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Republicans pretend to retreat from the inevitable implications of their own positions

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In the post about Arizona Republicans making coverture great again, I mentioned how Doug Ducey is disavowing the decision by his handcrafted Supreme Court send the issue back to territorial legislatures where women couldn’t vote and the Federalist Society. He’s not alone:

Republican lawmakers and candidates for Congress are scrambling to create distance between themselves and an Arizona Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday upholding a near-total ban on abortion in the state.

Why it matters: It’s part of the difficult political balancing act Republicans have had to perform since Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022.

[embarrassingly credulous allusion to Trump’s non-denial-denial omitted]

What they’re saying: Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-Ariz.), who represents a seat President Biden won in 2020, called the ruling a “disaster for women and providers” in a statement posted to social media.

Ciscomani said the 15-week ban “protected the rights of women and new life,” but the territorial law is “archaic

Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), another Biden-district Republican, said the issue “should be decided by Arizonans, not legislated from the bench,” urging the state legislature to “address this issue immediately.”

Kelly Cooper, a Republican running to challenge Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.), called for the state legislature to “begin work immediately on reinstating” the 15-week ban.

This is all laughable. Schwikert, for example, has literally voted to make abortion illegal from the moment of conception in all 50 states many times!

But of course this is exactly how the kayfabe is intended to work at the federal level — hack Republican judges rule that the Comstock Act is an enforceable national abortion ban, and Trump and all the senators who voted for these judges pretend they have nothing to do with it. The nuclear levels of bad faith involved doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

Biden’s response is pretty good:

Millions of Arizonans will soon live under an even more extreme and dangerous abortion ban, which fails to protect women even when their health is at risk or in tragic cases of rape or incest. This cruel ban was first enacted in 1864—more than 150 years ago, before Arizona was even a state and well before women had secured the right to vote. This ruling is a result of the extreme agenda of Republican elected officials who are committed to ripping away women’s freedom.
 
Vice President Harris and I stand with the vast majority of Americans who support a woman’s right to choose. We will continue to fight to protect reproductive rights and call on Congress to pass a law restoring the protections of Roe v. Wade for women in every state.

Take every opportunity to remind voters that whatever they say ex post facto this is what almost all Republican public officials want.

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