Judicial Crisis Network President Carrie Severino and Trump-promoting Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress appeared on “Fox News @ Night” last night to discuss the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that right-wing justices could use to overturn Roe v. Wade. The Mississippi law, which looks to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, was based on model legislation written by the Alliance Defending Freedom as part of what an ADF attorney called its strategic plan to “eradicate Roe” and allow states to pass complete bans on abortion.
Jeffress told Fox viewers that he believes former President Donald Trump was elected in 2016 because he promised conservative Supreme Court picks, adding, “We’re gonna see now what the justices do and if they uphold their part of the deal.”
Jeffress said that he hopes the court uses the opportunity to “affirm the states’ rights” to restrict abortion, but he cautioned that “with 70 percent of the American people against a complete overturning of Roe, I doubt that’s going to happen—hope it does, but I doubt that’s going to happen.”
Severino, whose group spent millions of dollars to get Trump’s anti-choice judicial nominees confirmed by the Senate, told Fox News viewers that the 15-week threshold in the law was partly about protecting women’s health. But it is hard to take seriously the claim that protecting women’s health was a priority for the Mississippi legislature or governor given that in 2018, when the law was passed and signed, the state ranked 50th in women’s health as well as 50th in the health of infants and children. That same year, the law was deemed unconstitutional by lower courts and blocked by the federal district court in Jackson, Mississippi.
Severino has been leading right-wing smear campaigns against several women of color appointed by President Joe Biden to high-level administration positions, including recently confirmed Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clarke, who has been nominated to lead the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department. The Washington Post editorial board referred to a Judicial Crisis Network attack ad on Gupta as a “categorically dishonest video hit job” that was “mainly notable for the magnitude of the lies and distortions it crams into 30 seconds.”