Although the U.S. Supreme Court handed down many noteworthy cases on Thursday, including one further protecting the Second Amendment, it still has yet to hand down Dobbs v. Jackson. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was still asked about it during the day's briefing, though, in preparation for when the decision does come down.
A reporter had asked "just to be clear, will the president accept this decision as legitimate even if he disagrees with it," speaking about about Dobbs overturning Roe v. Wade.
A reporter asks if Joe Biden will respect the decision of SCOTUS if Roe v Wade is overturned.— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) June 23, 2022
KJP: "It's going to be a decision that we're certainly going to respond to. So I'll leave it at that." pic.twitter.com/5d1w95Phaz
As one can see from Jean-Pierre's response, though, she didn't provide any clarity at all. "It's going to come from the Supreme Court, so it's going to be a decision that, uh, we're certainly going to respond to, so I'll leave it at that." She went on to say that "it's just like any other Supreme Court decision, just like the one that they did today on guns," which the White House did indeed respond to by way of a statement from President Joe Biden himself that condemned the decision, as did the Department of Justice (DOJ), which had its own bizarre response.
Jean-Pierre also tried to claim that because the draft indicating the Court was going to use it to overturn Roe had been leaked, they "didn't want to speak to it too much until there's an actual decision that we know is, uh, supposed to be coming." She also tried to tell the reporter "we're doing our due diligence to be prepared," yet conceded "I just don't have anything for you at this time."
Jean-Pierre ultimately did not have a concrete response, though she did take some time to communicate as much. She responded that the reporter's question was "an important question, because this decision, that we are all anticipating coming forth is going to be--is going to change so many's lives, so many people's lives, take away women's rights. So we understand the question, we are just still trying to figure, go through in having that discussion to see what our options are before we move forward." The press secretary pointed out they "don't want to get ahead of the president, clearly" and also shared that "we will ask Congress to restore Roe."
The White House has strongly advocated for passing the Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA), which will not only "restore" Roe, as Jean-Pierre claims, but expand it. While it passed the U.S. House of Representatives last September, the bill has failed in the U.S. Senate, twice, thanks to the filibuster and opposition even from Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Susan Collins (R-ME), who want to codify Roe but acknowledge this legislation goes too far.