Biden slams ‘destabilising’ Supreme Court, works to codify Roe v Wade



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Brown Jackson, who was sworn in as the court’s 116th justice during a ceremony this afternoon, is the first black woman appointed to the Supreme Court in its 233-year history, but her elevation will not change the 6-3 conservative majority on the bench. In another first, all three liberal justices on the court are now women: Brown Jackson, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

Chaos has ensued since the court’s decision to overturn Roe last Friday, with women left scrambling for services as clinics have closed, while a raft of legal challenges have been mounted as abortion advocates try to buy more time against state-based bans.

The latest took place on Thursday (US time) when a Florida judge temporarily blocked a law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, ruling that it violates privacy protections in the State Constitution. The law was due to take effect the next day.

Protests have also continued across the country, with pro-choice advocates foreshadowing a “summer of rage”, including another major rally in Washington on July 9 to call on Biden and the Democrats to act.

“We delivered their seats, we delivered a Democratic congress, we delivered a Democratic presidency,” said Women’s March managing director Tamika Middleton, “and so we are telling them in no uncertain terms that we expect them to do what we elected them to do.”

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The president’s renewed push to codify Roe v Wade into law comes after a similar attempt was made in May following the leaking of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion – but it did not have the votes to pass.

Biden said he also plans to meet with governors on Friday (US time) to discuss other ways abortion could be protected.

The Supreme Court’s ruling was one of many controversial opinions it has issued in the past few weeks as it capped off one of the most contentious terms in its history.

Last week, it also struck down a long-standing New York law placing strict limits on carrying guns in public, and on Thursday (US time), in another blow to the Biden administration, it limited the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to regulate carbon emissions from power plants.

The six conservative justices of the court issued the ruling, while the three liberal justices issued a dissent, saying that the majority had stripped the EPA of “the power to respond to the most pressing environmental challenge of our time.”

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