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MSNBC Warns Court on Being 'Out of Touch' On Abortion



Before Amy Coney Barrett was formally announced as President Trump’s appointee to the Supreme Court on Saturday, The 11th Hour guest host Katy Tur and historian Michael Beschloss warned the Court that moving too far right on abortion will justify Democratic attempts to pack the Court.

Tur was lamenting that the interpreters of the law aren’t in touch with public opinion polls when she declared, “I’m curious to think, the reaction from the American public if the court does lurch to the right as it could if she is appointed. The majority of Americans, just to take one issue, the majority of Americans support having legalized abortions. They support some caveats with it, but they support it being in existence.”

She then asked, “I mean can you give us some historical perspective of what happens when a court is out of touch with the majority feeling of the American public?”

Beschloss responded by declaring, “It depends on who’s on the court, if they’re rigid idealogues, they will not care” before giving a history lesson on FDR’s failed attempt to pack the court in the 1930s.  

Tur then asked, “Are the times different now? This idea that the Democrats might want to add some justices if they were to win back the Senate and the White House?”

Beschloss replied by arguing, “I think the times are not different. I think it’s almost inevitable that we will see that happen, not necessarily the program will succeed,” but that it is the Court’s own fault for being out of touch, “but almost certainly that if you have a Supreme Court that seems much more conservative than the American people are and the— essentially arrangement of politics in this country, you’ll see a big movement for Democrats to do Supreme Court reform.”

In warning the Court that it’s their fault that Democrats are trying to delegitimize it, both Tur and Beschloss showed themselves to be either ill-informed or be engaged in the spreading of misinformation. If the Court does reverse Roe v. Wade it will not outlaw abortion across the country against the will a majority of Americans. Rather it will return abortion to the states and if a state decides to ban it, it will be because the voters sent representatives to their state legislatures for that purpose.

This segment was sponsored by Subaru. 

Here is a transcript for the September 25 show:

MSNBC

The 11th Hour with Brian Williams

11:47 PM ET

KATY TUR: You know, I don’t — I’m curious to think, the reaction from the American public if the court does lurch to the right as it could if she is appointed. The majority of Americans, just to take one issue, the majority of Americans support having legalized abortions. They support some caveats with it, but they support it being in existence. I mean can you give us some historical perspective of what happens when a court is out of touch with the majority feeling of the American public? 

MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: It depends on who’s on the court, if they’re rigid a have ideologies, they will not care. 1930s, Franklin Roosevelt passed the New Deal, all these programs to help the American people who were suffering from the great depression, and the Supreme Court started striking a lot of these programs down as unconstitutional. So in 1937, Franklin Roosevelt said, the only way I can fix this and bring the court a little bit more in tune with America, which basically loved the New Deal by and large, is to do what was derisively called court packing, adding up to five new members of the Supreme Court that Roosevelt could appoint. Roosevelt was so frustrated, he tried to take that to the Senate, but the Senate found that proposal too radical, didn’t let him do it. 

TUR: Are the times different now? This idea that the Democrats might want to add some justices if they were to win back the Senate and the White House? 

BESCHLOSS: Oh, I think the times are not different. I think it’s almost inevitable that we will see that happen, not necessarily the program will succeed, but almost certainly that if you have a Supreme Court that seems much more conservative than the American people are and the essentially arrangement of politics in this country, you’ll see a big movement for Democrats to do Supreme Court reform. As you know, Katy, the constitution does not have a specific number of Supreme Court justices there should be. Stay tuned. 

 



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