinion in Garva v. Hargan last fall, in which the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ultimately allowed a 17-year-old girl in immigration detention to terminate her pregnancy.  

Calling Kavanaugh a “died in the wool conservative,” Tucker said his views could evolve over time on the court but that the Federalist Society favored his appointment because he seems unlikely to moderate his position.

In a CBC article published on July 9, Tucker said she has little confidence that conservative justices on the court will protect precedents such as Roe v. Wade, in light of their recent ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, which bars public unions from forcing workers to pay fees toward the cost of contract negotiations. That decision overturned a 40-year precedent.

"Roe is in that same time period," Tucker said. "So, we've seen the justices willing to say, 'No, we disagree with what those past justices said, and we're making a new rule now.' And I don't see why that couldn't happen here, too."

Democrats have claimed President Trump chose Kavanaugh specifically because he may help undermine the special counsel probe into Russian meddling with the 2016 election, but Tucker said in a July 10 interview with NBC10 that the judge may opt not to recuse himself if the question comes before the court.

“While people might look askance, were he actually to participate in such a decision, he could do it if he wanted to,” Tucker said.