Budowsky: Female GOP senators can destroy Roe v. Wade

Budowsky: Female GOP senators can destroy Roe v. Wade
© Anna Moneymaker, Greg Nash

At a moment when support for the rights of women is surging across the nation and around the world in what may someday be called the Female Century, it would be an epic tragedy if attacks against the legal rights of American women succeed with support from every Republican woman in the United States Senate, including those who call themselves moderate and pro-choice.

If Judge Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed by a party-line vote of unanimous Republican senators, creating a Supreme Court that will decide critical cases by unanimous party-line votes of five conservative Republican male justices, it will stain the reputation of the court and undermine the cause of equal justice for a generation.

Consider Roe v. Wade, which is now on the guillotine because of an aggressive long-term plan executed by the conservative legal establishment that is poised to win support  from Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsCongress must step up to protect Medicare home health care Business, conservative groups slam Trump’s national emergency declaration The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration MORE (R-Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration On The Money: Trump declares emergency at border | Braces for legal fight | Move divides GOP | Trump signs border deal to avoid shutdown | Winners, losers from spending fight | US, China trade talks to resume next week The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight MORE (R-Alaska) and every female GOP senator who may join them to wield the ax against abortion rights.

ADVERTISEMENT

At a minimum, Collins and Murkowski should refuse to support force-feeding a confirmation vote until they and all senators are granted access to  extensive Kavanaugh records that are currently being kept secret by the Trump White House.

They should consider the pleas of Sens. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharNewsom endorses Kamala Harris for president Pollster says current 2020 surveys like picking best picture Oscar before movies come out O’Rourke heading to Wisconsin amid 2020 speculation MORE (D-Minn.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisKamala Harris shopping trip stirs Twitter campaign trail debate Sanders expected to announce exploratory committee next week Bill Maher to Dems: ‘Let’s not eat our own’ in 2020 MORE (D-Calif.), who are fiercely defending the rights of women and others in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and assert that senators need these secret files to make informed decisions about the most important confirmation vote they will ever cast.

Collins, Murkowski and every senator should be clear about a defining fact of the Kavanaugh nomination. The war against Roe v. Wade can be supported by a nominee who pledges to uphold Roe v. Wade but votes to systematically destroy abortion rights, in case after case, piece by piece, for group after group.

Can anyone seriously believe the Federalist Society would recommend and President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE would nominate a pro-choice Supreme Court justice?

If Kavanaugh is confirmed, those spearheading the war against Roe v. Wade will push aggressive anti-choice legislation in deep-red states, laws which are carefully calculated to be upheld by the Supreme Court, by 5-4 party-line votes of conservative male Republican justices.

They will push red-state legislation to destroy abortion rights for immigrants, similar to the attack against those rights that Judge Kavanaugh voted to uphold in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. They will push new attacks against abortion rights for poor women, and against Planned Parenthood and health care centers serving women.

They will push systematic conservative GOP attacks against abortion rights, women’s rights, immigrant rights, voting rights, consumer rights, civil rights, equal rights, same-sex marriage rights, health care rights — including protections for citizens with pre-existing conditions — and legislation to protect students from being mass murdered in schools.

Many of these attacks will be enacted in red states during 2019. Some will be decided by the Supreme Court by June 2020, shortly before the national celebration of the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in August 2020 and before national elections in November 2020.

The national backlash will be severe against the GOP, and especially against female GOP senators who join Republican party-line Senate votes to confirm Kavanaugh, followed by 5-4 party-line votes of Republican justices, that make the long-planned conservative legal assault against critical rights the law of the land.

The five conservative Republican men of the Roberts Court, who have aggressively ruled in favor of Republicans on political questions from attacking voting rights of minorities to giving wealthy Americans the power to buy elections, will become the five conservative Republican men of the Trump Court, who will subvert the rights of women by party-line votes of Republican justices made possible by party-line votes of Republican senators. 

If this partisan nightmare for equal rights occurs, countless voters — especially multitudes of American women — will never trust Republicans again.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.