The man most responsible for shaping a United States Supreme Court that delivered the conservative movement a long-sought victory has spent weeks saying he didn’t think it will be good for his party.
Publicly, after a draft of the likely decision leaked in May, former President Donald J. Trump was remarkably tight-lipped for weeks about the possible decision, which the court ultimately handed down on Friday, ending federal abortion protections. But privately, Mr. Trump has told people repeatedly that he believes it will be “bad for Republicans.”
The decision, Mr. Trump has told friends and advisers, will anger suburban women, a group who helped tilt the 2020 presidential race to Joseph R. Biden Jr., and will lead to a backlash against Republicans in the November midterm elections.
In other conversations, Mr. Trump has told people that measures like the six-week abortion ban in Texas, which allows people to file lawsuits against those who enable abortions beyond that time-frame, are “so stupid,” according to a person with direct knowledge of the discussions. The Supreme Court let the measure stand in December 2021.
His advisers had encouraged Mr. Trump to keep quiet about the issue of abortion until a ruling was released, in part to ensure he was not accused of trying to influence the decision. Still, the contrast between Mr. Trump and conservatives who have heralded the decision and who worked in his administration, such as former Vice President Mike Pence, has been striking. On Friday morning, Mr. Pence issued a statement saying, “Life won,” as he called for abortion opponents to keep fighting “in every state in the land.”
A spokesman for Mr. Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment about his private remarks, or his view of the ruling. But in an interview that Fox News published after the decision on Friday, Mr. Trump, asked about his role, said, “God made the decision.” He said the decision was “following the Constitution, and giving rights back when they should have been given long ago.”
“I think, in the end, this is something that will work out for everybody,” Mr. Trump told Fox News.
By early afternoon on Friday, Mr. Trump put out a statement taking a victory lap, including applauding himself for sticking by his choice of nominees. All three of Mr. Trump’s appointees to the court were in the majority in the 6-to-3 ruling. [Continue reading…]
Justice Clarence Thomas argued in a concurring opinion released on Friday that the Supreme Court “should reconsider” its past rulings codifying rights to contraception access, same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage.
The sweeping suggestion from the current court’s longest-serving justice came in the concurring opinion he authored in response to the court’s ruling revoking the constitutional right to abortion, also released on Friday. [Continue reading…]