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Leaked email hints that Brett Kavanaugh might not consider Roe v. Wade “settled law.”

Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Senator Susan Collins of Maine recently announced that Kavanaugh, now embroiled in a raucous Senate confirmation hearing, assured her that he believed the landmark abortion case was “settled law.” But an email written by Kavanaugh in 2003 and published by The New York Times on Thursday indicates he may have misrepresented his views. During his time as the White House counsel for President George W. Bush, he expressed skepticism about the majority opinion in Roe:

Judge Kavanaugh was considering a draft opinion piece that supporters of one of Mr. Bush’s conservative appeals court nominees hoped they could persuade anti-abortion women to submit under their names. It stated that “it is widely accepted by legal scholars across the board that Roe v. Wade and its progeny are the settled law of the land.”

Judge Kavanaugh proposed deleting that line, writing: “I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent, and three current Justices on the Court would do so.”

If Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court, he will be in a position to overturn Roe. According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released this week, Kavanaugh is the most unpopular Supreme Court nominee in decades. “Only two nominees have had weaker public support: Harriet Miers, who withdrew her nomination, in 2005; and Robert Bork, rejected by the Senate in 1987,” pollsters concluded.