Once again the Romney campaign is trying to be on both sides of a very important issue at the same time. He’s done everything he could to convince the base that he is as anti-choice as they are, saying he would appoint justices like Scalia to the Supreme Court and that he would “absolutely” support a personhood amendment. But now one of his surrogates is trying to tell voters, especially independent women, not to worry, that Roe v Wade is safe if Romney is elected.
In the frenetic push to win all-important Ohio, Mitt Romney’s campaign is saying a lot of things to a lot of people. And on Monday, a top Romney surrogate told a group of Jewish voters in the Buckeye State that the landmark Supreme Court decision granting women the right to an abortion is in no danger of being overturned should Romney become president.
“President Bush was president eight years, Roe v. Wade wasn’t reversed. He had two Supreme Court picks, Roe v. Wade wasn’t reversed,” former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) told a Republican Jewish Coalition meeting in Beechwood, Ohio. “It’s not going to be reversed.”
But this is almost certainly wrong. There are four clear votes to overturn it on the court right now — Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito. Justice Kennedy famously changed his vote in 1992, originally agreeing to overturn Roe and later flipping his vote to the other side to preserve that ruling while allowing more peripheral restrictions like waiting periods, mandatory notifications and so forth. If a single justice from the liberal side of the court retires or dies in the next four years — and remember, Justice Ginsburg is 79 years old and has already had colon and pancreatic cancer — then Roe is gone.