Utica, N.Y. - The confirmation process of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh may well be the the most remembered Supreme Court confirmation in U.S. history, but will the past few contentious weeks leading up to Kavanaugh's appointment have an impact on next month's election? We sat down with a local political expert to discuss just that.
Utica College Professor of Government and Politics Daniel Tagliarina says one thing is clear, more women are expected to hit the voting booths next month, "That’s what I think is going to be most interesting. Seeing where, especially white middle-class suburban women who have recently been supporting Trump but since the start of the Kavanaugh nomination, the drop is something like 11 points in that support."
Tagliarina says the past few weeks have also fired up the Republican base, "There is some evidence that the Republicans, who have been facing basically an energy gap who hadn't been as motivated as the Democrats, have seen the fight over confirming Kavanaugh as motivation, something that they have been lacking leading up to the midterms."
During questioning by senators during the confirmation process, Kavanaugh was grilled repeatedly over his stance on the Roe v. Wade decision. Tagliarina says he doesn't think the Supreme Court, even now with a conservative majority, will actually look to criminalize abortion by relooking at the Roe v. Wade, "One of the things that we saw Susan Collins (U.S. Senator from Maine) saying that she’s going to vote for Kavanaugh, fully believes that he will not overturn Roe. Since 1992, with Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld Roe but fundamentally changed the Court's approach to abortion, this has not been a clear-cut issue. And what we've mostly seen is the Supreme Court peeling back on the access to abortion, again and again and again by upholding challenges, much more so than actually attacking Roe, so the focus on Roe might be misguided."
Tagliarina says if the Supreme Court were to take up the abortion issue, it would come in the form of hearing a current case that is making its way through the system. He doesn't believe the court will just up and take up the former decision of Roe v. Wade, but he doesn't completely rule it out either.