Biden 'respects' Supreme Court despite abortion ruling, White House says

The US Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade court case on Friday that legalized abortion in the US in 1975.

 US President Joe Biden delivers remarks as first lady Jill Biden stands next to him, after paying respects and meeting with victims, family, first responders and law enforcement who were affected by the mass shooting committed by a gunman authorities say was motivated by racism. (photo credit: REUTERS/LEAH MILLIS)
US President Joe Biden delivers remarks as first lady Jill Biden stands next to him, after paying respects and meeting with victims, family, first responders and law enforcement who were affected by the mass shooting committed by a gunman authorities say was motivated by racism.
(photo credit: REUTERS/LEAH MILLIS)

President Joe Biden, who is weighing unilateral actions to counter an "extreme" ruling ending the US right to abortion, nonetheless "respects" the Supreme Court and sees no need to expand its membership, a spokesperson said.

Biden is looking for more "solutions" in the aftermath of the abortion decision, including possible unilateral executive orders, according to spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre.

But, speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, she offered no timeline for the release of such orders and downplayed their significance: "Nothing could fill the hole that this decision has made," she said. "The only way to make that whole again is for Congress to act."

Still, Biden continues to respect the authority of the Supreme Court, Jean-Pierre said.

"When the president commented about the court's ruling, it was about the decision," which was "extreme," she said as the president traveled to Germany for the Group of Seven summit of rich nations.

 Abortion rights protesters gather at the Salt Lake City and County Building after the United States Supreme Court ruled in the Dobbs v Women’s Health Organization abortion case, overturning the landmark Roe v Wade abortion decision, in Salt Lake City, Utah, US, June 24, 2022.  (credit: REUTERS/JIM URQUHART) Abortion rights protesters gather at the Salt Lake City and County Building after the United States Supreme Court ruled in the Dobbs v Women’s Health Organization abortion case, overturning the landmark Roe v Wade abortion decision, in Salt Lake City, Utah, US, June 24, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/JIM URQUHART)

"He sees the court obviously as legitimate and he respects the court... it is a court that he highly respects."

Spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre

Biden's condemnation of the Supreme Court

On Saturday, Biden again condemned the court's decisions earlier in the week restricting abortion rights and expanding gun owners' rights. "The Supreme Court has made some terrible decisions," he told reporters.

The legally binding rulings outraged liberals disenchanted by the 6-3 conservative majority on the nation's top judicial body.

An expert commission launched by Biden deadlocked in December over whether to recommend reforms to the court's structure, including expanding its membership beyond nine justices.

"About expanding the court, that is something that the president does not agree with," said Jean-Pierre. "That is not something that he wants to do."

She declined to address other reform proposals discussed by the commission, such as imposing term limits on justices.

Jean-Pierre said she expects there will be further legal challenges to new state-level restrictions on women traveling to seek abortions.