Access to abortion has proven to be one of the most controversial issues in US politics
President Donald Trump has said it is “certainly possible” that his Supreme Court election will be drawn into a ruling that will re-examine the landmark 1973 decision legalizing abortion in the United States.
Mr Trump said he did not speak to Amy Coney Barrett about abortion rights before selecting her for the Supreme Court.
But Ms. Coney Barrett was “certainly conservative in her views,” he said.
She was selected to replace late-liberal judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but is awaiting confirmation from the Senate.
Democrats and suffragettes fear that Judge Barrett, a socially conservative lawyer, could play a pivotal role in any decision overturning the 1973 ruling known as Roe v Wade to legalize abortion.
Should Judge Barrett’s nomination be confirmed, conservative judges will hold a 6-3 majority in the Supreme Court and shift their ideological balance for possibly decades.
Mr Trump said he did not know how the judge would vote on the issue if her nomination were approved.
“Most of the time I am looking for someone who can interpret the constitution as written. It is very strong in it,” Trump said in an interview with Fox & Friends on Sunday.
Mr Trump on Saturday announced Judge Barrett’s appointment to the country’s highest court in the White House, describing the 48-year-old as an “outstanding scholar” with “unyielding allegiance to the Constitution.”
The court’s nine justices serve life-long appointments, and their decisions can affect U.S. public order in everything from gun and voting rights to abortion and campaign finance.
Judge Barrett is the third judiciary appointed by the current Republican president, after Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.
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Media signatureThe US abortion battle declared in three minutes
Abortion was the focus of the Supreme Court hearings confirming Mr Gorsuch and Mr Kavanaugh.
Since then, a number of conservative states have introduced new abortion restrictions that could create legal challenges before the Supreme Court.
What is Roe v Wade and why is it important?
Roe v Wade was the 1973 case that led to the legalization of abortions in the United States.
In a 7-2 vote, the Supreme Court justices ruled that governments lacked the power to ban abortion.
The court’s ruling was based on the ruling that a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy falls under freedom of choice in family matters, as protected by the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution.
The verdict came after a 25-year-old single woman, Norma McCorvey, using the pseudonym “Jane Roe”, challenged Texas criminal abortion laws that banned abortion as unconstitutional except in cases where the mother’s life was at risk was.
Henry Wade was the Texas attorney general who defended anti-abortion laws.
The January 22, 1973 decision remains one of the most controversial the Supreme Court has ever made.
In the decades since then, states have passed laws restricting abortion rights, creating legal challenges, and fierce political debates at the state and national levels.
In contrast, more liberal US states have implemented their own laws to ensure abortion rights for their residents.
President Trump has previously expressed his support for restricting access to abortion, but his views have changed over time.
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Media signatureHow Trump has changed his stance on abortion over the years
What did Trump say about Roe v Wade?
In an interview with Fox & Friends on Sunday, Mr Trump was asked if he would like to see Roe challenge Wade and upset if Judge Barrett’s nomination is confirmed.
“I didn’t think I had to discuss this with her because she will decide that,” said Trump. “But if you look at her previous actions and decisions, I think she is in the category that you mentioned, I don’t know.”
When asked whether a Supreme Court could decide on a “vital issue” with a conservative majority of 6 to 3, Trump said, “It is certainly possible.”
He added, “Maybe they would do it differently. Maybe they would give it back to the states. They just don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Who Is Amy Coney Barrett?
After graduating from Notre Dame University Law School in Indiana, she worked as a clerk for the late Judge Antonin Scalia. In 2017, she was nominated by Mr. Trump for the Chicago-based 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
She is described as a devout Catholic who, according to a 2013 article, said that “life begins at conception”. This makes her a favorite among religious conservatives looking to overthrow Roe v Wade.
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LGBT groups have criticized their membership in a conservative Catholic group, People of Praise, whose school network contains guidelines that believe that sexual relationships should only take place between heterosexual couples.
Judge Barrett has ruled in favor of President Trump’s tough immigration policy and has spoken out in favor of far-reaching gun rights.
Judge Barrett worked for the late Judge Antonin Scalia
The Senate – the upper chamber of the US Congress – will vote to approve or reject Judge Barrett’s nomination.
Republicans have a slim majority, but they already seem to have the 51 votes required to endorse Judge Barrett.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed to hold a confirmatory vote before the November 3rd election.
Aside from one surprise, the Democrats appear to have few procedural options to keep them from sliding through the Senate to the Supreme Court bench.
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