Democrat presidential primary contenders Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have both pledged that they will only nominate people to the Supreme Court who will protect Roe. v. Wade.
Sen. Sanders said he was asked on a television program whether he would have a Roe litmus test, “And let me tell you what I told him,” Sanders said to his enthusiastic audience in Birmingham, Alabama: “Yes, I will have a litmus test. I will not appoint anyone to the United States Supreme Court unless that man or woman is prepared to defend Roe v. Wade.”
As president, I will not appoint anyone to the United States Supreme Court unless they are prepared to defend Roe v. Wade. pic.twitter.com/X1jSxrIqUx— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 19, 2019
During the interview with Chuck Todd on Meet the Press, Sanders made the oft-repeated fallacious claim that the abortion issue pertains to a woman’s control over her body:
“The idea that women in this country should not be able to control their own bodies is beyond belief. They have that constitutional right,” Sen. Sanders said. “So if you’re asking me would I ever appoint a Supreme Court justice who does not believe in defending Roe versus Wade, who does not believe that a woman has a right to control her own body, I will never do that.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has pledged that as president, she will only select judicial nominees who will stand by the Roe ruling:
“So today, I’m announcing that as president, I will only nominate judges?—?including Supreme Court justices?—?who will commit to upholding Roe v. Wade as settled law and protect women’s reproductive rights.”
While she noted that this deviates from standard practice, she pointed to President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY):
I realize that traditionally, presidents and presidential candidates haven’t drawn lines in the sand on judicial appointments.
That tradition ended when Mitch McConnell obstructed the nomination process and stole a Supreme Court seat, when Donald Trump nominated dozens of ideologically extreme judges hand-picked by far-right think tanks, and when Republicans confirmed a Supreme Court Justice who is credibly accused of sexual misconduct.