Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) pulled no punches while delivering a scathing speech on Thursday after Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion justifying the intention to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked. Gillibrand commanded all the attention deserving of her well-placed anger, addressing not just Alito, but all men.
“I would like to speak to America’s men for one minute. Imagine you do not have authority over your own body for 10 months. Imagine if that decision-making would be taken away even if you would die in childbirth, even if you couldn’t decide who you’re having children with, even if you couldn’t decide when you were having that child,” the New York Senator vehemently declared.
“I would like to speak to America’s men for one minute …”
— The Recount (@therecount) May 5, 2022
Gillibrand’s remarks echoed the sentiment of women across the nation at that moment, watching in horror as 50 years of precedent and reproductive health care choice is on the precipice of being stripped away.
The righteously indignant Gillibrand called out the GOP-appointed Justices who sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee during their own confirmation hearings and vowed to respect the constitutional law, including Justices Kavanaugh, Barrett, Gorsuch, and Alito himself. At Alito’s own hearing in 2006, the right-wing activist justice had this to say about the court’s reliance on precedents:
“And it’s the principle that that courts in general should follow the past precedents. And it’s important for a variety of reasons, it’s important because it limited the power of the judiciary. It’s important because it respects reliance interest and it’s important because it reflects the view that courts should respect the judgments and the wisdom that are embodied in prior judicial decisions.”
Unsurprisingly, he lied, as those familiar with both Alito’s judicial record and his long-held disdain for Roe would know. According to The Guardian, while working for the Reagan Administration in 1985, Alito boasted of being “particularly proud” of his arguing “that the constitution does not protect a right to an abortion.”
Unfortunately, Justice Alito wasn’t alone in his duplicity.
During Justice Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings, he said he wasn’t “concerned” about abortion but instead was focused on judicial procedure, telling the Senate “I do not care if the case is about abortion or widgets or anything else.”
In 2005, now-Chief Justice Roberts lauded the importance of precedent and “settled law.” Roberts testified that to overturn precedent would be a “jolt to the legal system” and proclaimed that because a decision may have been “wrongly decided,” it isn’t justification enough to overturn it.
Apparently, Alito didn’t get that memo, writing in SCOTUS’ leaked majority opinion that:
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. It is time to heed the constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representative.”
The problem? With gerrymandering, state-sanctioned voter suppression, and the dismissal of the right to vote for whole classes of people, their representatives aren’t representing them much.
Sen. Gillibrand rightfully accused the Justices of lying during their hearings. Both Kavanaugh and Barrett, controversial Trump appointees, refused to admit their true intent. During Justice Handmaid’s rammed-through confirmation hearings, Justice Barrett told the Senate Judiciary Committee:
“Roe’s core holding that, you know would have a right to an abortion – I don’t think that would change.”
Barrett said that with a straight face, though in a 1998 article, Barrett stated that abortion is “always immoral.” Gillibrand wasn’t going to let Barrett, nor the other Justices, forget.
“Five Justices said they respect precedent, five said that Roe v. Wade was established precedent, five said they would never undermine established precedent,” Senator Gillibrand reminded everyone. “It is unconscionable what this decision will do to the American people.”
Gillibrand wasn’t alone in her outrage. Her Senate colleague Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) shared in her anger. Those old enough to remember the outspoken Senator’s 2017 speech criticizing newly elected President Trump’s job performance — when she was furious with the GOP’s attempt to overturn Obamacare — recall when she unapologetically said:
“What about President Trump? Has he kept any of these promises? No. F*** no.”
She then went on to call out her Congressional colleagues, saying:
“If we are not helping people, we should go the f*** home.”
Coming to her defense, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), said “I’ve always enjoyed that she’s someone who speaks her mind.”
So do we, Sen. Klobuchar. The left needs more of that right now.
In case you missed the evidence of the Right-wing Supreme Court Justices lying at their confirmation hearings, you can watch this video of the Justices’ false testimonies.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick