President calls on Congress to codify Roe v. Wade.
President Joe Biden excoriated the U.S. Supreme Court for overturning Roe v. Wade and called on Congress to bend its rules in order to codify the 1973 ruling that discovered a constitutional right to abortion.
Speaking at the end of a NATO summit in Madrid, the president called the court’s ruling “outrageous behavior.” He said that if the Senate cannot pass a bill restoring Roe’s protections for abortion nationwide with a supermajority, it should make an exception to its filibuster rules and pass such a law with a simple majority.
The filibuster rule – which requires a majority party to muster 60 votes to overcome the minority’s attempt to block the advance of a bill – has so far prevented senators of the president’s party from codifying Roe’s central holding, that women have a right to abort their unborn children. The Senate currently has 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats, with two Independents caucusing with the Democrats.
“I believe we have to codify Roe v. Wade into law,” Biden told reporters on Thursday. “And the way to do that is to make sure Congress votes to do that.
“If the filibuster gets in the way, it’s like voting rights, we provide an exception for this,” he continued. “We require an exception of the filibuster for this action.”
Biden called the June 24 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson a mistake. Although the US is “better positioned to lead the world than we ever have been,” he contended that, “The one thing that has been destabilizing is the outrageous behavior of the Supreme Court of the United States on overruling not only Roe v. Wade, but essentially challenging the right to privacy.”
“I really think that it’s a serious, serious problem that the court has thrust upon the United States, not just in terms of a right to choose, but in terms of right to who you can marry — a whole range of issues relating to privacy,” he said. “It is a mistake, in my view for the Supreme Court to do what it did. I feel extremely strongly that I’m going to do everything in my power, which I legally can do in terms of executive orders, as well as push the Congress and the public.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who is opposed to any changes to the filibuster rule, criticized Biden’s remarks.
“Attacking a core American institution like the Supreme Court from the world stage is below the dignity of the President,” he said in a press release. “Biden’s attacks on the Court are unmerited and dangerous. He’s upset that the Court said the people, through their elected representatives, will have a say on abortion policy.”