The moment we’ve been dreading: President Donald Trump is set to announce his nominee to the Supreme Court Tuesday night.
A vacancy on the highest court came after the sudden death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia last February. Although former President Barack Obama had the authority to appoint his replacement, Republicans were hell-bent on blocking any nominee he chose.
Now, the decision is in Trump’s hands, and reports indicate that he has narrowed it down to (surprise, surprise) three conservative white men: Neil M. Gorsuch of the Denver-based 10th Circuit; Thomas M. Hardiman of the Third Circuit, sitting in Pittsburgh; and William H. Pryor Jr. of the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit, the New York Times reports.
It doesn’t take a genius to know what Trump and his Republican comrades are really up to. The reason it was so imperative for the GOP to replace Scalia with another conservative judge is because they are fighting tooth and nail to repeal Roe v. Wade to fulfill their longstanding anti-abortion agenda.
Just 15 days before Trump’s inauguration, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced the GOP’s plan to defund Planned Parenthood in addition to repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — and that was only the beginning.
Repealing Roe v. Wade would be the holy grail of victories for all of the right-wing, so-called Christian, and pro-life Americans. With this in mind, Trump’s pick ultimately boils down to who will fight the hardest to make this Republican dream a reality.
According to TIME’S Motto, Gorsuch has never ruled on the subject of abortion during his time on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, however, some people have interpreted excerpts from his book, “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,” to suggest he is anti-abortion.
One of those passages in particular reportedly reads, “All human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.”
Gorsuch also took the side of religious organizations in Hobby Lobby v. Sebelious in which the plaintiffs wanted exemption from the ACA’s contraceptive mandate because of their spiritual beliefs.
Gorsuch wrote, “The ACA’s mandate requires them to violate their religious faith by forcing them to lend an impermissible degree of assistance to conduct their religion teaches to be gravely wrong.”
He also wrote that the mandate required businesses with religious principles to “underwrite payments for drugs or devices that can have the effect of destroying a fertilized human egg.”
In each instance, Gorsuch uses language that echoes sentiments of the pro-life movement.
Hardiman has also never ruled on a case or publicly shared his personal beliefs on abortion, however, he did vote in favor of vacating the conviction of an anti-abortion protester who was arrested in Philadelphia for violating his permit in the case of Unites States v. Marcavage.
While neither Gorsuch nor Hardiman have been overtly pro-life, many of their actions seem to align with the movement’s rhetoric. Furthermore, since they’re on Trump’s radar, one can be fairly certain their stances on abortion are major factors in his consideration of them.
Then there’s Pryor, the former attorney general of Alabama, who takes a no-holds-barred anti-abortion stance.
He has previously referred to Roe v. Wade as the “worst abomination in the history of constitutional law.” He also reportedly once said, “I will never forget Jan. 22, 1973, the day seven members of our highest court ripped the Constitution and ripped out the life of millions of unborn children.”
According to the Motto, he even strongly opposes abortion in the instances of rape and incest.
In addition to being pro-life, he also seems to have a misogynistic view on women’s rights in general, considering that during his tenure as Alabama’s attorney general he filed an amicus brief against the Violence Against Women’s Act because of a clause that would have allowed rape survivors to sue their attackers in federal court, which he deemed was a violation of “states’ rights.”
Although Pryor’s name was just recently thrown into the running, compared to Gorsuch and Hardiman, he has been the most fervidly against abortion, which likely puts him at the top of the list.
Ultimately, no matter who Trump picks, any of these three potential nominees would be the conservative, pro-life justice the GOP is looking for to uphold the values and spirit of Scalia, which could be catastrophic for the future of women’s reproductive rights.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Reuters