Sen. Elizabeth Warren On Why She Opposes Trump's Supreme Court Nominee

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Senate Democrats are vowing to oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy's vacated seat, as they say he would push the court further to the right. Among those vowing to fight is Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who tweeted this morning that she would reject Kavanaugh's nomination.


Elizabeth Warren, Democratic senator for Massachusetts. She tweets @senwarren.

Interview Highlights

On why she opposes the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court:

"Brett Kavanaugh is a political animal. He's been sitting on a pre-approved list [by President Trump] of right-wing nominees for months now. Let's be clear, he didn't end up on that list because he is a middle-of-the-road consensus pick. He ended up there because his record as a judge and as a lawyer is clear and because of the political work he has done."

On her biggest concerns about Kavanaugh's legal record: 

"One is that he's hostile to health care, to the Affordable Care Act. We know this because of the opinions he's already issued, both dissenting, wanting to roll back the Affordable Care Act. We have opinions right now pending in the lower courts that are going to come up to the Supreme Court on things like whether or not insurance companies can discriminate against people with preexisting conditions. The Trump administration says 'Sure they can.' So I worry about health care for all Americans."

"I worry about Roe v. Wade. Nobody made it onto this list who hadn't prescreened to commit to overturn Roe v. Wade."

"The third thing that worries me is that he has written an article saying, in effect, that presidents like Trump should be above the law. They should not be subjected to investigations. I want you to think about that. Not the kind of investigation that Richard Nixon was subjected to, that Bill Clinton was subjected to. No. That presidents are above the law."

On whether the Mueller investigation would necessarily be an issue that would come before the Supreme Court, as the primary response would be political: 

"It's possible the only response would be political, but it's also possible that the response would be a criminal indictment. Remember, that's how Watergate started. It was a criminal break-in and a criminal cover-up that was fostered by the president of the United States."

"As soon as you take criminal responsibility off the table for exactly one American — everybody else has to follow the law, but not the president of the United States — then you have re-arranged everything. You've changed fundamentally what the Constitution of the United States says. You've changed fundamentally the balance of power in this country. And I don't want to see a Supreme Court justice who says 'Let me start out by issuing a free pass to Donald Trump.'"

On whether Roe v. Wade is actually at risk of being overturned in a court led by Justice John Roberts, who has expressed support for the idea of precedent:

"Were you around last week when Justice [John] Roberts helped lead a 5-4 majority in overturning decades of settled law of precedent on public unions? The [Janus v. AFSCME] case was exactly that. They just tossed out the law that had been there."

"I understand that Roberts said back when he was up as a nominee, 'Oh, I will respect precedent. I'll just call balls and strikes.' But the reality has not been that. Same thing on Citizens United, on money and politics ... Does that make me feel secure about Roe v. Wade? Nope. In fact, his history makes me more alarmed that this is a court that will be willing, if it gets five votes, to throw out Roe v. Wade."

This segment aired on July 10, 2018.


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Anthony Brooks is WBUR's senior political reporter.


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Zoë Mitchell was a Radio Boston producer and studio director.



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