Alternate headline: Pope Nancy is not amused. Nancy Pelosi rushed to the microphone, acknowledging at one point that her staff was still reading the Dobbs decision, to accuse the Supreme Court of “ripping away women’s rights” and realizing Republicans’ “dark extreme goal.” Pelosi placed the blame on Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell, but she left out an important player in how the Supreme Court got its current line-up:
Nancy Pelosi: “The radical Supreme Court is eviscerating Americans rights and endangering their health and safety…Today the Republican controlled Supreme Court has achieved their dark extreme goal of ripping away women’s rights to make their own reproductive health decisions.” pic.twitter.com/TcTxu5aINX
— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) June 24, 2022
Pelosi doesn’t spread the credit around enough. Let’s not forget the man who made all of this possible by dramatically altering Senate rules to eliminate the need for bipartisan cooperation on judicial confirmations:
We should build a pro-life monument to Harry Reid. But for him, this day would not have come.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) June 24, 2022
We could put Chuck Schumer on the same pedestal. The current Senate Majority Leader led an indisputably stupid attempt to filibuster Neil Gorsuch’s appointment to the Supreme Court in 2017, which led to McConnell’s retributive rule change that used Reid’s precedent to free up Gorsuch’s confirmation vote. That led directly to the confirmations of Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett too, giving the court its current 6-3 conservative lineup.
Harry Reid’s dark and partisan extremism started it all, though. Congrats to all the Senate Democrats who fell into a completely obvious and predictable trap in 2013. Well done. Your names will be engraved on the pedestal, surely.
Pelosi wasn’t the only Democrat in Congress going into full freak-out mode over the Dobbs decision today. We’ll likely have a lot more on that, but the more measured reaction from Joe Manchin provides an interesting contrast to Pelosi’s overwrought emoting over a return of abortion to legislatures rather than courts. Manchin, who didn’t go along with either Reid or Schumer on the filibuster manipulations in 2013 and 2017, said he felt he’d been misled by Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett:
“I trusted Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh when they testified under oath that they also believed Roe v. Wade was settled legal precedent and I am alarmed they chose to reject the stability the ruling has provided for two generations of Americans,” he said.
Neither of them promised to keep that “settled precedent” in place if it got called into question, though. There has been a cottage industry of perjury complaints since the leak of the draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito in the beginning of May to oust Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett for testifying to their respect for stare decisis, but that’s “utter nonsense,” Jonathan Turley wrote at the time. If Manchin thinks he’s been betrayed by an acknowledgment that Roe was “settled legal precedent” — which it was, until today — then he clearly was fooling himself.
Manchin then says that Congress should restore Roe:
Manchin said he was raised “pro-life” as a Catholic and still maintains that view.
“But I have come to accept that my definition of pro-life may not be someone else’s definition of pro-life. I believe that exceptions should be made in instances of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is in jeopardy,” he said.
Manchin said that he supports legislation that would codify Roe v. Wade into federal law, saying, “I am hopeful Democrats and Republicans will come together to put forward a piece of legislation that would do just that.”
Well … fine. Today’s decision in Dobbs doesn’t do anything to prevent Congress from codifying Roe into federal statute. Nor does it prevent Congress from passing a law forbidding abortion altogether, which Pelosi warns is coming next. What would likely prevent both is the will of the American public, which generally supports limited access to abortion during the first trimester and then opposes it afterward, a stronger limit than Roe‘s viability standard.
In fact, Congress always had that ability, even before today’s decision. Schumer tried to pre-empt the Dobbs decision last month, but stupidly chose to champion the position that Pelosi and other extremists support — abortion access at all times without any restrictions at all. Manchin balked at that bill, which blew up in Schumer’s face, an event that happens with amusing regularity under Schumer’s leadership. Democrats are about to find out who the real extremists are on abortion.
As for Pope Nancy, her Catholic bishop seems pretty happy with today’s results, probably including Pelosi’s agita.
Upon the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Dobbs Vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone released the following statement,
“The Arc of history is long but it bends towards justice.” Never have the words the Rev. Martin Luther King, the great prophet of human rights in the 20th century, rung more true. This historic Supreme Court decision would not have happened without fifty years of patient, loving, hard work by people of all faiths and none in diverse fields including social service, religion, law, medicine, culture, education, policy and politics. But our work has just begun. The artificial barriers the Supreme Court created by erecting a so-called Constitutional right out of thin air have been removed. The struggle to demonstrate we can build a culture that respects every human life, including mothers in crisis pregnancies and the babies they carry, continues. We must redouble our efforts to accompany women and couples who are facing unexpected or difficult pregnancies, as well as to offer mercy to those suffering the after-effects of the abortion experience. Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn, pray for us.