On Sunday, Republican Senator Josh Hawley went on record with his opinion of Supreme Court nominees. For Hawley, conservatives shouldn’t nominate a judge who doesn’t think Roe v. Wade was “wrongly decided”.
Roe v. Wade, a 1973 Supreme Court decision, has confounded and infuriated conservatives since it was decided. The landmark case secures the legality of seeking an abortion in the United States.
Republicans Push Against Supreme Court
For decades, Republican lawmakers have pushed back against the ruling, testing it with laws in states and counties that seek to stifle abortion rights. The Supreme Court has beaten these attempts back time and again, however. Recently, the Supreme Court struck down a rule that would cause Alabama abortion providers to be required to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
While this may sound benign at first, the Supreme Court rightly found that this law would set a dangerous precedent. There are few medical benefits to requiring this of abortion providers. All it does it make it more difficult for Americans to seek an abortion, despite that right being secured in Roe v. Wade. As such, Republicans are antsy to see the case overturned.
Trump’s Nominees Disappoint
A recent string of high-profile cases, such as on DACA and LGTB rights, have been ruled in favor of the liberal justices. In many cases, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has been the deciding vote. In one case, Neil Gorsuch, one of Trump’s own appointees, ruled with the liberal wing of the court. This has left congressional Republicans feeling “betrayed,” according to sources close to the matter.
The president last month released a list of conservative judges he’d consider should another vacancy open up in his second term. This was meant to assuage the fears of conservatives, though they have begun to second-guess their champion. Many looked past Trump’s questionable record as a businessman in order to secure a Republican court.
Backlash Could Prove Damaging
Backlash against Trump’s own Supreme Court picks could be severely damaging. The president is already slipping in the polls nationally. Many handicappers are now predicting a Biden win in November. If this happens, Democrats will likely control the Senate and House of Representatives, as well.
This would be a major setback for Republicans, who are hoping to drive the Supreme Court further to the right and press issues like Roe v. Wade. Should Joe Biden and the Democrats control the government, they will likely confirm at least one justice to Supreme Court, if not more.