Pro-Abortion Group Analyzes President Bush’s Pro-Life Judicial Picks

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 18, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Group Analyzes President Bush’s Pro-Life Judicial Picks Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 18, 2004

Washington, DC ( — A leading abortion advocacy group has analyzed the judicial selections President Bush made during his first term and found that virtually all of them are pro-life.

According to staff members at NARAL, only two of the more than 200 people Bush has nominated to federal judicial positions show any hint of supporting legal abortion.

Many of the 35 judges Bush has appointed to federal appeals courts have clear pro-life views, been involved with pro-life organizations or even vocally advocated overturning the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case that legalized abortion.

"Of course Bush has a litmus test. He’s just not playing straight with the American people," said David Seldin, a spokesman for NARAL, told Newsday. "The proof is in the pudding."

The research shows the huge divide between Bush, who has promised to appoint judges who will more strictly interpret the Constitution, with Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, who says he will not appoint any judges who oppose the Roe decision.

Kerry’s votes on previous Supreme Court nominees also show his view on the judicial system as it relates to abortion.

Kerry strongly opposed the 1986 elevation of Justice William Rehnquist to the Chief Justice position. Rehnquist was one of the two original dissenters in the Roe case. He also voted against confirmation of failed nominee Robert Bork and against Clarence Thomas, another current pro-life justice.

In 1973, the Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion by a 7-2 vote. The current court backs abortion by a 6-3 margin.

The next president could appoint as many as four new Supreme Court justices and elevate one of the high court’s members to the Chief Justice position.

Associate Judges Sandra Day O’Connor, John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who back abortion, and pro-life Chief Justice William Rehnquist are all considered likely retirees over the next few years.

Pro-abortion activists are keying in on the issue of the Supreme Court in an attempt to rally voters.

On Monday, Actress Christine Lahti, who won an Emmy for the long-running television drama "Chicago Hope," highlighted the difference on judges at a Michigan rally. She blasted Bush’s record and said women would lose the "right" to abortion if he is re-elected.

"If (Bush) is re-elected, he will appoint a (Justice) Clarence Thomas clone and reverse Roe versus Wade," Lahti said.