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NC representatives take stances on Roe v. Wade as Supreme Court leak calls abortion rights into question

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – We have three members of the congressional delegation from the Piedmont Triad out with statements about the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to end abortion rights protected under Roe v. Wade.

U.S. Rep Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro) of the 6th District focused on the potential impact of such a landmark opinion, and Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-Banner Elk) of the 5th District and Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) of the 13th District added their thoughts on how the public was made aware of this possibility.

Politico on Monday night broke the news of a draft opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito that would have the court abolishing Roe v. Wade and the affirming decision of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, suggesting the U.S. Constitution does not protect those rights and effectively delivering the responsibility to lawmakers to address. Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday confirmed the authenticity of the draft opinion.

Rep. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro) (Courtesy of US House of Representatives)
Rep. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro) (Courtesy of US House of Representatives)
U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx (WGHP File)
Rep. Ted Budd (WGHP File)

Manning in a statement released by her office said such a ruling, if it were to be adopted by the court, would strip women of their rights and “disproportionately impact low-income women, young women, and women of color who already lack health care access.”

Foxx, in a post on her website and shared on social media, said: “I have long held that the truth about abortion and the deceitfulness of Roe would be inevitably revealed to the American people. Until that day comes, I will never yield in my mission of exposing that truth.”

Manning in her statement: “If Justice Alito’s initial draft opinion stands, Americans, the majority of whom have never known a world without Roe vs. Wade, will be stripped of their constitutional right to abortion. Republican-controlled states across the country will immediately move to restrict or ban abortions.”

WGHP has reached out to members of the Triad’s delegation in the General Assembly to ask what might be expected for state law. Legislators reconvene in Raleigh in two weeks.

But Foxx was concerned about Politico’s reporting and how the document had been leaked. Many observers were shocked and said this was the first time in modern history that a possible court opinion had been revealed before a ruling was made public.

Neil Siegel, a professor of law and political science at Duke University, said in a statement released by Duke: “The apparent leak of the apparent draft majority opinion in Dobbs is extraordinary and egregious. No one should be eager to add our nation’s highest court to the list of dysfunctional government institutions.

Alito’s words – which were firm and direct and supported by at least four other conservative judges: Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett – were written in response to the abortion case from Mississippi that is expected to have a final ruling in June. The draft was written in February.

Said Budd in a statement released Tuesday afternoon: “This unprecedented leak was wrong and damages the Supreme Court. I continue to pray that the justices reach a decision that upholds the sanctity of life and guarantees the right to life for innocent unborn children.”

Said Foxx: “The political predilections of one individual have led to an unprecedented breach of confidentiality within the Supreme Court – one that will yield irreparable damage to the confidence of the American people and the rule of law itself. Politically motivated attacks directed at the Supreme Court, whether it be in the form of court packing or undermining judicial independence, must be opposed to the strongest degree possible. The future of our republic hangs in the balance.”

There has been no evidence about who might have supplied the document to Politico and what those motives might be. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) took to the Senate’s floor on Tuesday to implore that lawmakers codify abortion rights, as most Democrats endorse. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), speaking at the same session, concentrated on the leak.

Other opinions

North Carolina’s U.S. senators, Republicans Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, have not commented publicly. Budd has been the front-runner for the nomination to fill the seat Burr is vacating.

Another Republican seeking that nomination, former Gov. Pat McCrory, said Tuesday on Twitter: “I am not going to respond to a breach of constitutional protocol. If I respond to that I think it sets a horrible precedent on Supreme Court decisions.”

Former Rep. Mark Walker, also in that race, posted this on his Twitter account on Monday night: “On the threshold of victory. Most likely a few weeks before the court’s holding will published. Keep praying and speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

Cheri Beasley, former chief justice for the N.C. Supreme Court and presumptive Democratic nominee, said in a statement on Monday night that she believes that “abortion is a constitutional right.”

“This horrifying news — and Washington’s failure to eliminate the filibuster and codify Roe v. Wade to protect our rights — has shown us exactly what is at stake and it is more urgent than ever that we elect leaders who will stand up for our fundamental freedoms in the U.S. Senate,” she said.

Manning’s full statement

“If Justice Alito’s initial draft opinion stands, Americans, the majority of whom have never known a world without Roe vs. Wade, will be stripped of their constitutional right to abortion. Republican-controlled states across the country will immediately move to restrict or ban abortions, barring millions of Americans from access to health care. This decision would disproportionately impact low-income women, young women, and women of color who already lack health care access.

“Let’s be clear about what’s at stake: the freedom for women to control their own reproductive health and rights; the freedom to make an intensely personal and private decision without government interference; the freedom to decide when, with whom, and whether to have children. Furthermore, if Roe is overturned, the Court opens the door to reversing other constitutionally protected rights that Americans and their families rely on.

“Right now, abortion is still legal. This devastating development does not change patients’ right to access the reproductive care they need – yet.

“The House passed the Women’s Health Protection Act last year. The Senate must act immediately to codify abortion rights into law to prevent irrevocable harm to millions of Americans.”

Foxx’s full statement

“I have long held that the truth about abortion and the deceitfulness of Roe would be inevitably revealed to the American people. Until that day comes, I will never yield in my mission of exposing that truth.

“Former Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist once observed that, ‘The Constitution protects judicial independence not to benefit judges, but to promote the rule of law.’ That sentiment rings true to this day even as both the independent judiciary and the Constitution have been subjugated by the actions of a rogue, partisan actor. The Founders foretold of this threat, and they were right.

“The political predilections of one individual have led to an unprecedented breach of confidentiality within the Supreme Court – one that will yield irreparable damage to the confidence of the American people and the rule of law itself. Politically motivated attacks directed at the Supreme Court, whether it be in the form of court packing or undermining judicial independence, must be opposed to the strongest degree possible. The future of our republic hangs in the balance.”


Source: Fox 8 News Channel

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