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Sen. John Hoeven favors apparent court decision on abortion; Sen. Amy Klobuchar says it'll push women to vote

Lawmakers from the region begin weighing in on news of leaked Supreme Court document that suggests justices are leaning toward overturning the federal law on abortion.

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GRAND FORKS — If a leaked document portends a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the federal law that allows abortions, American women will vote in record numbers in the coming elections, predicts Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Meanwhile, the office of Republican John Hoeven – North Dakota’s senior senator – said the senator “remains committed to protecting the unborn” and if the draft opinion reflects the final decision, “it would have his support.”

Amy Klobuchar.jpg
Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar, a Democrat who mounted a run for the presidency in 2020, was among the first members of Congress to react to news of the leaked court document, as reported Monday evening by the news organization Politico.

The 98-page document suggests the Supreme Court will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the half-century-old ruling that legalized abortion nationwide and has been law – and argued politically – ever since.

While Politico first reported it Monday evening, few members of Congress offered official comments until Tuesday morning. Although her office had not yet released a statement, Klobuchar spent several minutes early Tuesday in an interview with CBS news.


“My prediction is women will go to vote in numbers we have never seen before because we have never seen, in our lifetimes, such an overturning of major precedent such as this. ... If they want to protect their fundamental rights to reproductive choice or fundamental rights to anything, they had better go vote in the fall,” Klobuchar said during the CBS segment. “What the court would be doing would be overturning 50 years of precedent, something that has been on the books, that women have relied on.”

The authenticity of the leaked document was not yet confirmed Tuesday morning but as the news rippled across the nation, the Supreme Court also had not denied its authenticity. The document apparently was drafted in February. According to Politico, conservative-leaning justices, led by Samuel Alito, favor the draft.

Klobuchar told CBS that 75 to 80% of Americans support Roe v. Wade. She believes the members of the Supreme Court who – at least according to the leaked document – support overturning the historic decision are “inserting their own political judgment for what has been the law of the land.”

Upon requests from Forum News Service, North Dakota’s federal delegates – all of whom are Republicans – began weighing in Tuesday morning.

Kelly Armstrong
Kelly Armstrong

"While the Supreme Court has not released an official opinion … I am hopeful the reported outcome is accurate,” said Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D. “Overturning Roe v. Wade would be a tremendous victory for the unborn and for states’ rights. I have always stood up for life and will continue to do so in Congress."

Hoeven, according to the statement from his office, believes the leaking of the document “is a serious breach of the Supreme Court’s security and independence. The leak should be fully investigated.”

John Hoeven
John Hoeven

However, the basis of the document is consistent with his long-term efforts “to advance pro-life legislation, support programs that protect the health of mothers and preserve laws passed at the state level to respect the sanctity of life,” the statement said.

Hoeven does not support efforts to codify Roe v. Wade into federal law, as some were suggesting Tuesday morning.


Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., also condemned the leak of the document, saying it "undermines the legitimacy, confidentiality, and independence the court has had for centuries."

Further, in a statement sent to the Grand Forks Herald, he said "the far left is attempting to bully justices into submission instead of letting the judicial branch perform their duties without influence or bias. The final decision has not been released and I will not speculate on its contents. However, the impact of this case cannot be overstated. Each and every life is precious and sacred and I will not shirk away from this conviction. I hope to see the right to life be restored in North Dakota once again in the final decision."

Said U.S. Rep. Michelle Fischbach, R-Minn.: "This leak is a seismic and foundational compromise of the independence of the Supreme Court. I have faith that our Supreme Court justices will not bow to intimidation tactics and will adhere to the oath they took upon being sworn in, to 'faithfully and impartially discharge and perform the duties' incumbent upon them under the Constitution. I support Chief Justice Roberts' call to investigate this leak, and hope for a swift resolution."

She also said that "if the Supreme Court does decide to overturn Roe v. Wade, it will put the laws back in the hands of the states to be debated and decided by the American people and their elected representatives, not by unelected judges. This is a deeply needed step to protect the most precious and basic right, the right to life."

More politics and government
The Republican attorney general said he's very confident he "did not and would never advocate for anything other than strict adherence" to state and federal laws.

Korrie Wenzel has been publisher of the Grand Forks Herald and Prairie Business Magazine since 2014.

He is a member of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp. board of directors and, in the past, has served on boards for Junior Achievement, the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation, United Way, Empire Arts Center, Cornerstones Career Learning Center and Crimestoppers.

As publisher, Wenzel oversees news, advertising and business operations at the Herald, as well as the newspaper's opinion content.

Wenzel can be reached at 701-780-1103, or via Twitter via @korriewenzel.
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