Leading pro-life groups have quickly responded to President Barack Obama’s nomination of liberal appeals court judge Merrick Garland to replace pro-life Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court following Scalia’s passing. Garland, a federal appeals judge in Washington, D.C., is said to likely be another reliably liberal and pro-abortion judge on the Supreme Court is the Senate decided to vote on him and confirms him.
Top pro-life groups told LifeNews.com that nothing has changed since Scalia’s passing in terms of their opposition to a vote on any Obama Supreme Court nominee. They say anyone Obama nominates for the Supreme Court will vote to uphold abortion on demand, ergo they will oppose a vote on Garland;s nomination.
“This changes nothing. We do not know this nominee but we do know Barack Obama. Anyone he nominates will join the voting bloc on the Court that consistently upholds abortion on-demand. The President should not be permitted one last opportunity to stack the Court with pro-abortion Justices,” said SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser.
She told LifeNews her group is calling on the Senate to not gold a confirmation vote.
“Appointing Justices to the Supreme Court is a shared responsibility between the President and Senate. We thank Leader McConnell and Senator Grassley for standing firm in their resolution to hold the confirmation process until we have a new president. Susan B. Anthony List is immediately mobilizing our pro-life grassroots across the country to stand strong with them. The next Supreme Court pick belongs to the President elected by the people in November,” Dannenfelser said.
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, told LifeNews she agrees.
“President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the US Supreme Court. Judge Garland has no history of abortion rulings but just look at who appointed him: the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history. For that reason alone, the Senate should halt his nomination until the next president is elected, and hopefully appoint a judge with a record of pro-life rulings,” Hawkins said.
Meanwhile, Americans United for Life Senior Counsel Clarke Forsythe called on the U.S. Senate to stand firm in its resolve to wait until after the election to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.
“Judge Merrick Garland is President Obama’s pro-abortion pick to tempt some Republicans to act now to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. The President’s commitment to unrestricted, unmonitored and taxpayer funded abortion is well known,” said Forsythe.
He added: “Pro-life Americans agree with the assessments of President Obama, Vice President Biden and even Sen. Chuck Schumer, all of whom urged the Senate to hold the line against Supreme Court picks late in a president’s term. The voters need to weigh in on the direction of the nation’s most powerful court, and given the reality that the Supreme Court has set it self up as the nation’s ‘Abortion Control Board’ in its sweeping Roe v. Wade decision, it is time let the people have a voice.”
“Americans United for Life looks forward to assisting the Senate leadership in evaluating prospective nominees when the time is right,” Forsythe said.
Leading pro-life advocates agree the Senate should not vote on Scalia’s replacement until after a new president has been selected.
“Regardless of what they said during their confirmation hearings, every justice appointed by President Clinton and President Obama has repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to use raw judicial power to remove authority from elected legislators, in order to advance the liberal policy agenda, even where no constitutional provision remotely justified such anti-democratic decrees,” says Carol Tobias of National Right to Life.
“There is little doubt that the next Obama nominee would provide the fifth vote to strip elected legislators of all meaningful authority to protect unborn children and regulate abortion. The result would be invalidation not only of recently enacted state abortion laws, such as the abortion clinic regulations currently before the Court, but also of a host of longstanding state and federal pro-life policies, including the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and the Hyde Amendment,” she added.
She continued: “In addition, there is little doubt that another Obama nominee would be the fifth vote to effectively nullify statutory and constitutional protections against mandatory participation in paying for or providing abortions, and the fifth vote to strip away the First Amendment protections that the Court has recognized for independent speech about those who hold or seek political office.”
Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel: “With the passing of Justice Scalia, the future of the High Court and the future of America is hanging in the balance. The Senate must not confirm any nominee to the Supreme Court from President Obama. The Senate must hold off any confirmation until the next President is seated. Unfortunately the presidential debates have been more theater and less substance about the real issues surrounding the Supreme Court. The election of the next President has now taken on even greater importance. The future of the Supreme Court and America now depends on the Senate blocking any nominee by President Obama and the people electing the right person to occupy the White House.”
Garland has previously served in the Department of Justice and on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where he has served since 1997 and is now the chief judge. Obama seriously considered him for the opening created by the retirement of pro-abortion Justice John Paul Stevens but ultimately chose pro-abortion Elana Kagan.
Garland was a one-time clerk for pro-abortion pro-abortion Justice William Brennan. President Bill Clinton named Garland to the D.C. Circuit Court in 1997.