Senate

Schumer, Pelosi: Draft Roe ruling ‘would go down as an abomination’

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) offered a blistering rebuke on Monday night of a draft ruling to overturn the landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. 

The draft ruling, published by Politico, was authored by Justice Samuel Alito and concludes by declaring that Roe and the court’s 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey have no grounding in the Constitution. The court is expected to issue an actual ruling in the case in the next two months.

But Schumer and Pelosi said that if the draft ruling is the court’s ultimate decision, it would “inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past fifty years — not just on women but on all Americans.” 

“The Republican-appointed Justices’ reported votes to overturn Roe v. Wade would go down as an abomination, one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history,” they added in a joint statement. 

Schumer and Pelosi accused “several” conservative justices on the Supreme Court of having “lied to the U.S. Senate, ripped up the Constitution and defiled both precedent and the Supreme Court’s reputation.” 

According to Politico, fellow conservative Justice Clarence Thomas as well as former President Trump’s three nominees — Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — had voted with Alito in conference. 

The leak — an unprecedented breach for a branch whose deliberations are tightly held — sparked fierce and immediate pushback from Democrats, including pouring new fuel on calls to nix the 60-vote legislative filibuster. But to get rid of the threshold, Democrats would need total unity from their 50-member caucus, something they don’t have. 

A bill to codify the right to an abortion also previously failed in the Senate earlier this year in a 46-48 vote, with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) voting with Republicans. 

Democrats also immediately seized on the draft ruling to try to energize their voters heading into November, when Republicans are feeling bullish about flipping the House and control of the Senate is also on the line. 

“If this report is true, this Republican attack on abortion access, birth control and women’s health care has dramatically escalated the stakes of the 2022 election. At this critical moment, we must protect and expand Democrats’ Senate majority with the power to confirm or reject Supreme Court justices,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Executive Director Christie Roberts said in a statement. 

And Pelosi and Schumer, in their joint statement, also appeared to point to the November elections, predicting that Republicans would have to answer if the Supreme Court does strike down Roe. 

“The party of Lincoln and Eisenhower has now completely devolved into the party of Trump.  Every Republican Senator who supported Senator McConnell and voted for Trump Justices pretending that this day would never come will now have to explain themselves to the American people,” they said. 

Tags Abortion abortion rights Charles Schumer Charles Schumer Clarence Thomas Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi Roe v. Wade Samuel Alito

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