In the face of disaster—because that’s exactly what the overturning of Roe is for countless families, caretakers, future generations, all of us—President Biden seems to have his hands tied. The looming battle ahead, he believes, will fall on voters to fight. “You can have the final word,” the president told Americans in a somber address on Friday. “This is not over.”
But for many of us watching, Biden’s attempt to galvanize amid tragedy had something of an opposite effect. It felt demoralizing. After all, Roe and reproductive rights were on the ballot the last go-around, and this is where we’ve landed—and that’s with (albeit extremely slim) control of Congress. So when Biden, along with Democratic leaders, claims that Roe is on the ballot this November, I’ve got to wonder, is it really?
For me, what is on the ballot will largely depend on how far this White House will be willing to go amid an unprecedented attack that foretells a bigger war on so much else. Lacking filibuster-proof votes in the Senate, the president has already signaled that his executive options are highly constrained. But in the exceedingly rare chance that he changes his mind, here are some neat ideas he could take on, from his fellow Dems, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren who kicked off the Sunday morning news circuit with a booming call to expand the Supreme Court.
“I believe we need to get some confidence back in our court, and that means we need more justices on the United States Supreme Court,” Warren told ABC News. “It’s happened before, we’ve done it before. We need to do it again.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) calls for expanding the Supreme Court to restore legitimacy, "I believe we need to get some confidence back in our court and that means we need more justices on the United States Supreme Court. " pic.twitter.com/IWKkIXtYyn
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) June 26, 2022
It looks like a bunch of other popular Democrats want the same thing.
– Restrain judicial review
– Expand the court
– Clinics on federal lands
– Expand education and access to Plan C
– Repeal Hyde
– Hold floor votes codifying Griswold, Obergefell, Lawrence, Loving, etc
– Vote on Escobar’s bill protecting clinics
We can do it!
We can at least TRY
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 26, 2022
We won’t go back.
Expand the Supreme Court. pic.twitter.com/YfBC29x5EJ
— Rep. Mondaire Jones (@RepMondaire) June 24, 2022
If this extremist Court will dismantle something as fundamental as the right for an American to make decisions about their own body, then we are on a slippery slope to the undoing of other fundamental rights. But Congress can act. We can expand the Court and protect our rights.
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) June 24, 2022
Okay. Biden has expressly rejected that one. What about the filibuster? Could it finally be time to ditch the senatorial tool in order to codify Roe? Doesn’t look like it to Joe. But for a growing number of Democrats, the urgency of the moment has well and truly arrived.
Overturning Roe v. Wade and denying women the right to control their own bodies is an outrage and in defiance of what the American people want. Democrats must now end the filibuster in the Senate, codify Roe v. Wade, and once again make abortion legal and safe.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) June 24, 2022
Abolish the filibuster. Codify Roe.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) June 24, 2022
I agree with @AOC. I urge @POTUS to say the following immediately: “I call for the filibuster to be eliminated by electing two more Dem US Senators and holding the House. I will then use the power of the majority to sign the bill codifying Roe v. Wade into law.” https://t.co/ZuvpJJssxH
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) June 26, 2022
In the coming months, we’ll see if Biden is willing to go beyond “please vote.”