Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) drew a red line for his future support of Supreme Court nominees, as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sen. Hawley told The Washington Post that going forward, he would exclusively support nominees that firmly believe that the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade was “wrongfully decided.” The Missouri Republican said that such a stance on the abortion ruling should predate a nominee’s candidacy, and must be “explicitly acknowledged” on the record.
“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 predictions,” Sen. Hawley told WaPo. “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.”
Sen. Hawley’s new mantra comes after the Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law that would require those who perform abortions to obtain admitting privileges to local hospitals. The high court upheld previous precedent from Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, but the ruling authored by Justice Breyer is seen as a setback for the pro-life movement. Sen. Hawley said that his commitment to only supporting jurists who oppose Roe v. Wade on a legal basis transcends the party identification of the president who nominates judges:
“If there is no indication in their record that at any time they have acknowledged that Roe was wrong at the time it was decided, then I’m not going to vote for them — and I don’t care who nominates them,” he told WaPo.
Judicial nominees represent a huge aspect of President Trump’s first term in office, with 200 federal judges confirmed to lifetime appointments thus far, along with two Supreme Court justices. Sen. Hawley’s red line is the first of its kind from Senate Republicans, as the possibility of a Supreme Court vacancy looms.