Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) described a pocket-sized version of the U.S. Constitution belonging to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as “that book you carry,” on day four of the judge’s confirmation hearing.
Asking Judge Kavanaugh which unenumerated rights he would do away with, Harris said:
I’m going to ask you about unenumerated rights. You gave a speech praising former Justice Rehnquist’s dissent in Rhodes, there’s been much discussion about that, and you wrote, quote, celebrating his success, that ‘success in stemming the general tide of free-wheeling judicial creation of unenumerated rights,’ that is what you said in celebration of Justice Rehnquist. So ‘unenumerated rights.’ is a phrase that lawyers use, but I want to make clear what we’re talking about. It means rights that are protected by the Constitution even if they’re not specifically mentioned in the Constitution. They are not in that book that you carry.
What we are talking about is the right to vote, that’s an unenumerated right, the right to have children. The right to have control over the upbringing of your children. The right to refuse medical care. The right to love the partner of your choice, the right to marry, and the right to have an abortion. Now, putting those unenumerated rights in the context of the statement that you made, which was to praise the stemming of the general tide of free-wheeling creation of unenumerated rights, which means you were, the interpretation there is you were praising the quest to end those unenumerated rights. My question to you is which of the rights that I just mentioned do you want to an end to or rollback?
Kavanaugh replied, “Three points I believe, senator, first the constitution, it is in the book that I carry. The constitution protects unenumerated rights. That’s what the Supreme Court has said.”