Manchin ‘alarmed’ by Kavanaugh, Gorsuch’s votes on Roe
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he was “alarmed” that Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh voted to overturn Roe v. Wade after testifying that they believed the case was settled legal precedent during their confirmation hearings.
Manchin tweeted on Friday that he was “deeply disappointed” that the court chose to overturn Roe v. Wade, which has provided constitutional protections for abortion for nearly half a century.
“I trusted Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh when they testified under oath that they also believed Roe v. Wade was settled legal precedent and I am alarmed they chose to reject the stability the ruling has provided for two generations of Americans,” Machin wrote.
Manchin was one of three Democrats to vote to confirm Gorsuch and the only Democrat who voted to confirm Kavanaugh.
The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday in its ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The case concerned a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Six of the justices voted to uphold the Mississippi law, but only five, including Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, voted for the court to rule that abortion is not protected by the Constitution at all.
Manchin said he was raised “pro-life” but accepts that others might not share his definition of the term. He said exceptions to abortion bans should be made for instances of rape and incest and when the pregnancy puts the life of the mother at risk.
He added that he would support legislation to codify the rights guaranteed by Roe v. Wade into law.
Manchin voted last month against the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would have enshrined abortion protections into federal law, arguing the bill would have gone too far.
Other senators, including Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who voted to confirm Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, have also said that the justices voting to overturn federal abortion rights would contradict their previous statements that Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a 1992 case that affirmed the decision in Roe, was settled precedent.
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