News and Commentary

207 Members Of Congress Urge SCOTUS To Reconsider ‘Roe v. Wade’
Abortionrights activist gathered outside the U.S. Supreme Court to protest against the recent abortion laws passed across the country in recent weeks. Tuesday, May 21, 2019.
Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Congressional Republicans have now taken aim at the infamous decision Roe v. Wade by urging the Supreme Court to revisit the nearly 50-year-old case that enshrined abortion as a constitutional right across all 50 states.

“Thirty-nine Republican senators and 168 members of the House of Representatives, almost all of them Republicans, signed a so-called ‘friend of the court’ brief filed on Thursday by the national anti-abortion group Americans United for Life in connection with a challenge to a Louisiana abortion access law due to be heard in March,” reports CNN.

“The Louisiana case before the court does not directly target Roe,” the report continued. “The law at issue requires a doctor to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility where the abortion is performed, which critics say is not medically justified.”

At least two Democrats – Reps. Collin Peterson (MN)  and Dan Lipinski (IL) – signed the brief alongside Republican Reps. Steve Scalise (LA), Liz Cheney (WY) and Steve Chabot (OH). Republican Sens. Ted Cruz (TX), Chuck Grassley (IA), and Tim Scott (SC) signed as well. Sens. Mitt Romney and Mike Lee of Utah were the only two Senators from the same state to sign the brief.

According to the brief, “Roe’s jurisprudence has been haphazard from the beginning” due to it becoming “a radically unsettled precedent” that “has been substantially undermined by subsequent authority.”

Arguing that previous court rulings “clearly did not settle the abortion issue,” the brief urges SCOTUS to “reconsider those precedents.” Brigitte Amiri, a lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said the brief should come as a surprise to no one.

“The brief is no surprise because anti-abortion politicians have always either taken direct aim at Roe v. Wade or attempted to push abortion access out of reach,” said Amiri. “Notably, this brief goes further than what the state of Louisiana has pushed by suggesting that Roe should be reconsidered even though the questions in the case don’t directly raise whether Roe v. Wade should be overturned.”

Katie Glenn, government affairs counsel for the group Americans United for Life, said that “there is no expectation that this case will overturn Roe v. Wade.”

“However, the court has the opportunity to reconsider the cases that have come before this case and in particular related to the workability of Roe and other precedents,” said Glenn.

Though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) did not sign the brief, a spokesman with his office said that Republicans support it.

“Senator McConnell is proud of his pro-life record and strongly supports the amicus brief filed by his colleagues,” spokesman David Popp told CNN.

Conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has previously hinted that the court should reconsider “erroneous precedent” such as Roe v. Wade.

“When faced with a demonstrably erroneous precedent, my rule is simple: We should not follow it,” Thomas wrote this past June, adding that precedent “may remain relevant when it is not demonstrably erroneous.”

“The Constitution tasks the political branches—not the Judiciary—with systematically developing the laws that govern our society,” he continued. “The Court’s role, by contrast, is to exercise the ‘Judicial Power,’ faithfully interpreting the Constitution and the laws enacted by those branches.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  207 Members Of Congress Urge SCOTUS To Reconsider ‘Roe v. Wade’