Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor Tuesday morning that he will bring the Women’s Health Protection Act, legislation the House passed back in September to codify abortion rights, to the Senate floor. “A vote on this legislation is not an abstract exercise,” he said.
Except that it is. What makes it abstract is that it won’t pass without ending the filibuster, which won’t happen with the current 50-50 split and Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. What makes it abstract is that, even if it does pass, legislating Roe is not enough because of this:
Activist Trump judges would make damned sure that new law was stopped, knowing that the Supreme Court would uphold their decisions. Schumer ignores that reality, and isn’t actually looking at taking action that would safeguard our rights—fixing the Supreme Court—but taking action aimed at the next election. He said so. “The elections this November will have consequences, because the rights of 100 million women are now on the ballot.”
Listen to Eli Mystal talk with Markos Moulitsas and Kerry Eleveld about the Supreme Court and abortion laws in the Red States
Meanwhile, Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin told reporters that “there’s no discussion among Senate Democrats about expanding court, but there’s talk of other legislative action to respond to Alito draft opinion on Roe v. Wade.” Once again, legislation that would not survive with this Supreme Court.
Democratic leadership simply isn’t keeping up with reality. It’s going to take just as much creativity and ruthlessness as the right has shown to fix this, to save this country. Alito’s opinion, as drafted and there’s no reason to think it won’t be final, is an absolute clarion call for swift, dramatic action.
Even if that action fails in the immediate term, it’s what the American people need to see from Democrats. Voters need to see a fight. They need to know that Democrats will do whatever it takes to protect them.
What it will take isn’t even a radical thing—expanding the Supreme Court is perfectly constitutional. The court doesn’t have to be nine people. The seats on the court don’t have to be permanent. None of that is prescribed in the Constitution. Expanding and reforming the court is simply the necessary response to the very dire and imminent threat.
The last thing that we need to see from elected Democrats and the DNC, DCCC, and DSCC crew are appeals to vote harder and send more money. The case for why Democrats need to be elected in greater majorities is clear, but we need to see what Democrats are going to do with the blood, sweat, tears, and money we’re expected to pony up. Show us you’ll fight.