by Steven Ertelt
September 23, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Yesterday, leading pro-life senator and possible 2008 presidential candidate Sam Brownback voted for John Roberts’ nomination for the Supreme Court. However, he said he hopes President Bush’s next nominee for the high court takes a more public stand in opposition to abortion.
"The next nominee should let the political branches make political choices and should have a record of devotion to life and liberty that our Constitution protects," the Kansas Republican said at the hearing held just before the Senate Judiciary Committee approved Roberts on a 13-5 vote.
Most pro-life observers believe that, by all indications, Roberts is pro-life and would likely vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. He enjoys the support of numerous pro-life groups and leading pro-life attorneys say he set the table for overturning Roe with his comments during the hearings.
However, Roberts has never ruled on an abortion case and would not commit to overturning Roe during the hearing, saying taking a position on potential cases to come before the Supreme Court would prevent him from participating in such cases.
Brownback said he was satisfied that Roberts understands the limited role of judges — to rule on the legitimacy of the law without making law, as the court did in the Roe case that ushered in an era of 44 million abortions.
"It’s a very important issue and what we are doing today is sending all the wrong signals into the society and into the culture," Brownback said. "We’re saying let’s be selective in this process and let’s not let certain groups of people here, and yet once they get here, we’re saying we should protect them."
During the pre-vote hearing, Brownback referred to a 14-year-old girl with Down syndrome he invited to attend the vote. He said society is disregarding the right to life of disabled people and as many as 80 percent of disabled unborn children are victims of abortion.
Last week, during the hearings, Brownback told Roberts about the change of heart that Norma McCorvey, the former Jane Roe, had about abortion and how she told a Senate hearing the facts of her cases were not as the Supreme Court thought they were back in 1973.
The Senate is expected to vote next week on Roberts’ nomination to replace William Rehnquist as Chief Justice and will likely approve him with as many as 65 votes or more. President Bush is expected to nominate a replacement for outgoing pro-abortion Justice Sandra Day O’Connor shortly thereafter.