The Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade is one of the most significant decisions the Court has taken over the last 40 years. Abortion is no longer considered to be a constitutional right to be enforced in the entire country, and it has been left to the states to decide whether it should be allowed to remain legal or not. As expected, Democrats have condemned the decision, while some have decided to channel the anger on the ballot box, and others have even called to start SCOTUS impeachment proceedings against the conservative justices.
The political reactions to the overturn of Roe v. Wade have followed the expected pattern. A vast majority of Republicans (except for Sen. Susan Collins) have applauded the decision, calling it a substantial victory for life and some even proposed a nationwide ban on abortion.
Democrats, on the other hand, have condemned the decision unanimously. President Joe Biden held a press conference at the White House just hours after the decision came out, calling it a “realization of an extreme ideology and a tragic error by the Supreme Court”, curiously omitting the fact that Biden himself voted for a bill to overturn Roe, and saying to the American electorate that “this fall Roe is on the ballot” in a clear pitch to improve the Democrat’s odds on the midterm elections.
Former President Barack Obama released a similar statement, saying that the Court “relegated the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues” and also called for Democrats to use the reversal of Roe as a motivation to energize their voters in the midterm elections.
Some Democrats call for SCOTUS impeachment, others accuse the Court of illegitimacy
While top Democrats have mostly focused their approach on using the outrage over the decision to motivate voters to the polls, others have adopted a more radical tone over the overturn. Some Democrat politicians have called for an impeachment of the Justices appointed by Trump and confirmed by the Senate, and others have cast doubts on the legitimacy of the Court, a fundamental institution for the functioning of American democracy.
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Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist (who ran as a pro-life Republican) released a statement to the press calling for the impeachment of Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch, saying that “Today’s ruling makes clear that Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh lied to Congress when they testified, under oath, that in their view Roe v. Wade was settled precedent” and that the Justices perjured themselves during their audiences.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) issued a statement saying that the “these extremists (the six Justices who overturned Roe) will not have the final word (…) we are angry- angry and determined. We will not go back. Not now. Not ever” and highlighted that Democrats still had many tools, from passing legislation to executive actions, to counter the ruling.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) chanted that the decision was “illegitimate” while at a protest on the steps of the Supreme Court, and also asked Senators Murkowski, Collins, and Manchin if “they believe there should be any consequences for all for misleading members of the US Senate”, an apparent allusion to the calls of impeachment against Kavanaugh and Gorsuch that other Democrats have floated.
Former Obama staffer Ben Rhodes, most known for his role in reestablishing relations between the U.S. and Cuba, also agreed with those who accuse the Court of illegitimate, posting a lengthy Twitter thread where he accuses the court of having an “extreme degree of illegitimacy”, even questioning the legitimacy of the conservative members of the Court over the last 22 years, including those that were approved with bipartisan support.
Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) made perhaps the most incendiary comments of any Democrat politician, as she said to reporters in front of the Supreme Court building that she was calling people to “fight” , defiantly saying “the hell with the Supreme Court! We will defy them.”