Hawley: I’ll Only Vote for Supreme Court Nominee Who Disavows Roe v. Wade

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Clearly disgruntled by some of the recent Supreme Court decisions that have come down from our supposedly-conservative panel of judges, Sen. Josh Hawley said Sunday that he will not compromise when it comes to the next nominee. In an interview with the Washington Post, the Missouri Republican said that unless a judge is on record saying that Roe v. Wade should be thrown out, they won’t get his confirmation vote.

“I will vote only for those Supreme Court nominees who have explicitly acknowledged that Roe v. Wade is wrongly decided,” Hawley said. “By explicitly acknowledged, I mean on the record and before they were nominated. I don’t want private assurances from candidates. I don’t want to hear about their personal views, one way or another. I’m not looking for forecasts about how they may vote in the future or predications. I don’t want any of that. I want to see on the record, as part of their record, that they have acknowledged in some forum that Roe v. Wade, as a legal matter, is wrongly decided.”

With certain sitting justices experiencing myriad health problems, speculation is running high that President Donald Trump could be forced to make another Supreme Court nomination before the end of the year. While that would open up the door, potentially, to an opportunity to swing the court even further to the right, conservatives have been unhappy with what they’ve seen from the Roberts court this term. Several crucial rulings have veered into judicial interpretation and away from the constitutional originalism that many Republicans want from the court.

It is increasingly clear that a “conservative” ruling record is not necessarily enough to ensure a fair and constitutional Supreme Court judge.

Last month, for instance, conservatives were aggrieved when the Supreme court ruled 5-4 against a Louisiana abortion law that many saw as a door to more restrictive pro-life legislation. As he has been in many of the court’s more liberal rulings, Chief Justice John Roberts was the swing vote, siding with the left-wing judges in striking down the law. The ruling dashed the hopes of Republicans in Ohio, Georgia, and other states where abortion laws are also winding their way through the courts. If this carefully-selected group of judges isn’t going to recognize the fatal flaws in Roe v. Wade, then what recourse do pro-life Republicans have?

In the Washington Post interview, Hawley said his stance isn’t solely about getting rid of abortion.

“Roe is central to judicial philosophy,” he said. “Roe is and was an unbridled act of judicial imperialism. It marks the point the modern Supreme Court said, ‘You know, we don’t have to follow the Constitution. We won’t even pretend to try.’”