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Laxalt says abortion not an issue in Nevada, praises Kavanaugh

Humberto Sanchez
Humberto Sanchez

Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt downplayed concerns that he may push to limit abortion rights in Nevada if elected governor as he praised President Donald Trump’s decision to nominate Brett Kavanaugh to join the Supreme Court.

"Nevada is uniquely situated since we have a referendum on the books from 1990 that guarantees a woman's right to have an abortion,” Laxalt, who is pro-life and serves as attorney general, said on a conference call with reporters. “Certainly in our state this will not be an issue."

His comments jibed with a statement his campaign manager, Kristin Davison, released last month, which said that stoking fear over Laxalt limiting abortion rights in the state is meant to draw attention away from the record of his Democratic opponent, Steve Sisiolak, who is currently the chairman of the Clark County Commission.

"Adam Laxalt has zero interest in 'undoing' the 1990 law in question. None,” Davison said. “This is clearly an attempt to distract from Steve Sisolak’s extreme view that there should be zero limits on abortion and taxpayer funding for abortion providers. We have no interest in his extremist culture war. Adam Laxalt is focused on improving education, creating more prosperity, and protecting Nevada.”

Sisolak has said he would not support any restrictions on abortion access if elected governor.

Davison’s comment was prompted by an interview Laxalt gave to KOLO’s Terri Russell the night of the GOP primary earlier in June. When asked about his decision to sign onto anti-abortion briefs in California and Texas, he responded “I’m going to err on the side of life.” When pressed about if he planned to push for changes to state abortion law, which would need a vote of the people, as governor, Laxalt said, “We are going to look into it.”

Laxalt’s campaign has said that his comments were taken out of context. KOLO subsequently posted the entire interview on its website.

On Kavanaugh, Laxalt dismissed Democratic talk about abortion and civil rights being under threat with the nomination and noted that the judge has the right temperament and respect for precedent, which is known by the Latin phrase stare decisis, to serve on the nation’s highest court alongside Chief Justice John Roberts.

“The left is going to try to politicize this nomination fight as much as they possibly can,” Laxalt said. “But Judge Kavanaugh...has been consistent since his first nomination hearing in 2006 that he is going to follow the text and the original understanding of the Constitution and the laws that are written. He also believes in stare decisis, so we’ll certainly let him answer that specific question in the coming weeks. But I think the most important thing is that he is committed to being an umpire, something we heard Chief Justice Roberts talked at length about when he went through his nomination hearing and these are the kind of people that should be nominated and should be serving on our Supreme Court.”

Disclosure: Steve Sisolak has donated to The Nevada Independent. You can see a full list of donors here.

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