U.S. Senate’s Road to Supreme Court Hostile to Roe v. Wade Political News

Conservatives’ 6-3 outright majority on U.S. Supreme Court appears to be gaining momentum subversion Abortion rights for American women can be traced back to a 2016 Republican political conspiracy.

Prominent judicial conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who served on the court since 1986, died suddenly in his sleep at the age of 79 during a quail hunting trip in Texas.

The U.S. Constitution authorizes the U.S. president to nominate a person to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, and the Senate provides “advice and consent” to confirm the nominee.

Democrat Barack Obama was the current president at the time, Nominate Merrick Garlanda highly regarded U.S. Court of Appeals judge to replace Scalia.

It was March 2016, more than next presidential electionThe Republican leader in the U.S. Senate, conservative Mitch McConnell, said that’s why he refused to let lawmakers consider Obama’s options.

A leaked draft opinion suggests the Supreme Court is poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that decriminalized abortion nationwide [Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/AP Photo]

“The next justice could fundamentally change the direction of the Supreme Court and have profound implications for our country,” McConnell outlined his reasons for blocking Garland in a Senate speech.

McConnell said the vacancy is so close to a presidential election that no opposition party in the Senate has confirmed a Supreme Court nominee since the 1800s. Obama will never stand up again in his second term.

“The American people will likely elect a president who decides to nominate Judge Garland for consideration by the Senate,” McConnell said. “The next president may also nominate a very different person. Either way, our point is: give the people a voice to fill the void.”

By denying senators the right to consider Obama’s nomination, with Democrats calling it centrist and Republicans calling it a leftist, McConnell ensured that Obama’s nomination could not be confirmed and opened the door to changing the balance of the court.

“It was this decision that heavily politicized the court beyond what is normal and what has happened before,” Amanda Frost, a professor at American University’s Washington School of Law, told Al Jazeera.

“We’re in this place because Republicans refuse to confirm or even hold hearings for Obama’s nominee.”

In March 2016, when the announcement was made in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Federal Court of Appeals Judge Merrick Garland arrived with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to be introduced as Obama's Supreme Court nominee.
In March 2016, seven months before the presidential election, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Merrick Garland was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama [File: Andrew Harnik/AP Photo]

In his home state of Kentucky, McConnell boasted that he prevented Obama from giving Garland a chance to fill Scalia’s seat.

McConnell told supporters in August 2016: “One of my proudest moments is when I looked Barack Obama in the eye and I said, ‘Mr. President, you’re not going to fill this Supreme Court’s vacancy’.”

Before Scalia’s death, the Supreme Court’s ideological balance was 5-4, leaning to the right but moderately under Chief Justice John Roberts.

In November 2016, Republican candidate Donald Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Less than two weeks after taking office, on January 31, 2017, Trump nominated conservative Neil Gorsuch to succeed Scalia.

That April, Gorsuch was confirmed by Senate Republicans. Change Senate Rules Only a simple majority is needed instead of the 60 votes previously required to confirm Supreme Court nominees.

The rule change will also make it easier for presidential candidates to be confirmed by the high court.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, smiles as he leaves the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington in April 2017 after leading the Republican majority to change Senate rules and raise voting thresholds for Supreme Court nominees From 60 votes to a simple majority to push Neil Gorsuch for a confirmation vote.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell smiles after changing Senate rules to lower the threshold for Supreme Court justices from 60 votes to a simple majority to advance Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch [J Scott Applewhite/AP Photo]

“We have an eight-person court for a year because the Senate Majority Leader refuses to hold a vote,” said Abby Wood, a professor at the USC Gould School of Law, who echoed the impact of McConnell’s Game of Thrones. about justice.

Trump had promised on the campaign trail that if elected he would appoint justices who would overturn Roe v Wade.

“I’m for life,” candidate Trump said in a televised debate with Clinton. He said the overthrow of Roe “will happen automatically, in my opinion” because he will nominate several judges who oppose abortion rights to the court.

“The confirmation process is political,” Frost said, but judges appointed “for life and with guaranteed wages” should be impartial.

Kristen Blasey Ford, left, and U.S. Supreme Court appointee Brett Kavanaugh testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018.
Americans watch on cellphones, laptops and any available screen as Kavanaugh (right) and Kristen Blasey Ford testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2018 [File: AP Photo]

In 2018, Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh Replacing retired Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was seen as centrist in his rulings, including Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992, which upheld Roe’s abortion rights.

Kavanaugh is backed by the right-wing Federalist Association, which helps place conservative judges on the federal bench.

He has survived a bitter confirmation battle after high school and college classmates filed sexual misconduct allegations against him. The Senate confirmed him by a vote of 50 to 48.

then liberals Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies On September 18, 2020, the presidential election is just six and a half weeks away.

Ginsberg, who had suffered a long bout of cancer, dictated a dying wish to her granddaughter, that she not be replaced on the court, until a new president was elected – seemingly in step with McConnell’s 2016 rule.

Trump moved swiftly to nominate Christian conservative Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ginsburg, who had been a champion of women’s rights.

“the same person [McConnell, who blocked Garland] Then after refusing to do it for President Obama, turned around and pushed for another presidential nomination in an election year,” Wood told Al Jazeera.

President Donald Trump and Amy Coney Barrett stand on the Blue Room balcony after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas takes her oath on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, October 26, 2020 .
President Donald Trump and Amy Coney Barrett stand at the White House after being sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on October 26, 2020 on the balcony [File: Patrick Semansky/AP Photo]

Barrett was nominated on September 26, comfirmed by Senate Republicans a month later in a 52-48 party-line vote, just eight days before the election of Democrat Joe Biden as president.

The pitch has a solid 6-3 conservative leaning.

“They have an unprecedented partisan blockade of Judge Garland, but they are erecting a monument to hypocrisy to put Judge Barrett on the bench,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in Senate remarks at the time.

“The far right has never had a majority on the court to limit Roe v. Wade. But if Judge Barrett becomes Justice Barrett — very likely,” Schumer warned at the time.

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