Democrats urge Congress to codify Roe v. Wade immediately, but do they have the votes?

After a report dropped Monday night claiming to contain a seemingly unprecedented leak of the Supreme Court’s decision related to Roe v. Wade, Democrats displayed their full disdain for the institution when they moved, not to defend the integrity of the court, but to debase the Justices and leverage the alleged decision they call an “abomination” as another tool in their political machinations.

Without confirmation from SCOTUS on the veracity of the report, Politico released what they claim to be a draft of Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The reported draft, dated February 2022, would ultimately overturn the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade that argued abortion was in part a Constitutional right, and return the authority to legislate the matter to the individual states as set forth by the Tenth Amendment.

Rather than express outrage that this leak, true or not, could detrimentally impact the court’s final decision on the matter and, by way of coercion, future decisions, Democrats have turned this report into a crisis that requires swift Congressional action while also calling out individual figures by name, and thus potentially jeopardizing their safety ahead of an actual decision.

In a joint statement released shortly after the leak, Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) argued the court “is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past fifty years – not just on women but on all Americans.”

“The Republican-appointed Justices’ reported votes to overturn Roe v. Wade would go down as an abomination, one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history,” their statement went on before further politicizing and polarizing the otherwise neutral branch of government and libeling members of the court. “Several of these conservative Justices, who are in no way accountable to the American people, have lied to the U.S. Senate, ripped up the Constitution and defiled both precedent and the Supreme Court’s reputation – all at the expense of tens of millions of women who could soon be stripped of their bodily autonomy and the constitutional rights they’ve relied on for half a century.”

With a final flourish, surely meant to jin up the base leading toward November’s midterms, they made this decision about former President Donald Trump, stating, “The party of Lincoln and Eisenhower has now completely devolved into the party of Trump. Every Republican Senator who supported Senator McConnell and voted for Trump Justices pretending that this day would never come will now have to explain themselves to the American people.”

Sharing a selected portion of the nearly 100-page alleged draft, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) went further with her attack and singled out Sen. Joe Manchin (D- W.Va.) and Justice Clarence Thomas as enemies of social justice causes, essentially referring to them as obstacles that must be overcome, “As we’ve warned, SCOTUS isn’t just coming for abortion – they’re coming for the right to privacy Roe rests on, which includes gay marriage + civil rights. Manchin is blocking Congress codifying Roe. House has seemingly forgotten about Clarence Thomas. These 2 points must change.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) went further still and argued this report meant it was time to alter the rules of the Senate and transform the barest majority currently held by the Democrat Party into complete dominion over the legislative process by removing the filibuster.

“Congress must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country NOW. And if there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate to do it, and there are not, we must end the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes,” he said.

The outcry stretched across social media and included former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who wrote, “Not surprising. But still outrageous. This decision is a direct assault on the dignity, rights, & lives of women, not to mention decades of settled law. It will kill and subjugate women even as a vast majority of Americans think abortion should be legal. What an utter disgrace.”

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Kevin Haggerty

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