• December 7, 2021

Amy Klobuchar Renews Breyer’s Retirement Call for Justice Amid Texas Abortion Law

Sen. Amy Klobuchar renewed her call Sunday for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to stand down “sooner rather than later,” saying the superior court’s decision last week to allow Texas’ extremely restrictive anti-abortion law to enter In force makes the liberal justice decision even more urgent.

“I think if he is seriously considering retirement, and has said that he would do so based not only on his own health, but also on the future of the court, if this decision does not call for that, I will not. he knows what he’s doing, “the Minnesota Democrat told CNN’s Dana Bash on” State of the Union. ”

“I think, if he’s going to do it, sooner rather than later,” he continued. “And again, as you know Dana, that’s not necessarily going to change the results, but at least it doesn’t put it at 7-2.”

The conservative Supreme Court majority led a 5-4 ruling Wednesday night to deny an emergency appeal to abortion providers in Texas who were fighting a law passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature and signed by its republican governor. The law prohibits abortion after six weeks, a point at which many people still do not know they are pregnant, without exception for rape or incest, and includes incentives for private citizens to sue those who help obtain the procedure by rewarding them with a $ 10,000 reward.

In response to the court’s decision, Liberal Justices Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan wrote searing dissenters calling the Texas law “blatant” and “obviously” unconstitutional. Sotomayor said most judges “chose to bury their heads in the sand” when “they were presented with a request to ban a blatantly unconstitutional law designed to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny.”

The Supreme Court’s decision to allow Texas to comply with the law is the result of the Republican Party’s reliance on unpopular elections and institutions that do not represent the majority, such as the high court, to achieve its goals. Three of the associate justices who cast the decisive votes, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, were appointed by former President Donald Trump, who won the White House in 2016 despite losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million.

Barrett, the most recent judge to join the court, replaced the late Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who decided not to retire at age 80 after multiple cancer outbreaks at a time when her replacement could have been appointed by the then president. Barack Obama in 2013 or 2014. Ginsburg died of cancer just weeks before the 2020 election, leaving room for Trump to replace her with another opponent of Roe v. Wade. Democrats have called for Breyer’s retirement so that President Joe Biden can be the nominee for his replacement and the Senate can vote on confirmation, while Democrats have a majority in the House.

In late August, Breyer said he was struggling to decide when he should retire and that he “inevitably” has to think about who might take his place. The 83-year-old told The New York Times that he does not “think I’m going to stay there until I die,” recalling a quote from Antonin Scalia in which the late judge said, “I don’t want anyone appointed who will just reverse everything I’ve done for the last 25 years. ”

Klobuchar told CNN on Sunday that he still supports the expansion of the number of Supreme Court seats and that the court’s decision on Texas anti-abortion law is just the latest example of why. But the senator stressed that Democrats can prevent the law from gaining traction by codifying Roe v. Wade and abolishing filibuster in the Senate.

“I don’t think you should use an archaic rule that allows us to put our heads in the sand, use the words of Judge Sotomayor, put our heads in the sand and not take action on the important issues, the challenges that we face. country at this time and in the next few years, ”said the senator. “We just won’t get anywhere if we keep this obstructionism in place.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Said Thursday that Democrats will vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill that would codify Roe v. Wade and would enshrine abortion rights in federal law. Democrats could also try to widen the pitch as Klobuchar mentioned, but neither option would be approved by the Senate since it would need 60 votes of support to avoid an obstructionism.

Biden ordered the Gender Policy Council and the White House Office of the General Counsel to “launch a government-wide effort to respond to” the court’s decision, including investigating what the Justice and Health departments can do. and Human Services to ensure that people in Texas can access abortions.

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