The Texas anti-abortion law, the United States Supreme Court, and Senator Shelley Moore Capito
By now, you’ve probably read or heard about the new Texas anti-abortion law which will significantly curtail abortion rights in that state:
Last night, the Supreme Court officially overturned five decades of settled law and permitted Texas' unconstitutional abortion ban to stand.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 2, 2021
Yes: They gutted Roe v. Wade without hearing arguments, in a one-paragraph, unsigned 5-4 opinion issued in the middle of the night.
(Note – I chose Clinton to summarize because (1) I believe she accurately summarizes what happened, and (2) as a reminder of 2016 to those who ignored the “elections have consequences” argument.)
West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito on Neil Gorsuch nomination to the court
From a March 21, 2017 op-ed supporting Neil Gorsuch by the senator in the Wheeling Intelligencer:
His past opinions demonstrate that he will honor constitutional protections afforded through due process, the right to bear arms, equal protection under the law and religious freedom.
Judge Gorsuch understands that the protections set forth in our Constitution, including the separation of powers, federalism and the Bill of Rights, provide Americans with an indispensable safeguard against government overreach.
Capito on Kavanaugh, Roe v. Wade and precedence
From Capito’s congressional website on September 14, 2018:
Democrats and others who oppose to Kavanaugh are concerned about what a Justice Kavanaugh could mean for possible legal proceedings against President Donald Trump and the future of abortion rights, as affirmed in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. . . .
As for abortion rights, Capito said it was a topic in her one-on-one discussion with Kavanaugh on July 12.
“The precedent has a heavy weight in making a decision,” she said.
Capito on Amy Coney Barrett
From WV Metro News last October:
Capito met with Barrett on Sept. 30; the senator told reporters following the meeting Barrett is committed to separating her personal views from her judicial work.
“I think you want a thoughtful, impartial set of justice to judge us as policymakers, to judge the president as the executive,” she said Wednesday. “Every check and balance that the court brings to us keeps us from veering too far from what the American people really want.”
Some recent polling on “what the American people really want” on the abortion issue
In May, polling site fivethirtyeight summarized:
On the question of whether the court should uphold Roe, the polling is clear: Americans want the court to keep it. These polls are all from October, but they largely tell the same story. Sixty-six percent of likely voters told Quinnipiac University that they agreed with the Roe decision establishing a woman’s right to an abortion. Meanwhile, 62 percent of registered voters told ABC News/The Washington Post that the Supreme Court should uphold Roe; 24 percent said they wanted the ruling overturned. Sixty-two percent of likely voters told Fox News that Roe should stand as is. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that 69 percent of Americans did not want the high court to overturn Roe.
More recently, in June, Gallup found:
Gallup's latest update on U.S. abortion attitudes finds 58% of Americans opposed to overturning the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, while 32% are in favor.
(Note – I realize neither the Texas law nor the Court’s decision overturns Roe v. Wade. It seems to this blogger, however, that the Texas law does render Roe’s protections useless in preventing the state from ending most abortions. Texas could not legally cancel Roe but what it has done has nearly the same effect.)
As of 3:30 PM, I have yet to see any comment by Senator Capito on the either the Texas law or the Supreme Court vote. In particular, will any WV reporter ask the senator about the judges she so enthusiastically confirmed? Perhaps, but I think the senator will then give a non-answer or simply move on. There will be no follow-up. Will any reporter cite Capito’s statements about her trust in Trump’s nominees upholding the Roe decision? Probably not. One possibility is WV Metro News’ Hoppy Kercheval who may ask the question but who will then allow Capito to change the question to something she can answer.
Is it too much to ask a West Virginia reporter to hold Senator Capito accountable for her past statements?
Trump states appear to be noticing
There is this:
John Seago, legislative director for Texas Right to Life, which helped write the legislation, says he has already heard from other states that are interested in copying this approach and the group is drafting legislation for some of them already. https://t.co/uiGMUaQnAp— TIMEPolitics (@TIMEPolitics) September 2, 2021
States are lining up to announce they'll be copying the Texas abortion law pic.twitter.com/kw3EZmzbQf— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) September 2, 2021
Finally, WV Delegate Mike Pushkin notes what is happening in this state:
Not surprised to see so many Republican colleagues chomping at bit to run a TX style abortion ban. Many of these guys spread disinformation about masks and vaccines as Covid death tolls rise. They’re not “pro life”. They’re playing a dangerous game with rights and lives of women pic.twitter.com/6vNV70R1fJ— (((Mike Pushkin))) (@pushkinforhouse) September 3, 2021