Sen. Josh Hawley during a Senate hearing in June. Photo: Greg Nash/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) told the Washington Post Sunday he wouldn't vote for a Supreme Court nominee unless they went "on the record" in speaking out against the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that provides federal protection for abortion.
What he's saying: "I will vote only for those Supreme Court nominees who have explicitly acknowledged that Roe v. Wade is wrongly decided," the Senate Judiciary Committee member said. "By explicitly acknowledged, I mean on the record and before they were nominated."
"If there is no indication in their record that at any time they have acknowledged that Roe was wrong at the time it was decided, then I’m not going to vote for them — and I don't care who nominates them."— Josh Hawley to WashPost
Why it matters: Hawley's comments come as Republicans are making preparations in case there's a vacancy on the Supreme Court, WashPost notes.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked then-President Obama's Supreme Court pick ahead of the 2016 elections, enabling President Trump to name Neil Gorsuch in 2017. But McConnell said in February he would fill such a vacancy if it were to arise in 2020 despite it being an election year.
- The Supreme Court struck down abortion restrictions in Louisiana last month, when Chief Justice John Roberts, for whom Hawley once clerked, joined the more liberal justices in the decision. Several conservative states and federal lawmakers including Hawley have been pushing for Roe v. Wade to be revisited.