SCOTUS justices lied to pull off a 'religious power grab' -- and here's what the Senate can do about it: columnist
Amy Coney Barrett (AFP)

The United States Supreme Court appears poised to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling and end abortion rights in many states, but one columnist argued the Senate isn't powerless to stop what amounts to a tyrannical move.

The 5-4 decision drafted by Justice Samuel Alito would allow many states to criminalize abortion and severely undermine privacy rights under the 14th Amendment, which would expand government power into Americans' personal lives and endanger a number of basic liberties -- and Congress should take immediate action, argued Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin.

"The livid reaction from progressive advocacy groups and Democratic politicians across the country about the potential evisceration of abortion rights — and possibly others protected by the 14th Amendment — should tell the media this is not simply about 'culture' nor is it a 'war,'" Rubin wrote. "It’s a religious power grab by justices who, according to at least two female Republican senators, dissembled under oath about their intentions regarding Roe. The Senate Judiciary Committee should hold hearings and call GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) to testify. If those senators were really duped, they should consider advocating for extreme measures, including impeachment and a filibuster exception to codify Roe."

The court's right-wing majority and their supporters have apparently rejected the founding principle that religion shall not be imposed by the government, and Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) revealed in his 11-point plan that Republicans intend to use state power to serve the religious beliefs of some on everyone else.

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"It wasn’t so long ago that 'conservatives' stood for the proposition that government, especially the federal government, should not control the totality of traditions, habits and decisions made in civil society," Rubin wrote. "The family, for example, should remain undisturbed to work out arrangements that reflect its members’ values, faith and views in a pluralistic society. The principle of limited government posits that — unlike totalitarian states that override personal conscience, family and religion — free peoples do not tolerate an all-pervasive government."

What's happening is far worse than a culture war, which Rubin said diminishes its threat.

"The Supreme Court is poised to roil the very essence of our constitutional tradition and strike at the heart of a pluralistic democracy," she concluded. "Let’s call it what it really is: state-enforced theocracy, or if you prefer, religious authoritarianism."

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