(ConservativePeak.com)- There is a lot of speculation about whether there will be an opening on the Supreme Court before President Donald Trump’s first term ends in January 2021.
If there is, we know how one senator says he plans to vote.
On Sunday, first-term Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri said he’d only vote for a justice if he or she thinks the Roe v. Wade decision was decided incorrectly back in 1973. That ruling, as many know, found that access to abortion was part of the Constitution’s right to privacy.
“I will vote only for those Supreme Court nominees who have explicitly acknowledged that Roe v. Wade is wrongly decided,” Hawley said. “By explicitly acknowledged, I mean on the record and before they were nominated.
“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. 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.”
Hawley, who was elected to the Senate in 2018, has not had a chance to vote on a Supreme Court nominee just yet. But he is certainly making his intentions known about how he would vote in the future.
His comments come in the wake of a surprising victory for liberals after the Supreme Court ruled against a law in Louisiana that put major restrictions on abortions in the state. The 5-4 ruling was surprising because conservative Supreme Court Justice John Roberts acted as the swing vote, siding with the liberals on the court.
In fact, Roberts has served as the swing vote in other recent surprising victories for liberals. One ruling upheld the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The other case extended rights to the LGBTQ community regarding discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.
The ironic part of all this is that Hawley clerked for Roberts at one point earlier in his career.
While there are currently no vacancies on the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is undergoing chemotherapy treatments, prompting some to surmise she may step down. There have also been rumors for some time that Clarence Thomas was considering retiring. He has repeatedly denied that he plans to do so, though.
During the last presidential election, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wouldn’t allow the Senate to take up a vote or a confirmation hearing for a Supreme Court justice to replace Antonin Scalia. At the time, McConnell said it would be fairer to allow the new president — whoever that was — to nominate the replacement justice, rather than President Barack Obama, whose term was expiring in only a few months.
This time around, though, McConnell said he would allow a confirmation hearing for a replacement just in 2020, even as Trump is in a similar situation.