Washington July 5, 2018 – Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on the effect of the Supreme Court vacancy on Roe v. Wade:
“There’s no question that the right of women to control their own bodies is at stake with this Supreme Court vacancy. President Trump has repeatedly stated that he has litmus tests for judicial nominees, pledging during the campaign that they would be ‘pro-life’ and that Roe v. Wade would be overturned ‘automatically’ because he would put ‘pro-life justices on the court.’
“President Trump used outside groups that routinely advocate to overturn Roe, including the Federalist Society, to vet his list of 25 candidates to ensure they would meet his litmus tests. There’s no reason to believe the individuals on the short list would uphold women’s privacy rights when President Trump has repeatedly said that they would not and these groups ensured candidates met this test.
“We need more than a pledge from a nominee to ‘follow precedent.’ We’ve seen nominees make that pledge time and again, only to overturn precedent immediately once on the bench.
“In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Justice Roberts voted to overturn two Supreme Court precedents, one of which had been in place for two decades, to give corporations broad rights to spend money in elections, and Justice Gorsuch voted to overturn a 40-year-old precedent just last week in Janus v. AFSCME. We need to know that a nominee understands and is committed to the constitutional protections provided by Roe.
“With Roe v. Wade at stake, the Senate should not consider a nominee until after the election. With Republicans pushing to confirm a nominee before November, it’s critically important that the American people know what it would mean for women if their rights are further eroded.
“If Roe is overturned, many states are poised to limit or undermine access to contraception and impose damaging restrictions on women’s ability to make their own health care decisions. Doctors and nurses could be imprisoned. Women could be denied life-saving care in the event that their pregnancy goes terribly wrong. The effect of this Supreme Court nomination on women’s rights can’t be understated.”