Biden points to November in reaction to the overturn of Roe v. Wade
Though there is little the president can do to challenge the Supreme Court’s ruling, he’s hoping voters will respond.
In a midday speech on Friday, June 22, 2022, President Joe Biden said that Roe v. Wade was “on the ballot” in November, following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the nearly 50-year legal precedent that guaranteed abortion rights at a federal level.
“Voters need to make their voices heard. This fall we must elect more senators and representatives who will codify a women’s right to choose once again,” said Biden
For the president, knowledge of the overturn was more than a month in advance, as POLITICO leaked an early majority opinion authored by Justice Samuel Alito. It was later confirmed as an authentic draft by Chief Justice John Roberts.
The draft set off a wave of protests across the country that continued until the day the decision was actually announced, and will now continue well into the future.
There’s not much Biden can actually do to challenge the Court’s decision, but he did say he would defend women’s rights in immediately-affected states with “all in his power.”
“If any state or local official, high or low, tries to interfere with a woman exercising her basic right to travel, I will do everything in my power to fight that deeply un-American attack,” he said.
However, even the president realizes that the real power of the moment — and where it’s always lied — is with the people at the ballot box.
Earlier, when the draft was leaked, Biden said he hoped it would set off a “mini-revolution” that would spur Democratic voters to vote more Republican members of Congress out of office.
Even with the leak and ruling, Biden still faces an uphill battle to not lose any seats, especially given his low approval ratings due to issues like inflation, crime and the ever-rising cost of living.
Still, Biden struck a hopeful tone that alongside his administration, the Roe issue would be dealt with in the ballot box.
“This decision must not be the final word. My administration will use all of its appropriate lawful powers. Congress must act. And your vote? You can have the final word,” he said.