I was on the House floor yesterday when the Court’s decision overturning Roe was announced. I realized it happened because I saw Marjorie Taylor Greene and others jump up and high five each other. I overheard what they said. One said he always dreamt of this day. Another said something that hit me hard: “Let’s keep this going now.”
The words reinforced that this has always been the plan. It’s only the beginning. Republican leadership is hellbent on transforming America by rolling back progress – rolling back our rights.
This isn’t speculation. Clarence Thomas made that clear in his published opinion yesterday, right out in the open for all to see, announcing that the Court “should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.”
In other words, next up: birth control, LGBTQIA+ rights, marriage equality.
It was disturbing to see lawmakers fist-pumping and hollering in the House chamber celebrating the removal of rights from Americans. That room is a sacred space – the same room where the 19th Amendment passed, giving rights to women to vote.
The House chamber is a room meant to protect Americans. To give us rights instead of take them away. To make laws and solve problems instead of throwing our country into disarray.
I needed to step away, so after votes, I headed across the street to the Supreme Court. Being there at the epicenter felt profound. This building and nine people inside can change our way of life. Knowing reality of the removal of rights from women, the words “Equal Justice Under Law” etched into stone felt hollow.
But what was most profound was the feeling of solidarity: the crowd up against the perimeter fence, gorwing by the minute. We chanted loudly – as if our voices could cancel out the damages emanating from this square block of America.
People there knew that the day was a gut punch. But we didn’t want the Court to have the last word. Thousands of people showed up to say that this dangerous court decision does not reflect America and what we stand for.
Afterward, I drove home to New Jersey to find that the community was pulling together a rapid response rally. When I arrived there, I saw hundreds of people already there. The parking lot was overflowing. Cars honked their horns as they passed.
I felt proud – really proud – that my community came together. I spoke and said that their energy is my energy and my energy is theirs. We help each other through these tough moments. And our community stood in solidarity with towns all across America.
Yesterday we stood with each other in response to the dialing back of our rights. But what about today? What about tomorrow? What about next week or next month? What about November?
We need to sustain this solidarity and convert this energy into action. Let’s make that promise. This is our moment.