Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
President Joe Biden called the United States Supreme Court “out of control” Friday as he signed an executive order that even his staunchest supporters and the president himself have noted will have limited impact.
While the president repeated his and the left’s criticism of the nation’s highest court, there was little beyond rhetoric Biden could offer.
“On the day the Dobbs decision came down, I immediately announced what I would do,” Biden said during remarks made in the Roosevelt Room. “But I also made it clear, based on the reasoning of the Court, there is no constitutional right to choose … the only way to fulfill and restore that right for women in this country is by voting, by exercising the power at the ballot box.”
Biden said he hoped American voters would support the candidates that would give him a Democrat-led House and “two additional pro-choice senators.”
As to the order, what the president signed achieved little more than asking for a plan. Primarily aimed at Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, the order established a 30-day window during which Biden called upon his lieutenants to:
- Identify potential steps the federal government could take to expand abortion access
- Develop a plan to conduct outreach and educational efforts to steer women toward free and reduced abortions while “promoting awareness of and access to the full range of contraceptive services, as well as know-your-rights information for those seeking or providing reproductive healthcare services”
- Identify steps the federal government can take to insure pregnant women receive full protection “afforded under the law”
- Address safety concerns for patients and abortion doctors
- Protecting the privacy of patients
- Creating a task force to coordinate all federal abortion advocacy efforts
“This is a choice,” Biden said just before signing the order. “This is a moment — the moment — the moment to restore the rights that have been taken away from us and the moment to protect our nation from an extremist agenda that is antithetical to everything we believe as Americans.”
After the signing, the White House released a collection of congratulatory and thankful comments from Democrats, but most of the remarks were framed in terms of the executive order being the precursor to a national codification of abortion rights.
“The administration’s actions announced today are welcome steps to mitigate the impact of this decision,” Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) said in one statement. “We also know that in the aftermath of the decision, [Senate minority leader] Mitch McConnell and anti-choice extremists’ ultimate objective is to ban abortion nationwide — we must hold the line against this and keep fighting to protect a woman’s fundamental freedom.”
Hassan’s remarks rang odd on Friday, at least in the sense that the enemies she decried were mostly silent on the topics of abortion and the executive order.
As of Friday night, McConnell, Sen. Ted Cruz, the Republican National Committee and its co-chairs, Rep. Lauren Boebert, Sen. Rand Paul, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Rep. Thomas Massie, Sen. Tim Scott, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Sen. John Kennedy – a representative cross-section of Republicans – had not mentioned the president’s efforts.
Matters of inflation, recession, economy, and gun rights occupied this group’s attention, a clear indication the right sees these areas as more fertile as Republicans seek to reclaim power in Congress this fall.
In the grand scheme of American politics, the lasting legacy of Biden’s latest executive order might well be as a footnote en route to the 2022 midterms.