U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky in Evanston Monday.

“If I were a Republican running in a swing district, I’d be worried.”

So says 9th District U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston), about the leaked Supreme Court draft which indicates the majority of justices will overturn Roe v. Wade, the decision that legalized abortion in the United States in 1973.

Evanston Now spoke with Schakowsky on Monday, after an unrelated event at School District 65.

The liberal member of Congress said that “we are one election away” from being able to codify the right to abortion in federal law.

“If we had two more real Democrats,” Schakowsky said, the Senate could have the votes to get around the fillibuster and do that. (She noted the House has already passed such a measure).

The leaked draft Supreme Court opinion “has unleashed a tsunami of activism,” Schakowsky said, that should show up at the ballot box in November and help Democrats, despite current polling showing a likely Republican takeover of Congress.

Schakowsky also had harsh words for the current Supreme Court majority, and the way some of the justices took office.

“The appointments to the Supreme Court were stolen,” she said of how Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett joined the court.

Schakowsky said Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to even let then-President Barack Obama submit a nominee for a vote in 2016, claiming a Senate decision should not take place until after the election.

But then, Schakowsky added, Amy Coney Barrett was approved by the Republican Senate majority in 2020 before the election, in direct opposition to the time frame the GOP insisted upon for Kavanaugh.

It’s unlikely Coney Barrett would have been approved after the November, 2020 election, with the Senate ending up 50-50, and Democratic Vice-President Kamala Harris able to cast a tie-breaking vote.

The Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett appointments, Schakowsky said, give the United States a “rogue and illegitimate Supreme Court.”

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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