Schumer: Senate Democrats ‘infuriated’ over threat to Roe v. Wade
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) says Senate Democrats vented their anger and frustration at a private lunch meeting Tuesday over the substance of a leaked Supreme Court opinion that would strike down Roe v. Wade and the right to an abortion.
“If we had to pick a word that our caucus feels, it’s infuriated — infuriated by the alleged decision, infuriated by the lies these justices told us when they said they’d respect precedent, infuriated by our Republican colleagues who don’t tell the truth,” Schumer told reporters after the caucus lunch.
Schumer criticized Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who held a press conference moments before, for not owning up to his and other Republicans’ efforts to build a conservative majority on the Supreme Court to strike down abortion rights.
“It is utterly amazing that Mitch McConnell did not want to say he supports repealing Roe v. Wade at this meeting. Every time it was brought up substantively about Roe v. Wade, all he did was talk about the leaks,” he said. “Republicans are spending all their focus on the leak because they don’t want to focus on Roe v. Wade. They know they are on the wrong side of history.”
McConnell on Tuesday ducked a question about whether he felt victorious about the draft opinion striking down Roe v. Wade after his efforts to fill the court with conservative justices in 2017, 2018 and 2020. The GOP leader also declined to say whether he wants Congress to pass legislation banning abortion nationwide.
“I think the story today is an effort by someone on the inside to discredit the institution of the [Supreme Court], which continues a pattern that we’ve observed over the last couple years,” he said, citing Democratic criticisms of the court’s conservative majority.
McConnell and other Republicans have focused on the leak of the draft opinion, which Chief Justice John Roberts has said will be investigated.
McConnell also declined to comment on what impact a decision overturning Roe v. Wade would have on the election.
“All of this puts the cart before the horse,” he said.
Schumer accused his counterpart of trying to duck the impact of the potential ruling.
“They know they’re on the wrong side of the American people so they’re ducking it and hiding behind this so-called leaks situation,” he said.
“They spent a decade, two decades trying to repeal Roe, and now they won’t own up to it. They’re like the dog that caught the bus,” he said. “They know they’ll pay consequences in the 2022 elections, and their spin masters are telling them to avoid the subject.”
He called it “one of the most horrible decisions that looks like it’s coming from the Supreme Court in line with some of the worst decisions throughout the court’s history.”
Senate Health Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who attended a rally of Democrats protesting the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade, called it a “five-alarm fire.”
“This was always the Republicans’ end goal, ending the right to abortion. Extreme Republicans were never going to stop at the state level, and, mark my words, they’re not going to stop with Roe and the right to abortion either. They’re coming for your birth control, for all reproductive health care,” she warned.