'It is time to have a national law to protect the right of a woman’s choice': Warren

Candidates weigh in on current abortion laws and President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to shift the Supreme Court to the right.
10:26 | 02/08/20

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Transcript for 'It is time to have a national law to protect the right of a woman’s choice': Warren
I want to turn to the supreme court, the balance on the court and the issues before the court right now. President trump in the just the last 24 hours saying we've appointed 191 federal judges two supreme court justice, keeping his promise to shift the court to the right. Affordable care act is at the course and a major abortion case is on the docket this year. Vice president Biden on the, why of abortion in 2012 you said president Obama's two supreme court picks of them, there was no litmus test. We picked people that didn't have an agenda. You said we should not apply narrow litmus tests to the supreme court. Would you do it differently, would there be a litmus test? If you say the rest of what I I said we would not appoint anyone who had enumerated points in the constitution. That's not a specific test. It's a generic test. The only reason women have the right to choose is because there's enumerate rights coming from the 9th amendment in the constitution. That's what I said. I was part of the reason Cagan got on the supreme court. I was part of the reason Ruth Bader Ginsberg was on the court, part of why society Mai your was on the court. She swore me in. I'm part of the reason why it wasn't taken away because I almost single handedly made sure Robert bork did not get on the court because he did not think there should be enumerated rights. I am aware of what you said, which is why I'm asking, would you do it differently now? Would there be a litmus test on abortion? Litmus test on abortion relates to the fundamental value on the constitution. If they rule it unconstitutional I'll send to the unite congress and it will pass, I believe -- a bill that legislates roe V. Wade by Casey. It's a woman's right to did that. Period. If you call it a litmus test -- what I was talking about in the past -- done confused here. If you read the constitution narrowly and say there are no enumerated rights, you cannot add any of the things I care about as a Progressive member of the United States congress at the time and as vice president as a member of society. Mr. Vice president, thank you.senator Warren? Look, I've lived in an America in which abortion was illegal, and rich women still got abortions, and that's what we have to remember about this. States are heading toward trying to ban abortion outright. Supreme court seems headed in exactly that direction as well. If we are going to protect the people of the United States of America and we are going to protect our rights to have dominion over our own bodies it's going mean we simply can't rely on the courts. Three out of every four people in America belief right now that the rule of roe vs. Wade should be the law. That means we should be pushing for a congressional solution as well. It is time to have a national law to protect the right of a woman's choice. Senator Warren, thank you. Senator klobuchar, I do want to come to you. Should there be a litmus test? Is an active call here tonight. I did want to come to you tonight. Should there be a litmus test on abortion? I would only appoint justices who respect precedent. One of those key precedents is roe vs. Wade. In addition you have to put it into law. Donald Trump -- I think it's important to take it to him here. When he was running for election -- and this is a casey make on the debate stage against him -- he actually said he wanted to put women in jail. He then dialed it back and said, no, I want to put doctors in jail. Is it a big surprise we are seeing states like Alabama enacting laws that will criminalize doctors who perform abortions? It's not. That's why it's important when you look at the overwhelming public support for funding planned parenthood, for making sure women have access to contraceptions to making sure they have the right to choose, that we make this case strongly and loudly. Thank you. Mayor buttigieg you have been open to the idea of expanding the court. Justice Ginsburg suggested leafing it where it is. She said if the number would increase it would make the court appear partisan. It would be one side saying when we're in power we're going to enlarge the number of judges to have more people vote the way we wanted to. Is she wrong? If all we did is change the number of justices I agree with her that that would be the consequences. What I've called for is not only reforming the number of justice, but structural reform so some justices are not appointed through a partisan process. We cannot allow the supreme court to become one more political battlefield as we are seeing today. The time has come for us to think bigger. Not just reforming the makeup of the court, as America has done several times in our history. But also remember the founders gave us the power to amend the constitution for a reason, and we shouldn't be afraid to use it. It's not something you do lightly or quickly, but when it comes to something like citizens united which holds corporations have the same political soul at people, we need a constitutional amendment to clear that up and protect our democracy. Mayor buttigieg, thank you. Vice president, Biden, I do want to come to you on this. President trump has said that the only reason Democrats want to expand the court is they want to try and catch up. You have called any expanse of the court a bad idea. Do you agree with president trump? I agree with Ruth Bader Ginsburg. What's who I agree with and I agree the way to deal with citizens eyed is to pass a constitutional amendment I introduced 25 years ago saying only public money can be spent in elections. Not private money, not billionaires, not money from special interest. Period. That's the way to amend the constitution. In addition to that, look, the Democrats stood up against a man I revere, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. There are three equal branchs of government. It says the president shall nominate. Senate shall dispose. The senate shall make that decision, not the president. He can nominate. That's why it's so important we must win back the United States senate this time out, and that's why as you all look at it up here in New Hampshire and around the world -- excuse me, on the other hand the country, tough ask yourself, who's most likely to help get a senator in south Carolina, Georgia? Who can win Florida, Pennsylvania, Minnesota? You got to be able to win those. You can, I agree. But here's the point -- you got to be able to. You got to be able to not just win. You got bring along a united States senate or this becomes moot. You asked a simple question. Is there a litmus test for those of us up here. For me, there is. I will never nominate any person to the supreme court or the federal courts in general who is not 100% pro roe V. Wade. Number two, we have to codify roe V. Wade into legislation. Number three, we have to significantly expand funding for planned parenthood. Mr. Steyer I want to bring you in on this. You said when it. Chaos to the supreme court, Republicans have been cheating. Sure. What we saw Mitch Mcconnell do, not just in the supreme court with Merrick Garland, but across the board with federal judges was refuse to allow president Obama's picks to be appointed that's why Mr. Trump appointed so many judges because in fact the Republicans refused to allow president Obama to get his due. And honestly we are sitting here talking about, do you have a litmus test? We all have the litmus test. Everybody on this row feels exactly the same way about a woman's right to choose. Everybody on the this row feels exactly the same way on gun control. Everyone on this row feels the same way. There's something else going on. The Republicans are in control. They're stacking the court for a generation with young right wing radicals. We've watched it happen and the question is, what are we going to do about it. That's where we are in the United States. Actually, Joe Biden is right. We have to go win a huge victory this year, and we are in trouble. The question is going to be -- look at these people, who can pull together the democratic party? Let me say this -- we have not said one word tonight about race. Not one word. Are you kidding me? We have the most diverse party -- we have a very diverse country. We have a very diverse party. The heart and soul of this party is diversity -- black people, Latinos, native-americans and white people. But for godness six, pull it gt when we're talk about something different, how are we getting that diverse people to the polls? What are we saying? Everybody on this stage feels the same way about a woman's right to choose and economic justice. The question is, how do we beat trump, take down the Republicans and the answer is we have to show we can take him down on growth, job creation, the we send them packing and then get all of this including beating the corporation.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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