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Hawley will only back Supreme Court picks who have said Roe v. Wade was 'wrongly decided'

Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyNYPD Asian Hate Crimes Task Force chief: Attacks are 'not new' More than 75 Asian, LGBTQ groups oppose anti-Asian crime bill Senate Commerce Committee advances Biden's FTC nominee Lina Khan MORE (R-Mo.) said Sunday that he would only vote for a U.S. Supreme Court nominee who believes the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which found access to abortion to be part of the constitutional right to privacy, was incorrectly decided.

“I will vote only for those Supreme Court nominees who have explicitly acknowledged that Roe v. Wade is wrongly decided. By explicitly acknowledged, I mean on the record and before they were nominated,” Hawley, who has not yet had the opportunity to vote on a nominee to the high court since his election in 2018, told The Washington Post.

“I don’t want private assurances from candidates. I don’t want to hear about their personal views, one way or another. I’m not looking for forecasts about how they may vote in the future or predications. I don’t want any of that,” he added. “I want to see on the record, as part of their record, that they have acknowledged in some forum that Roe v. Wade, as a legal matter, is wrongly decided.”

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Hawley’s comments come a month after a 5-4 ruling striking down a Louisiana abortion law, a case both pro- and anti-abortion rights forces had viewed as the biggest test of the Roe v. Wade precedent since the confirmation of Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael Kavanaugh Klobuchar offers tribute to her father, who died Wednesday Conservative justices split in ruling for immigrant fighting deportation Supreme Court weighs whether to limit issuance of exemptions to biofuel blending requirements MORE in 2018. Chief Justice John Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee, was the swing vote in the ruling, as he was in cases involving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Roberts, for whom Hawley clerked, said during his 2005 confirmation hearing that the 1973 case was “settled as a precedent of the court.”

“This standard, for me, applies to Supreme Court nominees, whether they’re a sitting judge or whatever,” Hawley said. “If there is no indication in their record that at any time they have acknowledged that Roe was wrong at the time it was decided, then I’m not going to vote for them — and I don’t care who nominates them.”

There are no current vacancies on the court, but Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgJudge Judy on expanding Supreme Court: 'It's a dumb idea' Court watchers buzz about Breyer's possible retirement Five hot-button issues Biden didn't mention in his address to Congress MORE announced earlier this month that she is undergoing chemotherapy treatments, and some top White House officials have reportedly discussed the possibility of Justice Clarence ThomasClarence ThomasSupreme Court gets it wrong again, denying justice to those in uniform Overnight Defense: Top general drops objection to major change in prosecuting military sexual assault | Supreme Court declines to take up case from former West Point cadet | Pentagon says 'small' attacks not affecting Afghanistan withdrawal Supreme Court declines to hear case over former West Point cadet's rape allegations MORE retiring, although Thomas denied any plans to do so last year.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellWashington showing signs of normalcy after year of restrictions Former OMB pick Neera Tanden to serve as senior adviser to Biden Lawmakers reach agreement on bipartisan Jan. 6 commission MORE (R-Ky.) denied a vote or confirmation hearing for Judge Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Biden officials testify that white supremacists are greatest domestic security threat Watch live: Garland testifies before Senate panel on domestic extremism MORE, former President Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, in 2016, but he has said he would allow a vote on a Trump nominee in 2020.