New Mexico Democrat tests positive for COVID-19 breakthrough case
Dem Senator: Trump's next Supreme Court nominee would overturn Roe v. Wade
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday said any of President Trump's nominees to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy would "threaten our fundamental rights."
"Any one of President Trump's list of proposed SCOTUS justices would overturn Roe v. Wade and threaten our fundamental rights," Gillibrand said, referencing the landmark decision that made abortion legal nationwide. "I'll fight to make sure there are no hearings to replace Justice Kennedy until after the election. This is our democracy. Let's fight like it."
Gillibrand's comments came hours after Kennedy announced his retirement, giving Trump the opportunity to nominate his second Supreme Court justice since taking office. Trump nominated conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017.
Kennedy's retirement reignited the possibility of a looming debate over access to abortion. Anti-abortion groups say they see an opening for overturning Roe v. Wade if Trump nominates another conservative anti-abortion rights justice who would vote in their favor should abortion cases make it to the high court.
"Now that Justice Anthony Kennedy - a 25-year defender of abortion on the Supreme Court and the key vote to perpetuate Roe v. Wade - is retiring, we urge President Trump to nominate a committed constitutionalist to the Supreme Court who will hew to the intended meaning of the nation's charter and refrain from employing it as a means of social engineering," said Catherine Glenn Foster, president of Americans United for Life, a legal arm of the anti-abortion movement.
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin issued similar concerns on Wednesday, saying that abortion would be banned in 20 states.
"You're going to see 20 states pass laws banning abortion outright," Toobin said on CNN shortly after the tweet. "Because they know there are going to be five votes on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade."
"And abortion will be illegal in a significant part of the United States in 18 months, and there is no doubt about that," he added.
Kennedy was often the deciding vote in key Supreme Court cases, at times breaking ranks and siding with the more left-leaning justices.
Trump said earlier on Wednesday that he would choose a nominee from a shortlist of 25 previously announced candidates.