Supreme Court abortion hearing raises questions to senators

Washington (Associated Press)-When confirming to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh persuaded Senator Susan Collins that he believed that women’s right to abortion was “Established law,” It is said that the court case affirms that it is “precedent before precedent” and cannot be overturned casually.

Amy Coney Barrett (Amy Coney Barrett) told the senators at the Senate confirmation hearing that the law cannot be repealed solely on personal beliefs, including her own beliefs. “It’s not Amy’s law,” she quipped.

But in this week’s The landmark Supreme Court hearing A law in Mississippi may restrict (if not completely end) women’s abortion rights. The two newest justices’ tone of voice is very different, attracting Question line It is generally believed that this is part of the court’s willingness to repeal the decision to obtain abortion services decades ago.

This disconnect raises new questions about the nature, purpose, and stage of the Senate confirmation process, which some people say are serious violations. This is creating difficult politics for Collins and another Senate Republican who supports abortion rights, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, because the country is facing the potential collapse of the law.

“I support Luo,” Collins said as he hid in the elevator shortly after the argument in court on Wednesday.Republicans in Maine voted to confirm Kavanaugh, but Against Barrett’s nomination Because it is too close to the 2020 presidential election.

Murkowski declined an interview in the corridors of the Capitol on Thursday and did not provide further public comment.She opposed Cavano And supports Barrett, both of these nominees are narrowly passed candidates in the divided Senate.

The court’s decision in the Mississippi case may not be known until June, but the consequences of this week’s debate are renewing concerns that the judiciary, like other civic institutions in the country, is becoming deeply politicized, and Congress—especially the Senate. -This must be done to better play the role of the constitution and provide suggestions and consent for presidential candidates.

Neil Siegel, a professor of law at Duke University, said: “This is not to say that the senators are too naive and too trusting.” “I think the problem is that our polarization is very serious. The nomination and confirmation of judges (including justices) is a political process.”

The confirmation hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee is a stressful business, and the hours-long meeting usually drags on for a few days as one senator after another asks questions about how the presidential candidate handles the law.

The shocking accusation erupted at Kavanaugh’s 2018 hearing when he sexually assaulted Christine Blasi Ford’s teenager at a family gathering decades ago, claiming that he strongly denied it.

The abortion debate has always been the top priority of the confirmation hearing, but because Republican Donald Trump nominated three conservative justices during the presidency, the senators quickly focused their attention, which could lead to nine members. The formed court is far away from centrists and liberals.

Suddenly, about Roe v. Wade and Family Planning v. Casey As Republicans achieve their long-term goal of reducing abortion opportunities, this has become a very real problem for American women.

Kavanaugh repeatedly told senators under the interrogation of Democrats and Republicans that women’s right to abortion had been confirmed.

“Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, the Supreme Court has recognized the right to abortion — it has confirmed it many times,” he told RS.C Senator Lindsey Graham.

For California Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein (Dianne Feinstein), Kavanaugh emphasized the “importance of precedent” in previous court rulings and that “women have the constitutional right to have abortions before they survive”, referring to It is a question raised under Mississippi law at 24 weeks of pregnancy, which will lower the threshold to 15 weeks.

After making assurances in the two-hour meeting, he won the support of Collins, who was not in the group.

However, in court hearings this week, Kavanaugh read from a long list of court cases that overturned past precedents and questioned why the courts cannot do the same with abortions now.

“If you consider some of the most important cases, the most important cases in court history, there are a series of cases that overturned precedents,” he said.

Kavanaugh said at the court hearing that the abortion debate was “difficult” and maybe the court should leave it to the states to decide-basically ending federal protection.

The senators said that the judges may simply raise a series of questions, forcing state and federal lawyers to respond, rather than reflecting their own understanding of the law.

However, Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota had intense exchanges with Kavanaugh and Connie Barrett during the confirmation war — and both voted against — she said she What she heard from the court was in line with her expectations.

“I’m not surprised at all,” Klobuchar said.

Barrett told the senator that Rowe v. Wade was not a “super precedent,” and legal scholars described it as the case has been resolved, and no one asked to re-examine them.

However, as a conservative Christian, she insisted that her views did not work. “This is not Amy’s law,” she told the senators. “This is the law of the American people.”

This week, Barrett asked attorneys to explain why women cannot simply give up their babies for adoption, because states have safe harbor laws. “Why don’t you address the safe haven laws and why are they not important?”

When asked about the disconnect between Senate hearings and court debates, Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois (currently chairman of the Judiciary Committee) acknowledged the limitations of hearings, but avoided making judgments until the court issued a ruling.

Perhaps since Ruth Bader Ginsburg told the senators at her own confirmation hearing in 1993 that the decision to have children is “at the core of women’s rights and dignity,” the nominee’s views have been less straightforward. The norm now is for nominees to stick to their opinions.

“We can’t ask for an affidavit,” Durbin said. “I believe that individuals and their life experiences are more predictive of the outcome of future cases than any statement they make to the committee.”

Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn (John Cornyn), a former judge, ignored the discrepancies between what was said at the committee’s hearing and considered it a fact in political life.

“I have seen too many confirmation conversions. People basically deny what they have done and said in the past to get confirmation, but once we have someone confirmed, we are basically powerless,” said Cornyn, who voted to confirm Kavanaugh and Barrett.

“I don’t think they are fake,” he said. “I think there are some useful discussions, but obviously voting in a different way than what you said at the hearing has no consequences.”


Associated Press writer Mary Claire Jalonic contributed to this report.

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