Senate Republicans Block Nomination of Julie Rikelman, Who Argued Against Dobbs

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 1, 2022   |   1:58PM   |   Washington, DC

Senate Judiciary Republicans voted today to block the nomination of Julie Rikelman, the radical pro-abortion attorney who argued against Dobbs.

Biden appointed the pro-abortion lawyer to a position on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals but the Senate committee deadlocked on her nomination today, with it ended in a tie vote because every Republican on the panel voted against her.

At her September confirmation hearing, Rikelman said she would “apply Dobbs faithfully” when asked about the Dobbs case that overturned Roe v. Wade. But Republicans doubted her sincerity and voted against her nomination today.

Now, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will have to obtain a vote on the Senate floor to bring her nomination out of committee. With a 50-50 tie, Democrats have a chance to get the nomination out of committee with a tiebreaking vote from pro-abortion Kamala Harris. But that assumes pro-life Democrat Joe manchin doesn’t vote with Republicans against doing so.

Rikelman represented the Mississippi abortion facility at the center of the Dobbs case as a lawyer with the Center for Reproductive Rights. In a historic June ruling, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade through Dobbs  and allowed states to begin protecting unborn babies from abortion again.

During a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Rikelman said she will follow the ruling even though she personally disagrees with it, Reuters reports. If confirmed, she would become a judge on the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Dobbs is now the law of the land, and I will follow it as I will follow all Supreme Court precedents,” she told the committee.

However, several Republican senators questioned her statement, pointing to her long record of abortion advocacy and public criticism of the June ruling.

“You have spent the majority of your professional life as an extreme zealot advocating for abortion,” U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told her, according to the report. “That is clearly a heartfelt and personal passion of yours.”

U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, also questioned Rikelman about her pro-abortion beliefs, pointing to a recent statement she made about the Dobbs ruling creating the “biggest public health crisis that we have seen in decades.”

“In a world in which more babies are being born and being born alive than being aborted, you call that a public health crisis?” Lee said.

Rikelman said she would put aside her personal views and do her duty as a federal judge to follow Supreme Court precedent, including the recent abortion ruling.

As LifeNews reported, the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, with a 6-3 majority ruling in the Dobbs case that “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion” — allowing states to ban abortions and protect unborn babies. The high court also ruled 6-3 uphold the Mississippi 15-week abortion ban so states can further limit abortions and to get rid of the false viability standard.

Chief Justice John Roberts technically voted for the judgment but, in his concurring opinion, disagreed with the reasoning and said he wanted to keep abortions legal but with a new standard.

Texas and Oklahoma had banned abortions before Roe was overturned and Missouri became the first state after Roe to protect babies from abortions and South Dakota became the 2nd. Then Arkansas became the third state protecting babies from abortions and Kentucky became the 4th and Louisiana became the 5th and Ohio became the 6th and Utah became the 7th and Oklahoma became the 8th and Alabama became the 9th. This week, Mississippi became the 10th and South Carolina became the 11th,Texas became the 12th with its pre-Roe law and Tennessee became the 13th.

“Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” Alito wrote.

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences,” Alito wrote. “And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer authored a joint dissent condemning the decision as enabling states to enact “draconian” restrictions on women.

Polls show Americans are pro-life on abortion and a new national poll shows 75% of Americans essentially agree with the Supreme Court overturning Roe.

Despite false reports that abortion bans would prevent doctors from treating pregnant women for miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies, pro-life doctors confirm that is not the case. Some 35 states have laws making it clear that miscarriage is not abortion and every state with an abortion ban allows treatment for both.