Senator Josh Hawley has had enough.
After Chief Justice John Roberts joined the four liberals on the Supreme Court to strike down a Louisiana pro-life law that saves babies from abortion and protects women’s health, the Missouri Republican has forcefully spoken out, saying he does not want to be betrayed again by Republican nominees who are supposed to be Constitutionalists who oppose legislating from the bench.
“I will vote only for those Supreme Court nominees who have explicitly acknowledged that Roe v. Wade is wrongly decided.” Hawley told The Washington Post. “By explicitly acknowledged, I mean on the record and before they were nominated.”
“This standard, for me, applies to Supreme Court nominees, whether they’re a sitting judge or whatever,” Hawley said. “If there is no indication in their record that at any time they have acknowledged that Roe was wrong at the time it was decided, then I’m not going to vote for them — and I don’t care who nominates them.”
Hawley continued: “I don’t want private assurances from candidates. I don’t want to hear about their personal views, one way or another. I’m not looking for forecasts about how they may vote in the future or predictions. I don’t want any of that. I want to see on the record, as part of their record, that they have acknowledged in some forum that Roe v. Wade, as a legal matter, is wrongly decided.”
“This is not an attempt to push forward a particular person,” Hawley said. “This is about where I’m going to be on Supreme Court nominees.”
The senator also said the infamous Roe abortion case was one of the biggest Supreme Court overreaches in its history.
“Roe is central to judicial philosophy. Roe is and was an unbridled act of judicial imperialism. It marks the point the modern Supreme Court said, ‘You know, we don’t have to follow the Constitution. We won’t even pretend to try,'” Hawley complained.
The pro-life senator is a member of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, where he will have a chance to put this new pro-life standard into practice. And with the next president likely having multiple Supreme Court nominees, and with Republicans holding a narrow majority in the Senate and on the committee, Hawley’s comments could determine the committee outcome of a nominee who fails to meet that standard.
Roberts joined the pro-abortion majority and issued his own opinion relying on Supreme Court precedent, saying that because the high court had struck down a Texas law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges so they can get urgent medical care for women injured by botched abortions, a similar Louisiana law should be struck down too. Yet he went against his own judgement because he voted with the court’s minority to uphold to Texas law.
But his reasoning and his leaving unborn babies and women’s health high and dry did not go over well with pro-life groups.
“Chief Justice Roberts’ vote is a big disappointment. He is apparently adhering to an extreme view of stare decisis,” said James Bopp, general counsel for National Right to Life. “This decision demonstrates how difficult it is to drain the D.C. swamp and how important it is that President Trump gets re-elected so that he may be able to appoint more pro-life Justices.”
Judicial Crisis Network President Carrie Severino told Lifenews.com, “Today the liberal justices, led by Chief Justice Roberts, once again appointed themselves members of our nation’s de facto medical board. These five decided today that they would rather be doctors than judges.”
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Family Research Council President Tony Perkins was shocked and deeply disappointed in the decision. He told Lifenews.com that he was upset Roberts “joined the Court’s four liberals to deliver a 5-4 vote striking down the law as unconstitutional” but he was delighted that “President Trump’s two Supreme Court appointments — Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh — dissented from the opinion.”
While Roberts was a disappointment, pro-life Americans found hope in the fact that both of President Donald Trump’s nominees rejected the majority’s pro-abortion opinion and Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh dissented in June Medical Services v. Russo.
“We are pleased that the two Justices appointed by President Trump voted to protect women and to uphold the Louisiana pro-life law,” said Bopp.
Gorsuch wrote a strong, critical dissent of the majority opinion, slamming the justices for ignoring “an array of rules” that keep the judiciary branch in check.
The rules make “sure that we are in the business of saying what the law is, not what we wish it to be,” Gorsuch wrote in his dissent. “Today’s decision doesn’t just overlook one of these rules. It overlooks one after another.”
At length, he listed Louisiana’s concerns for women’s health, including dozens of health and safety violations at abortion facilities, botched abortions, and new evidence suggesting abortion facilities may not have reported the rape of a young girl to authorities.
“At least one Louisiana abortion provider’s loss of admitting privileges following a patient’s death alerted the state licensing board to questions about his competence, and ultimately resulted in restrictions on his practice,” he wrote.
Kavanaugh also wrote a short dissent, arguing that the court should have remanded the case back to the lower court for a new trial and additional factfinding.