Rep. Ilhan Omar is demanding the Supreme Court add more justices to override its conservative majority while other Democrats are renewing their calls to nix the filibuster and codify the right to an abortion after a leaked preliminary opinion revealed the court is looking to overturn Roe v. Wade.
‘Overturning Roe would put the lives of women across the country at risk. It would fly in the face of decades of precedent and the overwhelming majority of public opinion. And they will not stop here. Expand the court,’ the Minnesota Democrat said on Twitter.
‘Congress must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country NOW. And if there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate to do it, and there are not, we must end the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes,’ Sen Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., wrote on Twitter.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., added: ‘We must codify the right to an abortion into federal law—even if it means eliminating the filibuster. We must flip state legislatures. And states like NY must open our doors.’
A draft legal opinion, which was leaked to Politico, reveals a majority of the court’s nine judges are in agreement on ending Roe which would be enough to force a change in the law – though their decision is not final until the ruling is officially published.
Rep. Ilhan Omar is demanding the Supreme Court add more justices to override its conservative majority
Democrats are renewing their calls to nix the filibuster and codify the right to an abortion after a leaked Supreme Court preliminary opinion revealed the court is looking to overturn Roe v. Wade
The landmark 1973 decision allowed legalized abortions pre-viability, until about 22-24 weeks, all across America. The 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey upheld that right. By overturning these cases abortion rights would return to the states’ hands.
The Guttmacher Institute, a pro-choice research group, has said that 26 states are ‘certain or likely’ to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez predicted that the Supreme Court would take on gay rights and civil rights next.
‘As we’ve warned, SCOTUS isn’t just coming for abortion – they’re coming for the right to privacy Roe rests on, which includes gay marriage + civil rights,’ she wrote on Twitter. ‘Manchin is blocking Congress codifying Roe. House has seemingly forgotten about Clarence Thomas. These 2 points must change.’
Remarks from President Biden and Vice President Harris conveyed the same sentiment.
‘[The opinion] would mean that every other decision relating to the notion of privacy is thrown into question,’ Biden said.
‘If the rationale of the decision as released were to be sustained, a whole range of rights would be in question…If it becomes a law and if what is written is remained, it goes far beyond the concern of whether or not there is the right to choose. It goes to other basic rights.’
‘The rights of all Americans are at risk. If the right to privacy is weakened, every person could face a future in which the government can potentially interfere in the personal decisions you make about your life,’ Harris said in a statement.
‘A stolen, illegitimate, and far-right Supreme Court majority appears set to destroy the right to abortion, an essential right which protects the health, safety, and freedom of millions of Americans. There is no other recourse. We must expand the court,’ said Sed. Ed Markey, D-Conn.
‘Abolish the filibuster. Codify Roe. Expand the Supreme Court. Protect abortion rights by any means necessary. We need all of the above. This is an emergency,’ Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., wrote on Twitter.
‘Abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court,’ Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., said.
Moderate Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have adamantly opposed ending the filibuster But even without the filibuster, Democrats likely won’t have the votes to codify abortion rights.
In February Manchin voted with Republicans in opposition to the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), which would codify abortion rights, a bill that had already passed the House. Democrats would likely need to pick up more seats in the Senate this fall, in addition to ending the filibuster, for abortion legislation to get to President Biden’s desk.
‘The filibuster stands in the way of reproductive rights and the right to vote. Abolish it now. The Democrats have the Presidency & both chambers,’ Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., wrote on Twitter.
‘We have made too much progress as a nation to backslide to a time when the law treated women as second-class citizens. Time is running out for the Senate to abolish the filibuster and write reproductive freedom into federal law,’ Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., chimed in.
Pro-life and pro-choice protesters react to the leaked opinion outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday May 3
Pro-choice activists rally outside the Supreme Court on Monday evening, just after Politico reported that the Supreme Court had voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. In a draft opinion for the Dobbs v. JWHO case
The leak marks the first time that a draft opinion has ever appeared in public before being officially published, a move expected within the next two months.
A decision in the case had been expected before the court begins its summer recess in late June or early July, so it could be more than a month before the court actually issues a final opinion. If the court does what the draft suggests, the ruling would upend a nearly 50-year-old decision; its advance publication would also disturb an almost unbroken tradition of secrecy at the court.
Jackson Women’s Health Organization is challenging Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks, prior to fetal viability, which has been the standard since the Roe decision. Hundreds of pro-choice and pro-life demonstrators were present
Politico reports that four of the five remaining Republican-appointed justices voted with Justice Samuel Alito, who penned the opinion in December, after hearing oral arguments on a Mississippi abortion case
Republicans, meanwhile, are calling for action against whoever was involved in leaking the draft opinion.
‘It is unfortunate that the news of the greatest victory for the Pro Life movement comes on the heels of one of the most profound breaches of trust the Court has ever seen,’ Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., wrote on Twitter.
‘If the report is true, I am grateful that all of God’s children will now have a voice, and I am committed to ensuring that the leaker and their complicit partners in the media will be held accountable for their actions to the fullest extent.’
Politico reports that four of the five remaining Republican-appointed justices voted with Justice Samuel Alito, who penned the opinion in December, after hearing oral arguments on a Mississippi abortion case. And that line-up remains unchanged as of this week.
Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett all voted to strike down Roe.
Democrat-appointed justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan are working on dissents.
It is not clear how Chief Justice John Roberts, nominated by W Bush, voted – though the fact that he did not pen the majority opinion could suggest he voted against. Sources told CNN that he would’ve dissented with the liberals on Alito’s opinion draft.
But if the justices stand firm, it would not matter how Roberts votes as five back the Alito draft opinion.
Draft opinions can change and the ruling will not be final until it is published.
If the Alito draft is adopted, it would rule in favor of Mississippi in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization – a case involving the state’s attempt to ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.