Former President Barack Obama expressed his beliefs that the Supreme Court would look very different had Democrats held onto the Senate majority in 2014.
Obama, who was speaking at a campaign event in Philadelphia for Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman on Saturday (November 5), made his remarks to stress the importance of this election cycle.
The former President homed in on reproductive rights, saying, “If we had kept the Senate in 2014, we’d have a very different Supreme Court making decisions about our most basic rights. So, midterms are no joke.”
During Obama’s second term in 2014, Republicans took control of the Senate from Democrats while keeping their House majority.
In 2016, during his last year in office, Obama nominated now-Attorney General Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court after the passing of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.
Republicans refused to confirm Garland, saying the role shouldn’t be filled during the final few months a President was in office. When former President Donald Trump was elected a few months later, Justice Neil Gorsuch filled the vacancy.
Two more conservative justices were confirmed during the Trump administration, making the Supreme Court predominantly conservative. The conservative majority overturned Roe v. Wade in June.
Obama pointed to the knock-on effect of losing the midterms, telling the crowd, “I can tell you from experience that midterms matter, a lot.”
The former President then explained the importance of the midterms in terms of reproductive rights.
“Really? Are you going to petition the mayor? Are you calling the sheriff? City council members? School board? Who exactly should tell you when to start a family? You should make that decision,” Obama stated.
He continued, “And if that’s not worth 15 minutes of your time — the amount of time it takes to vote — I don’t know what is.”