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Capitol Briefs: Scott Sifton calls for additional SCOTUS justices amid abortion battle

As the U.S. Supreme Court considers the future of the country’s abortion laws, U.S. Senate candidate Scott Sifton is advocating for additional justices on the bench to preserve Roe v. Wade.

Sifton, a Democrat, argued U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell increased the number of Republican justices on the court over the past few years by blocking an Obama nominee and “rushing” the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination last year. He also pushed for an end to the filibuster in order to bypass the 60-day confirmation threshold. 

“A woman’s constitutional right to choose is too important to let Mitch McConnell get away with his cynical obstruction,” Sifton said. “The only way Roe v. Wade’s continued protection of women can be assured now is for Congress to add to the Supreme Court immediately — and that means ending the filibuster in the Senate. We’re in the Show-Me State, and it’s time for Democrats in Washington to show us their commitment to a woman’s right to choose.”

  • The court allowed a Texas law banning abortions after a heartbeat can be detected to go into effect last week, denying a request from abortion providers to block the measure.
  • A Missouri law that would prohibit abortions after eight weeks is set for a hearing before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals later this month. A 15-week ban passed by the Mississippi Legislature is also up for consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court. 
  • Roe v. Wade set the federal abortion threshold at 24 weeks in 1973. 
  • Gov. Mike Parson and Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican contender for U.S. Senate, have spoken against the idea of “packing” the court, arguing the number would increase with each partisan shift in Washington, D.C. 
  • Sifton is one of a handful of contenders vying for the U.S. Senate seat that will be left open by Senator Roy Blunt who is forgoing re-election. Sifton is a former state senator who was known in the General Assembly for his legal prowess.