Kirsten Gillibrand Says She'll Only Nominate Pro-Choice Judges

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call.
Presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand promised that, if elected president, she will only nominate judges "who will commit to upholding Roe v. Wade as settled law and protect women’s reproductive rights," she announced in a Medium post on Tuesday.
"I realize that traditionally, presidents and presidential candidates haven’t drawn lines in the sand on judicial appointments, to preserve the impartiality of our judiciary," she continued. "That tradition ended when Mitch McConnell obstructed the nomination process and stole a Supreme Court seat, when Donald Trump nominated dozens of ideologically extreme judges hand-picked by far-right think tanks, and when Republicans confirmed a Supreme Court Justice who is credibly accused of sexual misconduct."
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Gillibrand is making this announcement amid an onslaught of anti-choice legislation: 28 states have introduced abortion restrictions just this year. Just today, Georgia's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law a measure that will ban abortions in the state once a fetal heartbeat is detected.
Anti-choice advocates know that these types of bans are unconstitutional thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court's 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey. But they, newly emboldened by President Donald Trump, and the fact that Justice Brett Kavanaugh is on the Supreme Court, want to trigger a court battle that would eventually overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
"We simply cannot let that happen," wrote Gillibrand. "The decision about if and when to start a family should be made by a woman and her doctor  —  not Republican legislators, not Brett Kavanaugh, and certainly not Donald Trump."
It remains to be seen whether other presidential candidates will follow in her footsteps. But by making the statement first, Gillibrand is making it clear that she prioritizes women's health and policies that affect women. And, hers is the only campaign that seems to be having fun with it:
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