And the Slaughter Will Go On

Justice Souter has announced his plan to retire.  President Obama will soon have the opportunity to nominate a justice to the Supreme Court.  Without a doubt, he will nominate someone who, like Souter, is committed to the idea that the Constitution guarantees women the right to abort their unborn children. 

What if John McCain were making this decision?  Certainly, there are variables at play that we cannot know with certainty:

(1) Would Souter have chosen to retire at this time, knowing that a President McCain would choose his replacement?  Or is it specifically the fact that Obama is President that gives Souter the freedom to retire, knowing that someone like him (or farther to the left) will be his replacement? 

(2) Would McCain have nominated a strict constructionist to replace Souter, one who would have shifted the balance of the court in a 5-4 conservative direction, thereby making the overturn of Roe v. Wade a foreseeable possibility? 

In answer to number 1, we simply cannot know.  But whether Souter would have chosen to retire during a McCain administration or not, the net result would still be better for the unborn.  If Souter had chosen to stay on for another four years, then we have the same balance on the court, but Souter’s seat would still be occupied by Souter, a liberal justice whose time on the court would be short.  In addition, whatever Souter might have chosen to do, I can’t imagine that the liberal justice Stevens, at 89 years old, will stay on very much longer.  Like Obama, McCain very likely would have been in a position to appoint at least two, if not more, supreme court justices.

In answer to number 2, I can only say that based on his record and his campaign promises, it seems very likely to me that John McCain would have appointed a conservative, thereby shifting the balance of the court and putting Roe v. Wade in the crosshairs.  The election of 2008 could have been a political turning point for the pro-life cause.  But with Obama in the White House at this critical juncture, we can be certain that the slaughter of the unborn will go on. 

Justin Taylor has astutely observed,

One small but safe prediction: no matter who is nominated, and no matter how radical is their record on abortion, some Evangelical and Catholic supporters of Obama will claim that the nomination will somehow reduce abortion.

As the slaughter of abortion will continue, so will the self-justifying delusion of pro-life Obama supporters.


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