Under the U.S. Constitution, Supreme Court justices are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. This week, one Republican senator declared that any nominee who wants his support is going to need to pass a test.
“I will vote only for those Supreme Court nominees who have explicitly acknowledged that Roe v. Wade is wrongly decided,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) told the Washington Post on Monday.
“By explicitly acknowledged, I mean on the record and before they were nominated,” he continued. “I don’t want private assurances from candidates.”
Litmus test for nominees
“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 predications. I don’t want any of that,” Hawley added.
“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.”
“This standard, for me, applies to Supreme Court nominees, whether they’re a sitting judge or whatever,” the Missouri lawmaker insisted.
“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.”
Disappointment with Roberts
The Supreme Court has been in the news recently, with conservatives being bothered by a several decisions in which Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the court’s left wing.
Roberts, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, voted last month to strike down a Louisiana law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. This occurred despite his vote just a few years prior to uphold a similar law in Texas.
He also joined with the court’s four liberals to rule against President Trump’s attempt at unilaterally ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a policy enacted by President Obama under which illegal immigrants could receive work permits.
Although there are no current openings on the nation’s highest court, many legal observers are keeping a close eye on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a source of a possible vacancy in the near future.