Planned Parenthood of Iowa reacts to Barrett nomination

Demonstrators rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, where justices were hearing a Louisiana abortion case on March 4, 2020. (Photo by Robin Bravender/States Newsroom D.C. Bureau)

The executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa said Saturday that the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the U.S. Supreme Court could have “a lasting effect on our rights for generations to come.”

In a written statement issued shortly after Trump’s announcement of Barrett as his nominee, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa noted that Barrett will now go before the U.S. Senate, and that Iowa’s two senators, Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, “have gone on record saying they will support pushing a nominee through prior to the election, contradicting their previous positions on not filling a vacancy during an election year.”

Erin Davison-Rippey, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa, said, Barrett’s  nomination to the court “will have a lasting effect on our rights for generations to come and the people of this country should be the ones to decide through their vote at the ballot box.”

She added that “the future of health care and LGBTQ, abortion and equality rights — everything Ruth Bader Ginsberg spent her entire career advancing and protecting — are at stake with this nomination. Our elected officials should respect her last wishes to wait and install a replacement after inauguration, instead of putting divisive politics ahead of human decency and doing the right thing.”

Grassley has said he will not oppose GOP efforts to confirm a nominee to replace Justice Ginsburg, arguing that Democrats would do the same if the roles were reversed.

“Over the years, and as recently as July, I’ve consistently said that taking up and evaluating a nominee in 2020 would be a decision for the current chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Senate majority leader,” Grassley said in a written statement. “Both have confirmed their intentions to move forward, so that’s what will happen. Once the hearings are underway, it’s my responsibility to evaluate the nominee on the merits, just as I always have.

In July, Grassley said that if a Supreme Court justice died this year, and he were Judiciary Committee chairman, he would not hold a hearing on a new nominee because he did not do so in a similar situation in 2016. He is no longer chairman, but was four years ago when President Barack Obama unsuccessfully sought the confirmation of Judge Merrick Garland to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Ernst said in July she would back a Supreme Court appointment before a new president was seated even if Trump lost his bid for reelection, according to The Des Moines Register. A freshman who sits on the Judiciary Committee, Ernst took the opposite view in 2016.

In a written statement issued earlier this week, Ernst said, “Once the president puts forward his nominee for the Supreme Court, I will carry out my duty — as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee — to evaluate the nominee for our nation’s highest court.”

 

Clark Kauffman
Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has worked during the past 30 years as both an investigative reporter and editorial writer at two of Iowa’s largest newspapers, the Des Moines Register and the Quad-City Times. He has won numerous state and national awards for reporting and editorial writing. His 2004 series on prosecutorial misconduct in Iowa was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. From October 2018 through November 2019, Kauffman was an assistant ombudsman for the Iowa Office of Ombudsman, an agency that investigates citizens’ complaints of wrongdoing within state and local government agencies.