Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said Thursday he plans to vote against any Supreme Court nominees who haven’t publicly come out against the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision, adding that the GOP owes it to pro-life voters to take a hard-line stance on the issue.
“I will vote only for those Supreme Court nominees who have explicitly acknowledged that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, the day it was decided,” he said during a speech from the Senate floor.
“I will vote for those nominees only and those nominees alone,” Hawley continued. “And when I say explicitly acknowledged, I mean on the record before they are nominated. I do not want private assurances. I do not seek them. I do not want forecasts about future votes or future behavior, because frankly, I wouldn’t believe them. I don’t want promises of any sort. I want evidence that Supreme Court nominees will obey the Constitution and the law. I want to see in the record clear acknowledgment, that any nominee understands Roe to be the travesty that it is.”
He added, “And if that record is not there, then I will not support the nomination. I don’t care who does the nominating.”
The Missouri Republican referred to the Roe v. Wade decision as “judicial imperialism” and compared it to the racial segregation case of Plessy v. Ferguson and the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision, which held that Black people were not entitled to the rights outlined in the U.S. Constitution.
“Roe is the very essence of judicial imperialism. It is a brazen power grab by unelected justices imposing their moral and social views on the nation,” Hawley explained earlier in his speech. “Just like another group of justices did in a case called Plessy vs. Ferguson. Just like another group of justices did before that, in a case called Dred Scott. And yes, I do mean to compare Roe to those earlier cases because Dred Scott and Plessy and Roe belong together. They are the worst miscarriages of justice in our history. The worst judicial opinions of all time… [They] are abusive, morally repugnant decisions that wounded the soul of this nation.”
Hawley said those who believe the issue to be a losing battle should realize that “every single life is worth fighting for.” He also claimed GOP voters have supported Republican candidates for decades, based solely on their promise to push through pro-life legislation and to appoint pro-life judges throughout the U.S. court system.
“I take this stand because I believe it is what justice and fidelity to the law requires in our time — of me — and of those who would exercise the awesome power of judicial review, entrusted to justice in Article III of our Constitution,” he added. “And I also believe it’s what the Republican party owes the millions — millions of Americans — who have made this cause the reason for their vote for many years. These men and women of goodwill and faith who labor still, day in and day out, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation — working for that time when justice will be done.”