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“Real Time” host Bill Maher blasted the protests that took place outside the homes of Supreme Court justices following the leak of the majority opinion that signaled the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
During a roundtable on the abortion debate, Maher called outgoing White House press secretary Jen Psaki for being “down with it” when she told reporters during a a briefing last week “I don’t have an official US government position on where people are protesting.”
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“But we do!” Maher reacted on Friday. “It’s wrong! It’s bullying! It’s against the law!”
The HBO star acknowledged that the protesters who gathered were not “terribly violent”, but asked his guests: “Would you like this in front of your house?
Former Rep. Jane Harman, D-California, agreed with Maher, citing a 1950 law that says no one can demonstrate outside a residence to influence a judge, adding “it would be much better” to gather for a rally in Washington DC, even telling Maher she “might” be there.
Earlier in the conversation, Maher warned of a “civil war” divide where “we’re going to be two countries, one where you’re a free woman and one where it’s a Dred Scott situation.”
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“Look at some of the things that are on offer in some of these states,” Maher said. “I mean, Louisiana bluntly says it’s a homicide. So when you’re driving from Los Angeles to Nevada, on one side of the border, you’re just a free person. On the other side , you are a criminal. You can fly across the country and gain and lose your reproductive rights 20 times. How can America support that?”
“That’s not possible,” Harman replied. “And that’s wrong. And what’s wrong is that we’re going to get worse unless the Supreme Court – pray, pray – makes a different decision than the draft opinion.”
“It’s not going to happen,” Maher told Harman.
The “Real Time” host suggested the abortion debate would give a “tangible sort of concrete pretext” to those who have called for secession to separate red states from blue states.
“It’s a real problem. I wonder where it leads,” Maher said.
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Harman appeared to dismiss Maher’s concerns, pointing to polls showing high popularity for Roe v. Wade and even bragged about her victory in Congress in 1992 saying that her pro-choice stance helped her get elected.
“You’re kind of making my point. That’s not where we are now,” Maher told Harman.
Maher cited the Clinton-era abortion mantra “safe, legal and rare,” saying “that’s not where the Democrats are now” and that they “don’t say that anymore.” He went on to slam the pro-choice caucus in the House for sharing changes in terminology, including changing “choice” to “decision” and using “pro-abortion.”
“No one should be pro-abortion!” Maher exclaimed.
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Political scientist Ian Bremmer agreed, pointing to this week’s vote in the Senate that failed to win support from Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.V. because “progressives wanted to be able to push more than a peak on this issue”.
“A lot of what we’re seeing right now is unprecedented from the days of 1992,” Bremmer said. “You didn’t have a leak of opinions. You didn’t have people – masses demonstrated outside the homes of Supreme Court Justices!”