Vice President Mike Pence refused to take a position Tuesday on whether he’d want Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to side against abortion rights, but he maintained the Trump administration “will continue to be a pro-life administration.”
Asked by CNN’s Dana Bash if he still personally want to see Roe v. Wade overturned, Pence said “I do, but I haven’t been nominated to the Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh has.”
Pence’s evasions appeared carefully crafted to avoid disrupting Kavanaugh’s confirmation process, which will feature questions aimed at picking apart his stance on abortion rights and whether he might eventually overturn or gut Roe.
“I stand for the sanctity of life,” Pence said separately. “This administration, this President, are pro-life.
“But what the American people ought to know is that, as the President said today, this was not an issue that he discussed with Judge Kavanaugh. I didn’t discuss it with him, either.”
Bash repeatedly pressed Pence on Trump’s campaign-era promises that his administration’s Supreme Court nominees would oppose Roe.
“The President believes that the proper consideration for a nominee to the Court is not about litmus tests,” Pence said in response. “Frankly, we’ve seen enough of litmus tests over the decades.”
“What we don’t want is to have people go to the courts with a specific objective or policy criteria. We want people to go that respect the Constitution, respect the Constitution as written, will not legislate from the bench, and President Trump and I are absolutely convinced that Judge Kavanaugh is exactly the kind of jurist that the American people — in the majority — want to see on the Court.”
“The President did say that he wanted a litmus test,” Bash corrected him before moving on.
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) July 10, 2018
In a separate interview with Fox News’ Brett Baier Tuesday, Pence was shown video of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) saying that Trump had nominated “someone who will not protect a woman’s right to make decisions about her life, her healthcare, her reproductive freedom.”
Pence was similarly evasive in response, saying Trump picked Kavanaugh for his “background,” “temperament” and “experience.”
“The President wanted to put someone on the bench who would not legislate from the bench, who would not, as has been too much of the case in the last generation or more, where we’ve had members of our federal judiciary who literally have been making policy and making law from the bench,” he added.