Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) is vowing to defy the Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v. Wade.
Speaking outside the court on Friday, Waters said, referring to a crowd that had gathered, “You see this turnout here? You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
“Women are going to control their bodies no matter how they try and stop us. The hell with the Supreme Court. We will defy them. Women will be in control of their bodies. And if they think Black women are intimidated or afraid, they got another thought coming,” she continued.
Finally, Waters added, “Black women will be out in droves. We will be out by the thousands, we will be out by the millions. We are going to make sure we fight for the right to control our own bodies.”
Watch the video below:
Maxine Waters and Al Green among members of Congress who've shown up outside the Supreme Court to denounce the end of Roe. "Women are going to control their bodies, no matter how they try and stop us," Waters says. "The hell with the Supreme Court, we will defy them." pic.twitter.com/SCkicoQj68
— Alejandro Alvarez (@aletweetsnews) June 24, 2022
Waters’ comments come after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, as IJR reported.
The decision leaves it up to the states to regulate abortion.
Which raises the question: What is Waters vowing to defy?
Congress could try to pass federal legislation codifying Roe which, due to the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, would take priority over state laws that restrict or ban abortion.
Perhaps such legislation would pass muster if it was challenged. However, if lawmakers are seen publicly declaring their intention to “defy” a Supreme Court decision, it could hurt their efforts to enshrine abortion protections in federal legislation.
The Supreme Court typically does not appreciate it when officials explicitly try to defy their rulings, but aside from issuing other decisions, there’s not much it can do. It does not have an army or police force to enforce its ruling. Instead, part of the compact that Americans make with the government is to voluntarily agree to comply with the court’s rulings.
And as early as the 1803 Marbury v. Madison decision, Supreme Court justices fretted about exactly such a situation where elected officials defy their decisions, and leave the court a meaningless part of the government unable to enforce its rulings.
There’s nothing wrong with stating that you disagree with a decision and protesting it. But while Waters vowed to defy the decision, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called it illegitimate.
BREAKING: Congresswoman @AOC has arrived in front of the Supreme Court and is chanting that the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade is “illegitimate” and calls for people to get “into the streets” | @TPUSA pic.twitter.com/jNkCYDrLtz
— Drew Hernandez (@DrewHLive) June 24, 2022
It is not healthy for our republic to have elected officials breaking from that decision and using terms such as “defy” and illegitimate.
Once you so publicly and brazenly rip the band-aid off of not adhering to the precedent of voluntarily complying with the court’s rulings, there is no going back.
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