Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the highest-ranking Republican in Congress, sharply rebuked the leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion that, if endorsed by other conservative Supreme Court justices, would overturn roe v. calf. His comments in the Senate on Tuesday were directed at Democrats, who said he is mounting a pressure campaign against the justices ahead of the actual decision.
“Liberals want to rip the blindfolds off Lady Justice,” McConnell said. “They want to nullify impartiality with intimidation. They want to elevate mob rule over the rule of law.”
McConnell, however, avoided the issue of revoking roe and abortion together.
Earlier the same day, Senator Ted Cruz similarly speculated that “some angry left clerk” leaked the draft and he should be fired, prosecuted and serve time in prison. Others compared the leak to the day a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.
“Many would say that the events of January 6 were an attempt to undermine an institution,” Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia, told BuzzFeed News. to undermine an institution.
The responses are a stark contrast compared to Democrats who immediately began campaigning in support of women’s rights immediately after the report. In a joint statement, the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic Governors Association, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and the Democratic Attorneys General Association pressed to defend access to abortion.
“In November, we must elect Democrats who will serve as the last lines of defense against the Republican Party’s assault on our fundamental and established freedoms,” the statement read. “These elections will now determine whether cruel new restrictions on abortion will be applied: whether states will be allowed to criminalize abortion and ban it even in cases of rape or incest.”
Historically, the president’s party does poorly in midterm elections, giving Republicans a chance to win a majority in the House and Senate, but the election could quickly turn into a referendum on abortion access if the Supreme Court annuls roe.
When the Texas legislature passed controversial SB 8, which authorizes private citizens to file lawsuits to enforce the six-week abortion ban, only 5 of the 25 Republicans in the delegation made public statements about the law. They also did not respond to requests from BuzzFeed News about the law.
It is not clear whether a ruling against roe it’s enough to sway undecided voters, but the unwillingness of some GOP lawmakers to hype the issue indicates there is some hesitancy to make anti-abortion stances a mainstay of the campaign. A Washington Post poll conducted last week found that 54% of Americans want roe v. calf confirmed, while 28% want the decision reversed, with 18% neutral.