First on Fox: South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham proposes a legal path to overturn the Pentagon’s abortion policy, while Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville continues his ban on hundreds of military promotions.
Graham has retained conservative attorney Jay Sekulow for legal advice. Sekulow is “confident” of the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the Ministry of Defense.
“This is a use of funds prohibited by law,” Graham told Fox News Digital in an interview Thursday. “It certainly hasn’t been authorized by Congress, and Jay is a very smart guy. He thinks there’s a good chance of success in the courts.”
Graham will need the support of House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Los Angeles, to build momentum on the court. The main argument is that the policy violates the 1976 Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortion services except in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger, Graham said.
GOP senators object to the army holding out in Tuberville almost all night
Additionally, the provision was implemented without congressional approval after Roe v. Wade was overturned last year.
Graham is optimistic that the court battle could yield greater returns for the Republican Party, claiming it “may pay off in the future.”
TUBERVILLE DOESN’T BUDGE ON MILITARY DETENTIONS ON ABORTION POLICY AS RULES CHANGE DEMOCRATS’ EYES
“I think the student loan provisions that were struck down were a court action that reined in the Biden administration,” Graham said of the Supreme Court’s rejection of President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan in June. “I think the judicial action here could rein in the Biden administration [again]”.
Another way could be through a military defense spending bill known as the National Defense Authorization Act, which Congress must approve by the end of December, Graham said.
The House version, approved earlier this year, dismantled abortion policy in its text, along with other hard-line GOP issues such as gender transition procedures for military service members. But the Democratic-controlled Senate is unlikely to pass the House package.
“I disagree with abortion decisions and using taxpayer money to pay for travel for abortion, but military officers who were denied promotions had nothing to do with this,” Graham said.
Senate Democrats advance measure to circumvent military control of Tuberville
Tuberville’s protest, sparked by the Department of Defense’s compensation for service members who receive abortion procedures, has not wavered for nearly nine months.
The Democratic-led Rules Committee passed a resolution this week to override his objection and gain promotion to the Senate floor. Nine Republicans will have to vote alongside Democrats in the Senate to get the proposal to the finish line.
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Despite his opposition, Graham said he would not vote with Democrats.
“I’m ready to find the slopes without having to change the structure of the Senate,” Graham said.
Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a member of the Senate Rules Committee, also voted against the resolution on Tuesday, though he previously expressed doubts about Tuberville’s comments.
Whether Tuberville is on board to replace his objection with legal action remains to be seen. So far, he has not relented, even after a handful of GOP lawmakers — including Graham; Todd Young, Republican from Indiana; Dan Sullivan, Republican from Alaska; and Joni Ernst, Republican of Iowa — sat on the floor after midnight until nearly 4 a.m. Thursday to protest his blockade.
In a statement to Fox News Digital, Tuberville’s office said: “The coach is exploring all possible options to end the Pentagon’s illegal and unethical policy.”