Outrage from the left at the Supreme Court overturning the Roe v. Wade ruling led to widespread condemnation of two liberal icons on Friday.
Former President Barack Obama and the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg each came in for a turn of being trashed.
Ginsburg was sick for many years but did not leave the court until her death in 2020. Had she left the court before former President Donald Trump took office, Obama could potentially have appointed her successor.
Instead, Trump filled the vacancy created by her death with Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was part of the 6-3 majority in the ruling that threw out Roe v. Wade.
Some commentators noted that Obama made no effort to make Roe standard federal law. Although in the final years of his presidency he faced a Republican Congress, he took office in 2009 with Democrats in control of both houses of Congress.
As noted by Newsweek, Obama said prior to his election that signing an already drafted bill that would largely have made Roe v. Wade federal law would be “the first thing I’d do as president.” In 2009, he said the bill was “not the highest legislative priority.”
Amy Tarkanian, former chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Party, said Democrats have themselves to blame.
“Democrats had a supermajority in 2008 and did not ‘codify Roe,’” Tarkanian tweeted, referring to a comment from President Joe Biden that he would now seek legislation to codify the Roe v. Wade standard.
“They control all branches of government RIGHT NOW and did not ‘codify Roe’. To those who are so outraged right now, why don’t you ask Obama and Biden why they didn’t legislate this before the SCOTUS ruling?”
Obama also appointed current Attorney General Merrick Garland to fill the court vacancy left by the 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia, but in the face of solid Republican opposition to even considering the nomination did not make the appointment a major issue in the final months of his presidency.
The vacancy was later filled by Justice Neil Gorsuch, a Trump nominee who concurred in Friday’s ruling. Trump’s other Supreme Court nominee, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, also supported overturning Roe v. Wade.