After the overturning of Roe v. Wade, all eyes have been on important equality decisions made by the Supreme Court. Obergefell v. Hodges has been a hot button issue following Justice Clarence Thomas’s call to “revisit” the decision.
“If Justice Thomas’s concurrence teaches anything it’s that we cannot let your guard down or the rights and freedoms that we have come to cherish will vanish into a cloud of radical ideology and dubious legal reasoning,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), said Monday in a statement. “As this Court may take aim at other fundamental rights, we cannot sit idly by as the hard-earned gains of the Equality movement are systematically eroded.”
Jerrold Nadler is one of the sponsors for the Respect for Marriage Act, which The House is set to vote on July 19. This act would officially repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and allow interracial and same-sex marriages nationwide.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrats in a letter on July 18 that the House will be introducing laws “to protect freedom in our nation, as extremist Justices and lawmakers take aim at more of our basic rights,” including the Respect for Marriage Act and Right to Contraception Act, which is set to be voted on later this week.
Both bills are expected to pass the Democrat-controlled House with the support of some Republicans. However, the Senate is split 50-50, and Democrats will need the support of 10 Republicans to beat a filibuster. Senator Susan Collins, a co-sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, is currently the only Republican who is publicly in favor of the bill so far. Collins stated passing this act would be “another step to promote equality, prevent discrimination, and protect the rights of all Americans.”
The Senate is not scheduled to vote on the bills yet, but Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said Monday that he is in favor of enshrining those two rights. Democrats have identified these two issues as major points in 2022 elections.
“People should be concerned, based on how the Supreme Court ruled in overturning Roe v. Wade. This is clearly an activist court,” Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., the chair of the Democratic Senate campaign arm, said in an interview.