Christmas may have come early for the pro-life movement.
Since 1973, pro-life people have been yearning for the day that a majority pro-life Supreme Court would overturn Roe v Wade. Although the high court has been closely divided over the years it has always stayed at least one vote on the pro-abortion side.
Justice Anthony Kennedy is one of those votes in favor of keeping Roe vs Wade in place and its allowance for virtually unlimited abortions nationwide. But the latest news today indicates he may possibly be retiring this summer — opening the door for another justice who respects the value of human life or at least the rule of law without using the Supreme Court to invent a fictitious right to abortion.
According to the latest news reports, one Republican senator says he has it on good authority that Justice Kennedy will retire this summer. Since Kennedy was appointed by a Republican he likely wants a Republican to appoint his replacement– and with President Donald Trump in office, that would make that possible.
Although Kennedy was expected to be like the other Republican-appointed members of the Supreme Court, he has wandered away from the pro-life position on abortion and confirmed Roe vs. Wade. Generally, he has sided with the pro-abortion justices on abortion cases, as he did last summer when the court struck down a Texas abortion clinic regulations law. However, he has sided with pro-life justices on a few occasions, including his decision to uphold the partial-birth abortion ban in 2007.
Audio of Nevada’s Dean Heller speaking at a recent event in Las Vegas obtained by POLITICO showed his view that the departure of the justice would be a boost for his reelection campaign this fall.
“Kennedy is going to retire around sometime early summer,” Heller, who is viewed as vulnerable in November after Hillary Clinton won Nevada in 2016.
The justice was appointed by conservative Ronald Reagan after the failed nomination of Robert Bork, but his judicial philosophy has placed him in the middle of the court on many important issues and given him an incredibly powerful position in the political life of the country.
At 81 years old, he is the second oldest of the Supreme Court justices, who serve for life, after liberal Bill Clinton choice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The makeup of the Court did not shift dramatically after the last change in justices, when Barack Obama’s pick of Merrick Garland was delayed until after the 2016 election by Republicans who voted in Neil Gorsuch.
Trump promised to nominate “pro-life” justices to the high court, and Kennedy’s retirement could mean a pro-life justice would fill his spot and swing the court toward life-affirming decisions.
Abortion advocates understand the monumental consequences of what is at stake. People for the American Way, described Kennedy’s possible retirement under Trump as a “disaster for the rights of all Americans.”
Several other liberal justices on the high court also are getting older. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 84, and Justice Stephen Breyer is 78. Both are strongly pro-abortion, but there are no rumors of their retirement right now.