On Saturday night, Donald Trump appointed 48-year-old judge Amy Coney Barrett to take Ginsburg’s seat on the pitch. If confirmed, Barrett will make history as the second woman to join the court after being nominated by a Republican president. But for women’s rights pundits, that won’t do much to mask what Trump really wants from his candidate: court philosophies that are warm to corporate interests but calm on health care and reproductive rights.
“This vacancy represents a pivotal voice and a moment in time when many of the freedoms we hold dear are truly at stake,” warned Rachel Sussman, vice president of state policy and advocacy at the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. .
The confirmation process threatens the existence of an existential threat to Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that made abortion legal. Although White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany earlier this week denied that the president would ask any potential candidate to “prejudge” Roe, Trump himself has vowed to appoint “pro-life judges” and predicted the decision would be overturned.
Trump a aussi reported that he wants judges who will vote to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which requires the most private health care plans to cover contraception at no cost to the patient. Even with Ginsburg living on dissent, the majority of the court – reinforced by the first two people appointed by Trump – decided last summer that virtually any non-government workplace can ignore ACA contraceptive mandates on the basis of religious or moral objections, consistent with Trump administration policy.
In November, the judges, including Barrett if confirmed, will hear arguments over whether to do away with the ACA entirely. Their decision could compromise access to birth control for many women, Finley warned.
While women must realize that ‘everything is at stake’ in terms of reproductive rights, “they also need to understand that it does not end there,” said Emily Martin, vice president of education and justice. at work at the National Women’s Law Center.
She expected new Trump justice to make it harder for individuals to tackle discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and easier for employers to force workers to forgo their day in court.
Previous under the seat
In Congress, just a day after the Supreme Court announced Ginsburg’s death, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley doubled down on his pledge to vote only for “candidates who understand and recognize that Roe was wrongly decided.”
Hawley and other staunch Tories may have an ally in Barrett: she voted three times on abortion-related cases in the U.S. Circuit’s Seventh Court of Appeals, and looked kindly at the restrictions twice, according to Vox . In the third case, the court ruled that anti-abortion activists cannot approach women outside of clinics and health facilities.
Seventeen abortion-related legal battles are one step away from the Supreme Court, and if Trump succeeds in shifting the ideological balance of the panel with a Conservative 6-3 majority, any case that calls into question the constitutionality of the restrictions to the abortion could serve as a vehicle to overthrow Roe. , Finley said.
She thinks Roe is “in the greatest danger he has ever been.” [in] since its publication in 1973 ”.
Rachel Johnson-Farias, executive director of the Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, said: “In terms of the cruelty that we see, maybe it existed before, but it certainly didn’t. of my life. .
“… I don’t have the capacity to think how bad it can get when your intentions are to be cruel.”
More than 25 million women of childbearing age “could lose access to a safe and legal abortion” if judges overthrow Roe, estimates the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Impairments to bodily autonomy are invariably the most difficult for women of color and the poor, who cannot afford to easily travel for an abortion, risk losing their jobs if they become pregnant and are particularly vulnerable to maternal morbidity and mortality.
The judiciary has been attacking Roe with ‘death by a thousand cuts’ for years, Johnson-Farias said, and even without the dramatic fanfare of total annulment, Supreme Court justices could de facto implement local bans abortion by simply allowing lower court analyzes. get up. Over the past decade, 33 states have enacted 479 abortion restrictions, reports the Guttmacher Institute.
“The only conclusion you can draw is that if we don’t stop President Trump and the Senator [Mitch] McConnell to fill Judge Ginsburg’s seat, Roe could lose her meaning even before being overthrown, ”Sussman said. “And for a lot of people, it already is.”
‘One more inch on the scale’
When it comes to gender discrimination, evidence suggests that female judges are more likely to come out in favor of the alleged victim “even when you control ideology,” said Eve M Ringsmuth, associate professor in the department. of Political Science from Oklahoma State University.
But Martin, of the National Women’s Law Center, suspects a Trump-appointed person of reversing that trend and instead adding “an extra inch on the ladder,” supporting corporate interests on workplace issues such as as pregnancy-related discrimination and sexual harassment.