Charles Schumer accuses conservative Supreme Court justices of lying about their abortion stance

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer accused the Supreme Court’s conservative justices on Tuesday of having lied to Congress about their stance on abortion rights.

The New York Democrat said that several of the justices publicly told Senate lawmakers during their confirmation hearings that they viewed the 1973 landmark abortion decision Roe v. Wade to be settled.  

“Several of these conservative justices who are in no way accountable to the American people have lied to the U.S. Senate, ripped up the constitution and defiled both precedent and the Supreme Court’s reputation,” the majority leader said.

The accusation came after a leaked opinion from the Supreme Court indicated that a majority of justices were leaning toward overturning Roe. The move would assert that abortion is not a right protected by the Constitution, kicking the issue into the jurisdiction of state governments.

Mr. Schumer said it was particularly troubling that five justices all leaning toward repudiating Roe were appointed by Republican presidents. Some, including Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, told Congress during his 2018 confirmation hearings that he believed Roe was “settled as precedent.”

“The blame for this decision falls squarely on Republican senators … who spent years pushing extremist judges, spent years confirming far-right justices to the Supreme Court, but claimed somehow this day would never come,” he said. “But this day has come, and we will fight it all the way.”


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Mr. Schumer’s comments were echoed by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. Mrs. Collins, a moderate pro-choice Republican, said Mr. Kavanaugh and Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch had previously told her they were unlikely to overturn Roe.

“If this leaked draft opinion is the final decision and this reporting is accurate, it would be completely inconsistent with what Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office.”

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