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tv   U.S. Senate Sen. Murray on Justice Kennedy Retirement  CSPAN  July 1, 2018 2:36pm-2:47pm EDT

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may be, turn back the clock on issue after issue or after issue, because president trump has embraced a hard-right group who has a veto power over nominees. don't let us turn back the clock, america. stand up. speak out. democrats, republicans, liberals, conservatives, all should want a much fairer process. america, tell your senators that if you do not want a supreme court justice who will overturn roe v. wade, those senators should not vote for a candidate from the list. i yield the i want to comment on the news that is very clearly closely connected. it is clear that justice kennedy's retirement comes at a
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pivotal point when so many of our values is under attack by a president who spent every day in office testing the limits of the constitution. i share the deep concern of so many families across this country who are already suffering under the trump administration and fear for -- fear further erosion of the progress in this country. so, first of all, i want to be clear. i am hopeful that republican leaders go back and look at what they said very recently and give families across the country the opportunity to weigh in with an election before moving forward to fill this seat. but, mr. president, we don't know who president trump will nominate just yet or when he will make that nomination, but i want to go back to something my dear friend and colleague, senator kennedy, said because it highlights the stakes right now. he was talking about an extreme
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nominee, robert bork, and he said, i want to quote him. robert bork's america is a land in which women would be forced into back alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizen's doors in midnight raids, school children could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists would be censored at the whim of the federal government and the door would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens where the judiciary is often the only proctor of the individual rights that are at the heart of our democracy. unquote. mr. president, robert bork was rejected and justice kennedy took his place, and today we face similar stakes right now in
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this moment. voting rights are at stake, lgbtq right are at stakes, the right to organize collectively is at stake. those are just a few. there's a lot more. families across the country are paying attention and they are going to be watching what president trump and individual members of this united states senate do right now. they are going to -- they are going to -- to want to know if their rights will be protected, will their freedoms and secure, will the supreme court put people like them first or will they stand with special interests and big business and the most extreme idealogues in our country? those are the questions people across this country will be asking. that is the conversation i expect we will have here in the united states senate. and that what president trump should be considering as he thinks about this issue, and
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hopefully as he slows this down and gives people across the country a chance to weigh in. mr. president, one issue i know women across the country will be focused on and asking about is their constitutionally protected right to control their own health care decisions affirmed in roe v. wade, because let me be clear. women and men in this country understand how directly tied this write is to a woman's freedom and economic security. and they overwhelmingly do not want to see that right rolled back. now, today is the anniversary of a ruling that further upheld women's constitutionally protected preproductive -- reproductive rights, and i wanted to take a few minutes to discuss what this decision meant for women's lives and why we will not stop fighting to protect the progress we made.
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almost a half century ago in its historic roe v. wade decision, supreme court ruled that every woman no matter where she lives has the constitutional right to make her own decisions about her body, her family, and her future, including the right to safe legal abortion. but a right means nothing without the ability to exercise it. while roe v. wade has been the law of the land for years, extremists have been trying to change the court's decision by making it hard for women to exercise their reproductive rights. but women across the country have not been silent about these efforts and neither has the supreme court. two years ago the court reaffirmed the rights enshrined in roe v. wade when it ruled in favor of whole women's health
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and struck down an antiabortion law in texas that was designed to make it harder for women to access the care they need. the law in texas attempted to undermine women's reproductive freedom by putting access to that care far out of reach for women. if it had been allowed to stand, the law would have closed three-quarters of the clinics in that state that provided abortion services. if it had been allowed to stand hundreds of thousands of women would have no option but to travel hundreds of miles for their reproductive health services. but the texas law didn't stand. women's constitutional rights did. that supreme court ruling sent a strong message, one women have been making for years and one we continue to make clear today. politicians have no business interfering with a woman's most personal decisions. unfortunately, many people on the right continue to ignore that message.
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unfortunately they have continued to push for damaging, extreme policies that ignore the supreme court and the constitution and women across the country. from day one president trump and vice president pence have made it clear that turning back the clock on women's health and reproductive rights is a top priority for them. the recently proposed harmful domestic gag rule on federal family planning funds that was designed to restrict access to health care for women interfere with the care provider's ability to talk about the full range of reproductive health services with their patients, and ultimately make it harder for women to exercise their health care choices and constitutional rights, and that is just the latest of so many extreme and ideological steps and statements and policies and appointees that have repeatedly shown the trump administration's hostility to women's rights. and we are still seeing radical
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republicans in many states pushing to put up new barriers like those that were struck down in the whole women's health case to prevent women from making their own health care decisions. barriers that would allow perhaps a woman's zip code or her income to determine whether she's able to get the care she needs. but we are also still seeing that every time far-right politicians try and bring us a step back, women and men across the country are stepping forward and speaking out against them. and that is not going to stop. we are going to continue to defend women's reproductive rights on all fronts and against all attacks. one effort to do that in congress is the women's health protection act legislation i'm very proud to cosponsor that would help protect women's constitutional rights to safe, legal abortion care and bring down harmful ideological barriers to that care like the one struck down in texas once
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and for all. i remember being in the room when the supreme court heard the whole woman's health case and hearing the skepticism from many justices as they asked thoughtful questions about texas' flimsy excuses for trying to undermine women's rights. i remember being outside of the court shortly afterwards and seeing all the women and men making their voices heard and fighting for those rights. i remember being moved by the personal stories shared by so many women about what the right to make their own personal decisions meant for their health, for their family, for their opportunities in life. i'm not going to let anyone forget those stories including president trump and vice president pence and far-right politicians across the country. i'm not going to stop defending women's health and reproductive freedoms. i'm not going to stop fighting to make sure our daughters and granddaughters have stronger rights, more opportunity, not less. i'm not going to stop and i know
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women and men across the country aren't going to, either. there's no question in my mind that people nationwide understand just how important a woman's ability to control her own health care decisions is. that this is not about politics. it is about women's health. it's about their economic security, about a woman's ability to contribute fully and equally in our country. and i'm confident people across the country who do not want to go backwards will stand up and make their voices heard and reject president trump and vice president pence's extreme ideology wherever it rears its head. so i'm hopeful that president trump takes this to heart as he thinks about his supreme court vacancy. and i'm hoping that my republican colleagues are paying attention. and i am truly hoping that president trump decides to listen to people across the country, listen to what republicans just said recently, and not jam


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