Justice Kennedy’s Replacement Could Ban Abortion, Gay Marriages

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Kennedy, who often acted as a swing-vote, mostly sided with abortion rights. With his departure, conservative groups are seeking to ban abortion.

 

As Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, conservative groups are rejoicing in what they see as an opportunity to take the Supreme Court down a more conservative path.

Kennedy, who often acted as a swing-vote, mostly sided with abortion rights but with his departure, conservative groups are seeking to fill in his seat with a justice who will not only ban abortion but also gay marriages.

“We have a chance to take down Roe v. Wade. This is a historic moment in the pro-life community today,” said Bob Vander Plaats, the president and CEO of conservative group The Family Leader.

He even took shots at the legalization of gay marriages.

“I think God's design is for marriage and family. We will revert back to that," he said. "Marriage needs to be debated again.”

Following President Donald Trump’s imminent decision to replace Kennedy with a more “pro-life” justice, CNN legal analyst Jeffery Toobin predicted abortion rights for at least 20 states will be overturned, deeming it illegal in the next 18 months.

 

“Let’s talk about what America is going to be like that’s different,” Toobin said. “You are going to see 20 states pass laws banning abortion outright. Just banning abortion. Because they know that there are now going to be five votes on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

Roe v. Wade is a 1973 Supreme Court decision that ruled a woman’s right to abortion, with some restrictions, fell within her privacy rights. However, that ruling seems to be in great jeopardy now.

Pro-Choice advocates echoed similar concerns.

“Today, Justice Kennedy announced his retirement, and because President Trump will nominate the next Supreme Court Justice, a woman's constitutional right to access legal abortion is in dire, immediate danger — along with the fundamental rights of all Americans,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “We also know that for decades, a multi-million-dollar, extreme, anti-choice movement has quietly and aggressively chipped away at that right in state legislatures, in lower courts, and now from within the Trump administration. Their stated goal, clearly and loudly, is overturning Roe v. Wade.”

Trump already has a list of candidates he will consider to replace Kennedy. The list was made early in his president while he considered people for court. He confirmed the replacement was going to come from the same list.

With the mid-term elections around the corner, the Trump administration does not have a lot time to replace Kennedy, and get in approved by the U.S. Senate. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he is going to work into replacing the retired justice. However, McConnell’s sudden changed stance is quite hypocritical considering his history.

Soon after Trump was sworn into office, he nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to succeed the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who had passed away. When Scalia died, then-president Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill his seat. The same Republicans then blocked his nomination, citing they would not approve any Supreme Court nominee during an election year.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats would not confirm any nominee “who will put health insurance companies over patients, or put the federal government between a woman and her doctor.”

He also opposed nominations from Trumps’ pre-made list, citing it would result in the loss of decades of progress.

“Americans should make it clear that they will not tolerate a nominee chosen from President Trump's pre-ordained list, selected by powerful special interests who would reverse the progress we've made over the decades,” he stated.

Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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