May 03, 2022

Durbin Statement on the Future of Roe V. Wade

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today spoke to the alleged leak of the majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization during a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Federal Courts, Oversight, Agency Action, and Federal Rights hearing entitled, “An Ethical Judiciary: Transparency and Accountability for 21st Century Courts.”

“I don’t condone the leaking of internal Supreme Court documents… I don’t know who leaked the opinion, or why,” Durbin said.  “But I know that today, [Americans] across this country are grappling with the very real concern, and yes, the fear, that they may lose a critical constitutional right in just a matter of weeks.”

Durbin continued, “If true, this draft opinion that circulated last night would end a half-century guarantee that reproductive rights are protected by our Constitution.  Everyone—no matter where you live or how much money you make—deserves access to health care without barriers or political roadblocks.  Regardless of the Supreme Court’s final decision this summer, Congress cannot sit idly by nor can this Committee.  We must enshrine into law a woman’s right to make her own health care choices.”

Durbin concluded, “Long before last night’s news, this hearing had already been scheduled to discuss the issues of judicial ethics and transparency.  They are important topics, and I welcome the distinguished panel of witnesses here today… And while we’re on the subject, I think we should consider the ethical implications of Supreme Court nominees repeatedly coming before this Committee and testifying under oath that they will respect precedent and then doing exactly the opposite when they are confirmed.  We must work to ensure, as Justice Stevens said, ‘the true backbone of the rule of law’ – the confidence in the men and women who administer it.  I believe that confidence has been shaken and we must face that alarming reality.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks in Committee is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks in Committee is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks in Committee is available here for TV Stations.

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