Klobuchar: “The answer is a federal law passed to codify Roe v.Wade into law so it is the law of the land”
WASHINGTON - On The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, underscored the need to codify women’s right to make their own health care decisions, following the Supreme Court’s draft ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.
Highlighting the need for Congress to take action and protect women’s right to access reproductive health care, Klobuchar noted: “When one branch is…taking positions that reverse 50 years of precedent and against 80 percent of the American people, yeah, the other branch of government is supposed to step in. That's what our system of government was set to do. And not make women travel across state lines just to exercise their constitutional right to make decisions about their own healthcare.”
Emphasizing the dangerous consequences of the reported Supreme Court ruling, Klobuchar continued: “If this happens…We'll have a patchwork of laws across the country. So the answer is not that. The answer is that a federal law is passed to codify Roe v. Wade into law so it is the law of the land.”
Klobuchar’s full interview is given below and available for online viewing HERE.
Noah: Welcome back to The Daily Show. Today, everyone is processing the shocking news that the Supreme Court is preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade. To discuss what that means and what can be done about that, we're joined now by Senator Amy Klobuchar, who is live in Washington D.C. Senator Klobuchar, thank you so much for joining us on the show.
Klobuchar: Thanks, Trevor.
Noah: Let's jump straight into it. Everyone was shocked, appalled, just really, you know, blown away by the possibility that this could actually be a decision. Especially because for 50 years, people have thought that this was settled law. Where do you stand now? Where does America go from here, as a sitting Senator?
Klobuchar: Well, first, as a sitting Senator, let me say I am mad. I am pissed off. These justices, the nominees came before us-- of course I voted against them-- but they said, "Oh, this is the law of the land. Oh, this is a case that has been affirmed over and over and over again." And then what do they do when they get a chance? They're going to overturn it. And we predicted this was going to happen. But what this means right now, if this happens, over 20 states-- many of them have laws already in place-- will ban abortion. We'll have a patchwork of laws across the country. So the answer is not that. The answer is that a federal law is passed to codify Roe v. Wade into law so it is the law of the land.
Noah: So, with that being said, how do you-- how do you begin to do that? Because I'm sure many Republicans out there right now are going, "Well, that's why we voted. That's why we voted for Trump. That's why we're happy that McConnell is in power." Because however they did it, they managed to get it done. And then I see a lot of Democrats, or people who voted for the Democrats saying, "Well, are we going to get what we voted for?” Are the women who voted for this party going to see actions being taken or is it going to be a case of “we don't have the votes and we can't figure out how to make it happen?”
Klobuchar: Well, two, people have to show where they stand and we have to have this vote. It's critical. And as you know, the vast majority of Democrats in Congress – this has already passed the House – support this bill. So that is going to happen very quickly. I agree with you. We should get rid of the filibuster. I don’t know if you know, there are over 100 exceptions to that filibuster, where, like everyone else, like the House of Representatives, like democracies across the world, we have majority votes. They have majority votes on things like the Trump tax cuts. They have majority votes on space accidents. They have majority votes on things like arms sales. And so you're going to tell me that we have to get 60 votes to change something that this right-wing Supreme Court has put in place, where in fact, they are against the wishes of nearly 80 percent of the American people? So if something's worth getting rid of the filibuster for, or making an exception to the filibuster, this is it. And by the way, if that doesn't work, you know that old line? "Don't get mad, vote?” I say get mad and vote. We have to do both.
Noah: Let's talk a little bit about strategy, then. There are two Republican Senators who have been on record as saying that they are pro-choice, Senator Collins and Senator Murkowski. And they said, “Hey, we're pro-choice even though we voted for these conservative Justices.” Would this be a moment where you basically ask them to put their money where their mouth is, and say, “Well, if you said you are pro-choice, and now you see that these Justices have gone against what they said, do you think you can get them to vote with the Democrats?”
Klobuchar: I can't predict what they're going to do, but I can tell you, yes, this is a moment where people have to make a decision. When you look at the history, all kinds of exceptions to that filibuster. And this is a moment where, one, we have to codify Roe v. Wade into law, especially if they have been betrayed by these Justices who they claim made one claim to them and then voted another way. And then, secondly, they've got to make their own decision. They're both independent thinkers, and so I don't rule that out. But I also look to the fall as part of this strategy. You can't just look at both things separately. As well as the fights that are going to happen in every single state legislature in the country. Because this is going to be battled out state by state by state. Because I think when these judges said -- and we always thought they wanted to go back to the 1950s -- I think what we didn't realize when they said the 50’s, it was the 1850s. And when one branch is screwing up so bad in taking positions that reverse 50 years of precedent and against 80 percent of the American people, yeah, the other branch of government is supposed to step in. That's what our system of government was set to do. And not make women get back-alley abortions and travel across state lines just to exercise their constitutional-- and I believe it's constitutional-- right to make decisions about their own healthcare.
Noah: Do you worry at all... do you worry at all that the Supreme Court has lost its neutrality as an institution in America? There was a time when people said, “The Supreme Court rules on the laws that have been passed and the interpretation of those laws.” And, yet, now it feels very much like a seesaw. Is there a way you can see America fixing this, or is this just how it's going to be from now on?
Klobuchar: First of all, I’ll note, I take this personally, because the Justice who was a Republican president appointed justice, that would be Justice Blackman was from Minnesota, and he is the one that maybe surprised those that had asked for him to be appointed by writing Roe v. Wade. That kind of independence is not what you're seeing with these conservative Justices. Now, you have seen it from time to time with Justice Roberts who voted to uphold the Affordable Care Act, who has taken a number of votes. And as if he’s some radical liberal. Not really. But it has gone so extreme that he has been siding with some of the liberal Justices. Sadly, if this leaked opinion and what we're hearing is true, that won't even matter if he did that because it was 5-4. So, as I look to the future, what do we need to do? Well, I think the first thing we need to do is to make sure that we're putting judges in place. And I will tell you, with the wonderful new appointment of Justice Jackson to that Supreme Court -- she will be starting soon -- that is a good beginning. And what a moment that was when she got out of the dark and musky Senate Judiciary cave that it was, and got out in that beautiful sunshine on the White House lawn. There was no Ted Cruz on that lawn. And that was her moment. But now, sadly, the Supreme Court has told us we will no longer allow women to make their decisions with their doctors, Trevor. It will be Ted Cruz that can make those decisions. But the bottom line right now is we are not going to be able to fix that Court before the fall. And I think your audience knows that right now. What we have to do is push these votes, show people where they are, show people where Democrats are and where Republicans are. And if we can't get this done because we have a tied Senate at 50-50, then we go straight to the ballot box. We march to that box. People turn out in record numbers. That is how we beat this, Trevor. That will be the last stand.
Noah: Well, I know you took a window of your time to come and talk to us. I appreciate you for that, Senator. Thank you so much.
Klobuchar: And you did a great job at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.
Noah: Thank you very much.
Klobuchar: Thank you for calling out Washington. It was amazing. We want you back.