House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sharply condemned members of the U.S. Supreme Court and certain Republican leaders who’ve backed the right-wing Justices — including former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — over a leaked draft majority opinion that would undo the legally established nationwide right to an abortion if made final. For the draft opinion or something similar to it to be made official would leave the question of abortion access to state leaders, and in dozens of states, Republicans would no doubt leap at the opportunity to restrict abortion.
The Senate should immediately abolish the filibuster and pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, codifying Roe v. Wade as law and protecting the right to an abortion from the stolen Supreme Court majority.
— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) May 3, 2022
The draft majority opinion — the authenticity of which has been confirmed by Chief Justice John Roberts — emerged in connection to a case concerning a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which is earlier than states have ordinarily been allowed to restrict access to the procedure. Roberts is the only Republican-appointed Justice to have evidently not expressed support for the draft majority opinion, but that left five Justices — including all three of Trump’s appointees, the document’s author Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas — behind it. The alignment of the Justices on the issue could shift before the expected late June point when a final decision is released. Pelosi commented as follows:
‘This monstrous draft decision is a sweeping and severe restriction of Americans’ rights. With it, Trump, McConnell and Republicans in Congress have assaulted privacy, precedent and the Constitution. Make no mistake: by striking down Roe v. Wade, the Court would pave the way for Republicans to obliterate even more of our freedoms. As drafted, Justice Alito’s argument — that women are not entitled to basic human rights today because they have been denied those rights for generations — is alarming and extremist. This draft ruling offers a dangerous blueprint for future assaults on some of our most cherished rights, which are rooted in the long-held constitutional right to privacy.’
I am asking every member of the Senate right now, what other judicial outrage must we endure from this illegitimate majority before we act?
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) May 3, 2022
Pelosi also added, among other points, that “radical Republican-appointed Justices are poised to inflict unthinkable suffering on tens of millions of families across our country, especially in communities of color and low-income communities.” Abortions won’t be inaccessible to everyone if the Alito decision or something like it is enacted — but low-income and other potentially marginalized people in Republican-controlled states will be particularly affected. Without considerable financial resources, you can’t exactly suddenly start upon a potentially long-distance trip to obtain an abortion. Amid Republican complaints about the impact on the integrity of judicial decision-making from the leak — complaints they’ve at times lodged in place of discussing the substance of the leak — Pelosi added, “In brazenly ignoring 50 years of its own precedent, the United States Constitution and the will of the American people, this draft ruling would seriously erode the legitimacy of the Supreme Court in the eyes of the American people.” It’s the substance of the opinion that’s the main problem.
A stolen, illegitimate, and far-right Supreme Court majority appears set to destroy the right to abortion, an essential right which protects the health, safety, and freedom of millions of Americans. There is no other recourse. We must expand the court.
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) May 3, 2022
Pelosi added that if the overturning of abortion rights is finalized, “Democrats will not relent in fighting back against the dire threat posed to women’s health, safety and well-being.” Check out more at this link.
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.):
"There is no other recourse. We must abolish the filibuster in order to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, and we must expand the Supreme Court in order to reclaim the stolen seats, and restore balance and the faith of the American people."
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) May 3, 2022