Donald Trump admitted it this morning.
Even though most thinking people were fairly certain that Amy Coney Barrett — Trump’s Handmaids’ Tale-like nominee for the Supreme Court seat that opened with the lamentable death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — would be likely to work to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that guaranteed reproductive freedom to American women, the president casually confirmed those fears this morning in an interview that aired on Fox & Friends.
Trump’s remarks were set up by Fox & Friends host Pete Hegseth who noted that Trump had previously claimed that his nominees to the Supreme Court would “automatically” reverse the Roe v. Wade decision.
Trump started his reply with a little equivocation that both proved that he knew that he shouldn’t by rights be saying what he was about to say, having been warned against it, but simultaneously declaring that he can do whatever the hell he wants.
“I didn’t think it was for me to discuss that with her,” Trump said. “Because it’s something that she’s going to be ruling on. And this is what I was told — although, I would have had the right to do that.”
He then immediately feigned innocence and referenced Barrett’s judicial record, rather than his deliberate political intent, as a key to auguring the future of abortion rights in this country.
“But if you look at her past actions and rulings, I guess, she maybe would be in the category that you mentioned,” the president continued. “I don’t know. I can say this, that she is certainly conservative in her views and her rulings. And we’ll have to see how that all works out.”
Trump is likely hoping that right-wing voters and evangelicals — and conservative women in particular — will be swayed by his nomination of a replacement for Ginsburg who is determined to accomplish their long-cherished aim of eliminating a woman’s right to chose their own reproductive destiny. He almost certainly betting that the move will help reverse his dismal poll numbers, propelling him to a re-election victory.
Trump also cited Barret’s likelihood of siding with gun fanatics obsessed with the idea that the government may try to restrict their ability to buy large quantities of automatic weapons as another reason for his choice of the extremist jurist as his nominee.
With Barrett — a former clerk for the late arch-conservative Justice Antonin Scalia and a member of the tightly knit charismatic Christian group People of Praise that many people have compared to the religious cult running Gilead in The Handmaid’s Tale book and TV series — giving Trump an unexpected last-minute chance to upset the balance between the liberal and conservative factions on the court, the only hope American women may have to preserve their reproductive rights is to mount a massive campaign to convince Republicans in the Senate to reject her nomination or face a political future that ends their careers.
Whether any attempts to sway the GOP senators from exercising their powers to confirm Trump’s nominee so close to the election will be successful is unknown, but without major pushback from the public at large, you can be assured that they will rush to confirm the president’s nominee as quickly as possible before the election to also help pack the court for any of the predicted lawsuits surrounding the presidential ballots.
You can watch an excerpt from Donald Trump’s appearance on Fox & Friends this morning in the video attached below.
Original reporting by David Edwards at RawStory.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.