Republicans Are Silent On The Abortion Pill Ruling, Despite Confirming The Judge Behind It

Democrats are all however banging pots and pans within the streets in protest of a federal choose’s determination on Friday to dam the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone, certainly one of two abortion tablets that has been used generally, safely and legally for many years.

President Joe Biden warned that the ruling from U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Texas-based choose nominated by former President Donald Trump, represents the GOP’s “next big step” towards banning abortion outright. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stated Kacsmaryk simply “completely eviscerated the FDA as we know it.” The Justice Department, which represents the FDA, has already appealed the choice.

Amid all this, Senate Republicans have gone nearly silent. Why?

Because that is exactly the ruling they wished ― or, at the least, the one they need to have foreseen after they voted to verify a staunch opponent of abortion rights to the federal bench.

They’re not about to say this out loud. They know the way unpopular and out of step it’s to rejoice extra rollbacks of reproductive rights. They know that entry to abortion medicine has broad help. They know their get together is getting clobbered in elections everywhere in the nation due to their assaults on abortion rights, notably after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade final yr.

So with Congress in recess for 2 weeks, Republican senators are hoping to get away with saying nothing in any respect.

But when you doubt they’re proud of the choose’s determination, look no additional than their 2019 vote to verify Kacsmaryk to his lifetime federal court docket seat. They knew he had a file of strongly opposing abortion rights. And each GOP senator however one, Susan Collins of Maine, voted for him.

“In 2019, I voted against Judge Kacsmaryk’s confirmation, and I disagree strongly with his decision in this case,” Collins stated in a Monday assertion. “Mifepristone is an FDA-approved drug that has been on the market for more than two decades and extensively studied.”

Collins is certainly one of two self-described pro-choice Republican senators. The different one, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, voted for Kacsmaryk. She didn’t reply to a request for remark about his ruling concentrating on abortion medicine.

Of the 49 Republicans within the Senate, Collins can also be certainly one of simply two who’ve stated something about Kacsmaryk’s ruling. The different one, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), celebrated the choice on Twitter as a “victory for pregnant mothers & their unborn children.”

That leaves 47 different Senate Republicans making an attempt to keep away from publicly saying what they give thought to a federal court docket order aimed toward banning abortion medicine nationwide, and arguably laying the groundwork for a complete abortion ban by means of the courts.

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) sort of talked about Kacsmaryk’s ruling on Twitter, however solely to criticize Democrats for suggesting the Biden administration ignore it. A spokesperson for Lankford didn’t reply to a request for remark about whether or not Lankford is proud of the court docket determination. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) talked typically on Fox News Sunday about how he thinks being pro-life is “a winning message,” however stated nothing in regards to the court docket ruling.

None of them can declare to be stunned by Kacsmaryk’s ruling. They knew that Kacsmaryk ― the previous deputy basic counsel for First Liberty Institute, a right-wing Christian advocacy group ― was rabidly anti-abortion when Trump tapped him for a judgeship in 2017. They watched nationwide reproductive rights teams protest his nomination for greater than a yr.

For all of Trump’s unqualified and ideological court docket picks, Kacsmaryk stood out as certainly one of his most excessive nominees partly due to his file on abortion rights. He opposed the employer contraceptive mandate within the Affordable Care Act, representing First Liberty Institute in a lawsuit when it tried to keep away from offering the well being care required by the Department of Health and Human Services to feminine staff. His group took a hard-line stance in opposition to the contraception provision.

Kacsmaryk performed a lead function in opposing a Washington state regulation that required pharmacists to offer contraception to girls. Before turning into a choose, he had criticized Roe v. Wade, describing the landmark 1973 Supreme Court determination as one wherein “seven justices of the Supreme Court found an unwritten ‘fundamental right’ to abortion hiding in the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the shadowy ‘penumbras’ of the Bill of Rights, a celestial phenomenon invisible to the non-lawyer eye.” (What?)

Kacsmaryk, an lively member of the conservative Federalist Society, was additionally identified for his file of attacking LGBTQ+ rights.

He fought in opposition to protections for LGBTQ+ folks in employment, housing and well being care. He stated that together with protections for LGBTQ+ folks within the Violence Against Women Act could be “a grave mistake.” In 2015, when Utah handed nondiscrimination protections, Kacsmaryk known as the regulation “a bad idea” due to the suggestion that discrimination primarily based on sexual orientation and gender id needs to be taken as severely as different types of discrimination. He signed a 2016 letter that described being transgender as “a delusion.”

Carl Tobias, the Williams Chair in Law on the University of Richmond and a judicial nominations skilled, stated the truth that the right-wing Christian authorized advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom deliberately sought out Kacsmaryk to attempt its medicine abortion case in his court docket “should come as no surprise” to any GOP senators. The group is targeted on outlawing abortion and scaling again rights for LGBTQ+ folks.

“In Kacsmaryk’s Judiciary Committee hearing and throughout his confirmation process, Senate Democrats and interest groups clearly demonstrated that he had spent much of his legal career as an anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ rights crusader by litigating cases in opposition to reproductive freedom and rights for LGBTQ individuals,” Tobias stated.

Matthew Kacsmaryk is seen in his Senate affirmation listening to in December 2017. Virtually each GOP senator voted to verify him realizing he was an ardent opponent of abortion rights.

Of the 49 Republicans in at the moment’s Senate, 38 had been there for Kacsmaryk’s affirmation vote. On Tuesday, HuffPost reached out to all 38 of them for touch upon whether or not they’re happy along with his ruling on abortion medicine.

None gave a solution. Only Collins and Hyde-Smith had beforehand weighed in.

Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, each Texas Republicans, had been those who beneficial Kacsmaryk to Trump for a judgeship. Kacsmaryk had beforehand volunteered on each of their Senate campaigns, and each senators raved about him when he acquired confirmed in 2019. Cruz even known as him his “good friend.”

“I am glad to see the Senate vote today to confirm my good friend, Matt Kacsmaryk, to fill this crucial judicial vacancy for the Northern District of Texas,” Cruz stated on the time. “As a passionate constitutionalist, Matt has served Texas well in his various professional and public service roles and proven himself to be a remarkably experienced and deserving candidate for this vacancy.”

“Matthew’s experience as a federal prosecutor and advocate for the First Amendment will serve him well in this role,” Cornyn stated on the time. “I’m grateful for my colleagues’ support for his confirmation and thankful to President Trump for his nomination.”

Neither Cruz nor Cornyn offered remark Tuesday about whether or not they’re completely happy about Kacsmaryk’s abortion capsule ruling.

“I’ll be in touch if we have anything for you on this,” stated a spokesperson for Cornyn. A spokesperson for Cruz didn’t reply in any respect.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) presumably is aware of extra about Kacsmaryk’s court docket case than anybody. His spouse, Erin Morrow Hawley, is an lawyer on the middle of the lawsuit in Kacsmaryk’s courtroom, targeted on making an attempt to cancel the FDA’s approval of abortion medicine.

Like nearly everybody else in his caucus, Hawley didn’t reply for a request for remark about Kacsmaryk’s ruling.

Igor Bobic contributed reporting.

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