Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh may vote to overturn Roe v. Wade if confirmed to the Court, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) indicated Sunday, despite other senators’ claims that Kavaugh told them Roe was “settled law.”
“The bottom line here is there is a process to overturn a precedent,” Graham told CNN’s Dana Bash Sunday, asked if he hoped Kavanaugh will overturn Roe.
“I think he understands that process,” Graham continued. “He will apply it. If it were up to me, states would make these decisions, not the Supreme Court. But it is a long-held precedent of the Court. It will be challenged over time. I hope he will give it a fair hearing, and I know he will.”
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who supports abortion rights and has herself called Roe settled law, said after meeting with Kavanaugh that the nominee “agreed with what Justice Roberts said at his nomination hearing, in which he said it was settled law.”
Graham offered a different assessment, one he repeated on Fox News Sunday in an interview with Chris Wallace.
“I wouldn’t vote for anybody who said that every decision [of] the Supreme Court cannot be revisited,” he said. “They’re revisited through a process. There’s a process of overturning long precedent.”
Graham added: “If there’s a conflict that makes it to the Supreme Court, he will apply the test of precedent to that decision, Roe v. Wade, and every other precedent.”
Despite Democrats’ protests that Republicans have refused to request Kavanaugh’s documents from his time as White House staff secretary, the Senate Judiciary Committee is set to hold its first hearing on Kavanaugh’s nomination on Tuesday.
“He would be disqualified, in my opinion, if you would not listen to both sides of the story and decide accordingly,” Graham said Sunday.
“Roe v. Wade is going to be challenged at state level,” he added. “There are all kinds of laws out there. Some may work their way up to the Supreme Court. He will give great deference, I’m sure, to Roe v. Wade, but it can be overturned like every other decision, but that will be up to the facts and the record.”