Who is William Barr?
Trump nominated former corporate lawyer William Barr to replace Jeff Sessions, who resigned in late 2018. Barr served as attorney general in the George H.W. Bush White House in the early 1990s. As attorney general, Barr would be tasked with upholding our nation’s laws and protecting our rights and freedoms — including a woman’s constitutional right to access abortion. But Barr has shown time and again he won’t protect reproductive rights and is opposed to anti-discrimination measures that protect women, LGBTQ people, and others.
At his first confirmation hearing in 1991, Barr said Roe v. Wade — the Supreme Court case that affirmed women’s constitutional right to access abortion — should be overturned and left to the states. Currently, about 20 states are poised to ban access to abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned.Rewire News
Under Barr’s leadership, the U.S. government argued against abortion access in the 1992 case Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. The case weakened Roe v. Wade and opened the door to harmful state restrictions on abortion.90.5 WESA
Barr once urged a federal court to let anti-abortion activists in Kansas physically block entrances to health centers that provide abortion. As attorney general, he could decide not to enforce federal law that prohibits violent tactics used by anti-abortion activists.Washington Post
I believe Roe v. Wade should be overruled... Roe v. Wade basically, in my view, took [power to ban abortion] away from the states… and I don't think that opinion was the right opinion.”
Senate Confirmation Hearing on November 13, 1991
Barr wants to use the law to promote "traditional values" and increase the role of religion in government. He condemned "the homosexual movement," called for subsidizing religious schools, and said the government should "restrain sexual immorality."The Daily Beast
When Jeff Sessions resigned, Barr praised him as "an outstanding attorney general" and commended his efforts to further the Trump agenda. As attorney general, Sessions rolled back an astounding range of civil rights protections and introduced new policies to undermine the rights of women, immigrants, and LGBTQ people.Tracking Trump
U.S. Department of Justice
The Department of Justice is a federal executive department of the U.S. government responsible for enforcing federal laws, protecting the rights of the American people, and ensuring fair and transparent courts.