While discussing economic issues in prepared remarks with reporters at the White House on Wednesday, President Joe Biden delved into other subject matters, including the Supreme Court’s draft opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that was leaked earlier this week.
That draft opinion, written by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, stated that the court was set to overturn abortion protections recognized in the 1973 ruling Roe v. Wade. Although such draft rulings do not necessarily reflect what the court will eventually rule on any given issue, according to sources speaking with Politico, as of this week, five of the court’s conservative bloc of justices (composing a majority of the court overall) were prepared to back the ruling.
The official ruling of the court is set to be released sometime in the next month or so.
Biden blasted that finding, expressing concern that other rights recognized by the Supreme Court over the past several decades could also be at risk of being dismantled, resulting in discrimination against several groups of people.
“This is about a lot more than abortion,” Biden said.
What happens if you have states change the law saying that children who are LGBTQ can’t be in classrooms with other children. Is that legit under the way the decision is written?
Biden’s concerns have been echoed by other lawmakers, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), who earlier this week also said LGBTQ protections — including marriage equality, an issue the Supreme Court decided on just seven years ago — could be at risk of being undone.
“As we’ve warned, SCOTUS isn’t just coming for abortion – they’re coming for the right to privacy Roe rests on, which includes gay marriage + civil rights,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Tuesday.
Biden is calling on Congress to pass legislation to codify abortion protections. In discussing the issue further, however, Biden wouldn’t say whether he would support changes to the filibuster in order to codify the protections recognized in Roe.
When asked for his stance on the Senate rule, Biden told reporters he was “not prepared” to make a decision on whether the filibuster should be removed in order to preserve abortion rights throughout the country.
In addition to his commentaries on the economy and the Supreme Court, Biden also took aim at the Republican Party, disparaging them for continuing to allow former President Donald Trump to have a hold on them and determining the direction of the party.
“This MAGA crowd” — referencing Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” — “is really the most extreme political organization that’s existed in American history, in recent American history,” Biden said.
The president mentioned social and economic agendas from GOP lawmakers, including Sen. Rick Scott’s (R-Florida) 11-point plan that includes tax increases on Americans earning low incomes.
“Senator Rick Scott of Florida … released what he calls the ultra-MAGA agenda. It’s a MAGA agenda all right,” Biden derisively said. “Let me tell you about this ultra-MAGA agenda. It’s extreme, as most MAGA things are.”
He went on, stating that Republicans today were a “different breed of cat” from those he’s worked with in his nearly 50-year career in Washington, D.C.
“They’re not like what I served with for so many years,” the president said. “And the people who know better are afraid to act correctly, because they know they’ll be primaried.”