Source: Jose Nino
On July 26, 2020, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley announced that he would only support a U.S. Supreme Court justice who believes that the Roe v. Wade decision is unconstitutional.
This 1973 decision determined that abortion access was part of a constitutional right to privacy.
“I will vote only for those Supreme Court nominees who have explicitly acknowledged that Roe v. Wade is wrongly decided. By explicitly acknowledged, I mean on the record and before they were nominated,” said to The Washington Post.
“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 predications. I don’t want any of that,” he continued. “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.”
Hawley has yet to vote on a Supreme Court justice since he was elected in 2018.
Hawley’s remarks came a month following a 5-4 ruling that struck down a Louisiana abortion law. Pro-life and pro-abortion activists saw this case as a major stress test of the Roe v. Wade precedent established since Justice Brett Kavanaugh was nominated in 2018.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who was appointed by George W. Bush, casted the swing vote in the ruling. He also played a crucial swing vote role in cases involving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and gender and sexual orientation discrimination.
Hawley used to clerk for Roberts. In his 2005 confirmation hearing, Roberts said that the 1973 case was “settled as a precedent of the court.”
“This standard, for me, applies to Supreme Court nominees, whether they’re a sitting judge or whatever,” Hawley stated. “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.”
On the court, there are no vacancies at the moment. Though Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg revealed earlier this month that she is receiving chemotherapy treatments. Some White House officials floated the idea of Justice Clarence Thomas retiring. However, Thomas denied any plans to do so in 2019.
Conservatives have largely been disappointed by the current wave of Supreme Court decisions and are now anxious for Senators to actually follow through and vote for solid justices.