Supreme Court pick's impact on abortion rights laws in the Heartland

Scotus pick impact on abortion rights
Updated: Jul. 10, 2018 at 7:12 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - SIU Carbondale Constitutional Law Professor Steven Macias says President Donald Trump's latest pick for the U.S. Supreme Court Justice will cause a conservative shift in the high court.

On Monday, President Trump announced his nominee for Supreme Court Justice -- Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

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According to Macias, if the President's pick is confirmed to the high court, the move could have an impact on many social issues including abortion rights.

"Judge Kavanaugh is a relatively young man, so he's going to be on the court for quite a long time, maybe 20 or 30 years," says Macias. "It's not as though Judge Kavanaugh would be replacing a Justice who was completely and entirely pro-choice, but I think there is reason to suspect that he might be more conservative than Justice Kennedy."

Macias says there is nothing to indicate that Judge Kavanaugh would be "full blown" pro-choice member of the court.

"For those who care about abortion rights, for those who want to see abortion rights, constitutional abortion rights preserved, I think there is some reason to be concerned about Judge Kavanaugh," he said.

Macias says it's not clear that Kavanaugh would actually cast a vote to change current abortion laws.

"If Roe v Wade were to be overturned by a court that included Justice Kavanaugh, that would probably have very little impact in a state like Illinois," he said.

In 2017,  Republican Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill expanding abortion rights, but Macias points out surrounding states have not taken those legislative steps.

"In surrounding states Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, I think all very likely to pass more restrictive laws if they are able to," Macias said.

Due to the seat being a conservative vacancy and not a liberal one, Macias said the change will not be as "monumental" of a shift.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh met with Senators on Tuesday, July 10.

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