House Judiciary Panel to Hold Hearing on ‘Implications’ of SCOTUS Overturning Roe v. Wade
© AP Photo / Jose Luis MaganaDemonstrators protest outside of the Supreme Court Tuesday, May 3, 2022 in Washington. A draft opinion suggests the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide, according to a Politico report released Monday. Whatever the outcome, the Politico report represents an extremely rare breach of the court's secretive deliberation process, and on a case of surpassing importance.
© AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana
On Wednesday, Senate Republicans and West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin blocked the initiation of cloture on the Democratic-led Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill seeking to codify the right to abortion into law ahead of the anticipated SCOTUS decision to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
As US lawmakers trumpet their respective positions on abortion amid last week’s SCOTUS leak, the House Judiciary Committee intends to hold a hearing May 18 regarding the potential implications of the high court overturning its landmark decision that protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to elect to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.
The hearing is scheduled to take place at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), chair of the Judiciary subcommittee on courts, argued that GOP lawmakers have yet to analyze how SCOTUS overturning the 1973 decision could have unintended consequences for non-traditional child-rearing methods, such as in vitro fertilization.
“Congress needs to examine the ramifications of the decision, the effects that it will have on the people of the country, and it's going to be an ongoing process,” Johnson said, as reported by NBC News.
During a brief interview on Friday, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, emphasized that the congressional committee is keeping an open mind in examining the potential implications of the high court carrying out such a decision.
“What are the implications? What are all the implications? I think we know a lot of them but what are all the implications?” posed the House Judiciary chair.
While the matter is rooted in women’s reproductive health, it also impacts young girls capable of carrying children, highlighted Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA), asserting that Wednesday’s hearing will “expose the extremism of this leaked opinion” - referring to SCOTUS Justice Sam Alito’s leaked majority draft opinion.
Dean, who sits on the House Judiciary committee and co-chairs the bipartisan Women’s Caucus, argued that Alito’s leaked opinion “is literally undoing 50 years of precedent and signaling that they will go after other privacy rights.”
“No one is safe,” she added.
The planned House committee hearing comes just two days after the US Senate failed to implement a preemptive measure that calls for the codification of abortion rights. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), considered a moderate Democrat, was the only lawmaker to break rank along the 49-51 vote earlier this week.
Nadler, in response to Wednesday’s vote, proclaimed that legal abortion access is “fundamental to women’s health, equality, autonomy, and personal liberty.” Furthermore, the rollback of Roe v. Wade could be a slippery slope toward the undoing of all Americans’ “right to make their one decisions about their bodies, their lives, and their futures,” tweeted the House Judiciary chair.
The US Senate on Monday unanimously voted in favor of the ‘Supreme Court Police Parity Act,’ a bill introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) that calls for the permittance of security for SCOTUS families.
Meanwhile, amid reports of pro-abortion activists targeting Supreme Court clerks and their families, Rep. Greg Stanton (D-AZ) introduced the ‘Supreme Court Families Security Act’ (HR7712), which seeks to allow the Marshal of the Supreme Court to authorize and assign security for the immediate families of SCOTUS justices, as well as court clerks and other employees.
Cornyn has publicly chided Stanton’s legislative effort, suggesting the congressman’s “partisan bill” effectively “ignores the good faith work that was being done here in the Senate to build consensus and expands this legislation to include divisive provisions, like potentially extending police protection to the very person who leaked the draft opinion.” Stanton and Nadler have rejected accusations of partisan motivations.