Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Maryland gubernatorial candidates react to Supreme Court leak suggesting Roe v. Wade will be overturned

An unprecedented leak of a purported U.S. Supreme Court draft majority opinion striking down Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey published Monday night by Politico has dominated political discussion in the hours since. Maryland candidates for governor weighed in on the document, which Politico claims it has confirmed was authored by Justice Samuel Alito. Voters in Maryland approved a ballot measure in 1992 that preserved abortion on-demand up until the point of viability if Roe were to be overturned. Democrats in Annapolis widely expanded the number of healthcare professionals who could perform abortions in the General Assembly's 2022 session, over the objections and veto of Maryland's Republican Governor Larry Hogan.

Despite those legal precedents, Democrats running for Hogan's job aggressively responded to the potential SCOTUS decision. Wes Moore called it "deeply disturbing and dangerous," in a statement. "It cannot be overstated how many people will die as a result of this decision," Moore added, promising he would press for an amendment to Maryland's constitution, among other efforts.

"It will be the duty of Maryland's next Democratic governor to unapologetically protect and expand a pregnant person's right to an abortion," John King tweeted. "This assault on women, on a woman’s right to abortion care, is absolutely abhorrent," King wrote.

Candidate and current Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot called on lawmakers to "enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution" in a tweet. "But we must not stop there. It is not enough to preserve the status quo in the face of attacks on reproductive healthcare. So much more must be done to expand the accessibility of abortion care services."

Rushern Baker, former Prince George's County Executive now running for governor, considered the nationwide impacts of the possible Supreme Court decision. In a tweet, he exhorted state lawmakers to "prepare NOW for the many who may soon have to travel here for care."

Jon Baron also called for amending the state constitution. "This ruling, if made official, would cause immeasurable harm to millions around the country. It’s appalling — and a reminder of the imperative of state-level leadership on abortion rights," Baron tweeted.

"Guns have more rights than women in America," former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler tweeted this morning. He promised to be a "brick wall" against any reduction of abortion rights. Like Baker, he forsaw Maryland becoming a destination for women in other states seeking abortions if such a ruling passed.

Ashwani Jain joined Baker and Gansler in seeking to position Maryland as an "abortion sanctuary." He tweeted that "There’s no such thing as 'Pro-Life.' You’re either FOR safe abortions or AGAINST healthcare access."

"I'm disgusted. And infuriated," former Montgomery County Councilmember and U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez tweeted. "This is another step toward the Court forfeiting legitimacy. Make no mistake: people will lose their lives. Abortion and reproductive freedoms are fundamental freedoms—and always will be. We're going to fight like hell."

The only Republican ticket to speak on the leak so far was that of Delegate Dan Cox and his running mate Gordana Schifanelli. " I pray God it’s true," Cox posted on Facebook. "And because of the three SCOTUS seats appointed by President Trump, Roe v. Wade and abortion on demand are no more. May it ever be forgiven our land and may the blood of the innocent be part of the cloud of witnesses that triumphantly proclaim with all Americans 'we are endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights…of Life…!' And may the healing of women who’ve been lied to or overwhelmed by their decision, overflow with grace."

"Leaking draft opinion from the Supreme Court is another example of destructive behavior of the radical left - the fascists and haters of our country," Schifanelli tweeted. 

Republicans Robin Ficker and Kelly Schulz have yet to publicly comment on the potential SCOTUS decision. 

Unaffliated candidate Kyle Sefcik tweeted his support for the "weakening and overturning of Roe v. Wade."


  1. Unbelievable that this was leaked. Obviously leaked to cause major damage to the conservative majority court and the country.

    1. Uh, no. "Obviously" it isn't damaging to conservative members to be anti-Roe. The prevailing theory is that a conservative clerk leaked it because the prior, draft majority is fraying and this is an attempt to stave off a defection by Barrett or Kavanaugh.

  2. On what planet does reversing Roe "cause major damage to the conservative majority?" Have you been living under a political rock for 50 years? This is a multi-generational goal of conservatives. It being leaked means either 1. a conservative is getting cold feet and this is an attempt to force their hand or 2. conservatives are trying to blunt the political impact of the ruling by spreading out the outrage over several months and well ahead of the midterms.

  3. You missed my point, the leak which is unprecedented on this level,it's apparently the whole 100 page opinion, is damaging to this Court in a major way.

  4. But yes,the leak would be very damaging to the Conservative court.The headline on CNN last night was "The legitimacy of the Court has been pierced" which is typical CNN hyperbole, but that's where most people get their news unfortunately.

  5. Conservatives will certainly pay a heavy political price if Roe is in fact overturned - the overwhelming majority of Americans support it. Even chunks of the GOP are cringing at the idea of such judicial overreach and the idea government could force women to carry to term (and easily take away other rights not "deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition," as decided by a few old white men). Libertarians must be outright pooping themselves.

  6. The legitimacy of the court has been "pierced" ever since McConnell blocked Garland's nomination