OnPolitics: POTUS backs changing filibuster to codify abortion into law

·5 min read

Happy Thursday, OnPolitics readers.

Americans witnessed an historic event in the Supreme Court as Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman and 104th justice to serve on the high court, was sworn in Thursday.

Jackson, 51, will take the seat left vacant by Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, who retired after nearly three decades on the court. The Miami native and former U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the D.C. circuit was confirmed by the Senate three months ago.

Jackson was administered two oaths of office — one from Chief Justice John Roberts and the other from Breyer, whom she clerked for over 20 years ago — amid several controversial rulings from the court, including the overturning of Roe v. Wade on Friday and a decision to expand access to guns weeks after two high profile mass shootings in New York and Texas.

"I am truly grateful to be part of the promise of our great nation," Jackson said in a statement released by the court after the swearing-in ceremony. With Jackson's appointment, women and people of color now outnumber men on the court for the first time in history.

It's Amy and Chelsey with today's top stories.

POTUS open to changing filibuster rules to protect abortion

Following the Supreme Court's landmark ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, thereby leaving legal access to abortion up to the states, President Joe Biden said Thursday he would support changing the Senate filibuster to codify abortion protections into law.

In remarks during a press conference in Madrid, Biden called the Supreme Court's decision "outrageous" and "destabilizing." The president is currently wrapping up a six-day trip to Europe.

"And if the filibuster gets in the way, it's like voting rights — we should provide an exception for this," Biden said.

The filibuster requires 60 votes to pass most legislation through the Senate, but Senators dictate any changes to the rule. There are not enough votes in the Senate to codify Roe v. Wade into law. A bill on the matter failed by a 49-51 vote last May.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called Biden's remarks on the filibuster "inappropriate."

“Attacking a core American institution like the Supreme Court from the world stage is below the dignity of the president," McConnell said in a statement.

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Real Quick: stories you'll want to read

  • Is Biden doing 'everything possible' on immigration like he promised? The deaths of at least 53 people discovered in a tractor-trailer in San Antonio, Texas, have put a spotlight on the Biden administration's lack of progress in stemming migration and tackling corruption in Central American countries.

  • This SCOTUS case could alter federal elections: The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear arguments in a North Carolina redistricting challenge, wading into a simmering legal battle that could have profound implications for how states manage presidential and congressional elections.

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Supreme Court drops two major decisions on climate change, immigration

The Supreme Court ruled against an Environmental Protection Agency effort to regulate power plant emissions, dealing a blow to the Biden administration in one of the most significant climate cases decided by the high court in more than a decade. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion for a 6-3 majority.

What was the case about? At the center of the climate case was a question about whether the EPA had authority to curb carbon emissions from power plants. Simmering just below the surface was a deeper debate over how much authority all federal agencies have to issue regulations absent explicit authorization from Congress – an issue with far-reaching implications.

In another major decision, the Supreme Court allowed the Biden administration to end a Trump-era immigration policy that required migrants seeking asylum to remain in Mexico while their cases are reviewed, ending a yearlong legal fight over a policy critics say contributed to a humanitarian crisis on the border.

The decision represented a rare win for Biden at the conservative Supreme Court and allowed the administration to unwind a policy held over from President Donald Trump.

What was the case about? The Trump administration implemented the "remain in Mexico" policy, also known as Migrant Protection Protocols, in January 2019 as part of its effort to curb immigration. It requires migrants from Central American and other nations seeking asylum to wait in Mexico for their claims to be reviewed.

Biden rescinded the program last year. Texas and Missouri sued, asserting the Department of Homeland Security didn’t follow the law when it unwound the program because it didn’t explain its reasoning for doing so.

In the 5-4 opinion, Roberts said that the lower court's ruling against the administration "imposed a significant burden upon the executive’s ability to conduct diplomatic relations with Mexico." That's because, Roberts noted, the United States cannot unilaterally return migrants who are from Central America to Mexico. Those returns must be negotiated with Mexican officials.

🎆 July 4th at the White House is an annual tradition. Here’s how it started. -- Amy and Chelsey

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden calls for changing Senate filibuster rule to codify abortion