Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) proposes a legal path to overturn the Pentagon’s abortion policies, while Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville is continuing his blockade of hundreds of military promotions.
Graham sought legal advice from conservative attorney Jay Sekulow. Sekulow says he is “confident’ that a lawsuit against the Department of Defense could be filed.
In an interview with Graham on Thursday, Graham said: “This is an illegal use of funds.” “And it was certainly never authorized by Congress, and Jay’s a pretty intelligent guy.” He believes that he has a good chance of winning in court.
Graham will need to have the support of House Speaker Mike Johnson, R. La., in order to gain momentum in court. Graham’s main argument is that this policy violates the 1976 Hyde Amendment which prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortions except in cases of incest, rape, or where the life of the woman is in danger.
The provision was also implemented without the approval of Congress after Roe V. Wade was reversed last year.
Graham believes a court case could pay off for the GOP in the future.
Graham referred to the Supreme Court’s June rejection of President Biden’s plan for student loan forgiveness. “I believe the student loan provisions were struck down. That was court action,” Graham said. I think that the court action could rein in Biden’s administration (again).
Graham suggested that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which Congress must approve by the end of December, could be another option.
The House version, passed earlier this summer, removed the abortion policy from its text. It also addressed other conservative GOP issues, such as transgender procedures in military service. It’s unlikely that the Democrat-controlled Senate will pass the package passed by the lower chamber.
Graham stated that he did not agree with the decision to use taxpayer funds to pay for abortions. However, the military officers denied promotions had nothing to do with it.
Tuberville has not wavered in her protest since nearly nine months when the Department of Defense reimbursed servicemen who received abortion procedures.
The Democrat-led Rules Committee passed a resolution last week that overrode his objections and allowed promotions on the Senate floor. The motion will need nine Republicans to vote with Senate Democrats.
Graham, despite his opposition to the Democrats, said that he would not vote for them.
Graham stated that he was “prepared to find off-ramps without changing the structure of Senate”.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who is the minority leader and sits on the Senate Rules Committee, voted also against the resolution, despite his previous skepticism about Tuberville’s claims.
Tuberville’s willingness to exchange his objections for legal action remains to be seen. He has been unrelenting so far, even though a few GOP legislators — including Graham and Todd Young, R.-Ind. Dan Sullivan, R. Alaska; and Joni Ernest, R. Iowa — took the floor Thursday from after midnight to nearly 4 a.m. to protest his blockade.
Tuberville’s Office stated that “Coach is exploring every possible option to end the Pentagon’s illegal and immoral policies.”