Terry Moran: Kavanaugh brings 'poisonous political polarization' to the Court

ABC News' Terry Moran, Constitutional Accountability Center's Elizabeth Wydra and Judicial Crisis Network's Carrie Severino analyze how Kavanaugh's confirmation will affect the future of the Court.
7:33 | 10/07/18

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Transcript for Terry Moran: Kavanaugh brings 'poisonous political polarization' to the Court
#### Let's bring in ourur supreme court panel. Carrie Severino chief counsel and policy director of the judicial crisis network which backed Kavanaugh. Elizabeth Wydra the president of the constitutional accountability center which opposed Kavanaugh and ABC's Terry Moran who has covered the supreme court for decades and decades. Carrie, let me start with you. You've fought hard for Kavanaugh's nomination. What kind of justice will he be? The best way to tell that is to look at his 12 years on the D.C. Circuit. He comes in with a lot of experience. He was known as someone who's very diligent. Gets all the details. Very solid questioner. Someone who is even handed. This is why you saw people from both sides of the aisle saying I don't agree with his results, but I always knew that every side was going to get a fair shake going in. Most people on the other side of the aisle came out strongly against him. True, but I'm talking about his reputation as a judge was one of the highest reputations on both sides of the aisle. Of the federal judiciary. He was widely respected. This is why the supreme court had gone to his opinions so many times and vindicated his reasoning. He's got a singular level of recognition among the federal courts. I've heard some conservatives uneasy with his op-ed that he wrote "The Wall Street journal" saying he showed how he cares how he's perceived whereas Clarence Thomas was like I'm charging ahead. No apologies. Do you think this experience will affect how Kavanaugh will behave on the court? Will he try to do something to address the concerns that so many in the country have about him? I think the number one thing he can do is go back to the kind of judge he has always been, which is someone known for his even headedness. He had a controversial confirmation process the first time around. He was filibustered. He had to have a second confirmation hearing. This isn't like he had an easy time before and it was easy to be bipartisan. He's always had that target on his back and yet was able to go through and make sure he was putting his oath first to the constitution and law. I think he'll go back and do that. That will be the best vindication against those who are trying to put an asterisk behind his name. I clerked for justice Thomas. He's got no asterisk. He can stand on his own two feet. I know justice Kavanaugh will as well. You were dead set against this nomination. Any chance he surprises you? I hope he surprises me. I practiced before judge Kavanaugh. My organization opposed him after very carefully looking at his record, listening to his answers. This was based on the substance even before all the sexual assault allegations came out and the moving and credible testimony of Dr. Ford. When you look at his record on the D.C. Circuit, he's incredibly conservative on issues that will be very important in the next coming years before the supreme court. Issues like reproductive rights, issues like the access to health care especially when you're talking about women accesses contraception coverage. Even some of his conservative colleagues have called him out in going too far. I don't know who the centrist is that senator Collins was talking about. If you were that centrist president trump wouldn't have nominated him. Once we see the decisions starting to come down especially if he helps to fulfill president trump's promise to repeal roe V. Wade we'll see people come out further when they start to feel the effects of this supreme court. When he was sworn in by John Roberts last night, I thought it was interesting that Elena Kagan was there, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was there. How does he fit in with this court? That was a huge statement. With this nomination whether Kavanaugh likes it or not or deserves it or not he brings the poisonous political polarization that is in the country right now. Some of it is unfair. Some of it is of his own doing. When he got angry -- anger was understandable. When he got angry it was as if the mask slipped accusing the radicals and Democrats -- We've never seen anything like that in a confirmation hearing. No. Clarence Thomas got angry in a different way. Not that everyone gets angry the same way. His colleagues understand the constitution put him there. They'll treat him as a justice. They'll look for ways to reduce the temperatures around the court. I would think the key relationship now is between chief justice John Roberts and justice Elena Kagan who has a similar view of the court. Can they find the cases they take and the decisions to lower the temperature? The problem is there's going to be a tremendous amount of pressure. For conservative lawyers around the country, the candy store is open. The tradition is the new justice closes the door. Will Roberts steer him away from writing decisions for a while? There's been speculation you won't see him writing a decision on a sexual harassment issue. I think John Roberts will have -- the court has no authority in the country except the confidence of the people. That will be in his mind. Traditionally the youngest justice gets kind of a few easy unanimous decisions right out the gate. I'm sure we'll see that as well. He's a full-fledged member of the court. Much to my relief they're not the polarized group that we see the rest of America as. There are not aisles there. It's not one justice on one side and one justice on the other. People don't realize that about 40% of the cases are unanimous. I have to ask you, we heard senator hirono say she doesn't think roe V. Wade will be overturned. Do you? I think chief justice Robert is too savvy to let those words appear in a opinion. I think the court will gut the meaning of the right to access abortion by chipping away and up holding restrictions on that fundamental right. For Progressives the question is when we get the next supreme court battle are they going to keep this energy? That will further entrench this conservative majority. Thank you for joining us.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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