Joe Biden, the second Catholic president, was asked on Wednesday to comment on the oral arguments held that morning at the Supreme Court in its most important abortion case in decades, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Biden said that he had not listened to any of the arguments but was quick to add, “First of all, I support Roe v. Wade.” He said that the rule of Roe is a “rational position.”
The Dobbs case centers on a statute enacted by the State of Mississippi prohibiting almost all abortions in the state after the fifteenth week of pregnancy. Pro-abortion advocates and the only operating abortion clinic in Mississippi sued the state. They obtained a temporary restraining order from a federal district court, which prevents the statute from being enforced until the case is resolved.
The Supreme Court agreed to take up the case, marking the first time since 1992 that the Court will review the central holding in the Roe decision. In its brief filed with the Court, Mississippi has expressly asked the Court to overturn the 1973 decision in Roe.
Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Grant Stewart appeared for the state before the Supreme Court for arguments Wednesday. He is a former law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas and worked in the Department of Justice during the Trump administration.
The lead attorney for the abortion provider is Julie Rikelman, Litigation Director for the Center for Reproductive Rights, a radical abortion advocacy organization. Elizabeth Prelogar also appeared before the Court as Biden’s U.S. Solicitor General. She has also acted as counsel for the federal government in the cases involving the new pro-life Texas Heartbeat Act.
On Wednesday, thousands of pro-life advocates assembled outside the Supreme Court to support the Mississippi statute and urge that Roe v. Wade be overturned.
Most commentators feel that there is a significant chance that a majority of the Court comprised of at least five of the Court’s six justices appointed by Republican presidents is poised to overturn the decision declaring that obtaining an abortion is a right protected by the Constitution. A final decision in the case is expected by next June.