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Kavanaugh Will Reveal Little During Confirmation Hearings, Professor David Cohen Predicts on NPR

Professor David S. Cohen

September 04, 2018

With confirmation hearings poised to begin for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Professor David S. Cohen said in an NPR interview on Aug. 31 that he expects to learn little about the judge’s viewpoint.

“I'm expecting a pretty boring set of hearings, because the custom has become that the nominees say very little,” Cohen said during an interview that aired during The Morning Edition.

At past confirmation hearings, the program noted, Supreme Court nominees have tended to avoid answering questions that reveal how they would rule on specific cases that might come before the court and even those that reveal their thinking on broad issues.

The segment included audio clips from the confirmation hearings of Justices John Roberts, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, in which each answers questions about Roe v. Wade by affirming that they respect the court’s precedential rulings.

“To say that is to say nothing,” Cohen said. “Basically, it just says it's a decision of the Supreme Court, and it's entitled to the weight that decisions of the Supreme Court are entitled to. Well, they can be overruled.”

Kavanaugh, nominated by President Trump, was recommended by the conservative Federalist Society, which does not support the right to privacy that formed the basis of the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling that overturned laws that criminalized or restricted access to abortions abortion.