VIDEO: [Washington Week] Panel discussion on what looks to be the highly-charged issue of who is to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and the future of Roe v. Wade.
All of that said, they have clear — and increasing — reason for concern.
In an interview with Fox airing Sunday and Monday, Trump doubled down on his past rhetoric about sending the issue of abortion to the states, which is another way of saying overturning Roe. (Roe legalized abortion nationwide, meaning its repeal would allow states to decide the issue.) Trump said he would “probably not” ask potential nominees directly about Roe — given that such litmus tests are frowned upon — but then he reiterated his past view of how this issue would play out.
“Maybe someday it will be to the states,” he said. “You never know how that’s going to turn out. That’s a very complex question. The Roe v. Wade is probably the one that people are talking about in terms of having an effect, but we’ll see what happens. But it could very well end up with states at some point.”
“We’ll see what happens” is Trump’s default when he doesn’t want to commit to something but welcomes speculation about that thing. It’s what he said right before he fired FBI Director James B. Comey — but also about many things that didn’t come to fruition. It can be a threat or just Trump not having a good answer.
And Trump isn’t saying he doesn’t want to ask about Roe, mind you; he’s saying he won’t ask because he’s not supposed to — “probably.” And he also offers plenty of talk about installing a conservative.
This answer will do basically nothing to tamp down theories about secret plots to overturn Roe by Trump and those pulling the strings behind the scenes. And for that perception, Trump continues to have himself to thank. Late in the 2016 campaign, he offered this in an interview with Fox News’s Chris Wallace:
WALLACE: You just said you want to see the court protect the Second Amendment. Do you want to see the court overturn Roe v. Wade?
TRUMP: Well, if we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that’s really what’s going to be — that will happen and that will happen automatically in my opinion because I am putting pro-life justices on the court.
We’re now on that second justice, the point at which Trump said his picks might overturn the law. And he said it “will happen.”
This article continues at [Washington Post] Trump makes clear Roe v. Wade is on the chopping block