House Democratic leaders vowed to move quickly Wednesday on a bill providing additional security for Supreme Court justices and their families, as the national debate over abortion rights seemingly reaches a crescendo.
The Democrats’ pledge comes two days after the Senate unanimously approved the bill bolstering security resources for Supreme Court-related families.
“Let me say emphatically: We need to protect Supreme Court justices and their families, period. We’re a nation of laws, not of violence, not of intimidation,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.
Hoyer also said he and Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, are pursuing a reasonable path forward on this issue.
Regarding the Senate bill, Hoyer says, “We’re certainly going to look at it, we’re going to look at it quickly … it just passed [the Senate]. I want to look at it and talk to Jerry and see what kind of legislation we’ll put forward.”
Nadler concurred with his colleague Wednesday, characterizing Hoyer’s suggestion as “a good idea.”
However, not all Democrats are on board.
After passage of the Senate bill, Rep. Norma Torres, D-Calif., reportedly said it would “take a lot of convincing for me to vote for this.”
Torres believes the House/Senate legislation may be a political ploy to misrepresent “peaceful” abortion-rights protesters as potentially violent.
Torres also knocked the Senate for allegedly placing a higher security value on the Supreme Court members, compared to women who could be affected by the high court potentially striking down the Roe v. Wade ruling of 1973.
“It’s frustrating that the Senate would move so quickly to provide protections for Supreme Court justices against peaceful protesters, but has taken so long to protect a woman’s bodily autonomy and her right to choose,” said Torres.
She added, “These justices, of course, have a right to safety, and I implore protesters to continue to use peaceful methods to make their voices heard and encourage them to protest at official offices; but it’s shameful the Senate has passed this bill before addressing the safety and well-being of all women across the country.”
On May 2, Politico published an initial majority draft opinion from Justice Samuel Alito, creating the perception of the Supreme Court being on the brink of eliminating the protections provided by the Roe vs. Wade, a landmark decision that established constitutional rights for abortion.
The so-called “leaker” of the Alito draft has yet to be identified or acknowledged by federal officials.
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