Six female Democratic Senators held a press conference yesterday. The six were Barbara Boxer, Hillary Clinton, Maria Cantwell, Barbara Mikulski, Patti Murray, and Debbie Stebanow. The Washington Times reports that the six were asked whether any of them could vote in favor of Judge Roberts if he said Roe was wrongly decided. Senator Boxer said she would find it “impossible” to vote for him under these circumstances. Senator Cantwell went further, suggesting that she would be unable to vote for Roberts unless it were established that he also believes in an earlier court decision that found “privacy rights” in the Constitution. Cantwell did not dispute that she was applying a “litmus test.”
Senator Clinton, the only interesting member of the group, declined to speculate about how she would vote, saying that she would wait to hear Judge Roberts’ answers during his confirmation hearings.
Clinton will find it difficult to abandon her sister Senators on this one. If Boxer and a few others draw a line in the sand, and it appears that they will, then Hillary may have to vote against Roberts too, and put off that “Sister Souljah” momment for a while.
Meanwhile, I find it amusing that liberal Democratic Senators have chosen for their litmus test an affirmation of the soundness of a decision that few liberal legal scholars believe was legally sound.
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