Abortion Advocate, Pro-Lifers Disagree on Supreme Court Pledge

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 29, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Abortion Advocate, Pro-Lifers Disagree on Supreme Court Pledge Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
June 29, 2005

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Leaders of pro-life and pro-abortion groups are disagreeing on whether a nominee for the Supreme Court should make a pledge on how he would vote on a potential case involving Roe v. Wade.

In an interview with the Washington Post, NARAL president Nancy Keenan asserted that an "unholy alliance" exists between her abortion advocacy group and pro-life organizations on wanting to know how a nominee would rule on a case seeking to overturn Roe v. Wade.

"We want the senators to ask, and the nominee to answer," Keenan told the Post.

However, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said it would be inappropriate for senators to ask a nominee how he would rule on a specific case.

"NARAL is calling on a nominee to the nation’s highest court to act unethically by making a pledge to rule in a specific way on a case that might one day come before the Supreme Court," Perkins explained.

"While NARAL might believe a nominee should discard judicial ethics and principles to win confirmation, no United States senator, not even the most partisan, could tolerate such a suggestion," Perkins said.

Groups on both sides of the abortion debate, along with members of the Senate, will thoroughly research the backgrounds and legal opinions of any Supreme Court nominee. That information and questions during confirmation hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee will yield clues as to how a nominee would rule on a host of issues.

However, members of the Senate are normally careful to not ask questions about direct cases or legal issues in terms of how a nominee would cast his vote.

"Demanding that a Supreme Court nominee prejudge hypothetical cases sets a dangerous precedent," Perkins concluded.