Monday 27 June 2022 11:12 PM McConnell calls Roe v. Wade 'outdated', compares SCOTUS overturning it to ... trends now
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the precedent granting federal abortion rights in Roe v. Wade 'outdated' in a Monday speech, his first public remarks since the Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 case.
'Precedent is important. It is important,' the Republican said. 'But sometimes precedent is wrong.'
The high court upended five decades' worth of precedent and the lives of potentially millions of American women on Friday when it sided with Mississippi against its lone abortion clinic in overturning Roe.
Speaking to a receptive audience at the Rotary Club of Florence, Kentucky, McConnell compared the court's explosive decision to the judicial body ending racial segregation in 1954.
He referenced the 1896 case Plessy v. Ferguson, a decision stating that segregation laws did not violate the US Constitution and upheld the racist doctrine of 'separate but equal.'
'The case in 1896 upheld racial segregation on rail cars, which is the way people moved around then,' McConnell said.
'Fifty-eight years later,' he continued, the high court ended racial segregation in public schools with Brown v. Board of Education. The decision partially struck down Plessy and paved the way for further societal integration along with the Civil Rights Movement.
'It became, 9 to nothing, the law of the land, breaking down racial segregation,' the Senator said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell praised the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, which overturned Roe v. Wade, in his first public appearance since the ruling
'So I raise that just to make the point that precedent is important - but sometimes the precedent is outdated or wrong.'
He said the issue of abortion was now 'sent back to the democratic process for the will of the American people and their elected representatives to make this decision.'
One of McConnell's top allies, Senator John Cornyn of Texas, landed in hot water over the weekend for making a similar comparison.
The senior Republican lawmaker retweeted former President Barack Obama's Friday statement declaring that 'the Supreme Court not only reversed nearly 50 years of precedent, it relegated the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues—attacking the essential freedoms of millions of Americans.'
Cornyn quipped: 'Now do Plessy vs Ferguson/Brown vs Board of Education.'
Critics accused the Senator of knowingly