With a massive fight brewing over a Supreme Court nomination between pro-abortion President Barack Obama and pro-life Republicans int he Senate, the liberal media is attempting to push a consensus nominee — but one pro-life advocates will find objectionable. Media outlets are suggesting pro-abortion former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
The thought is that because O’Connor was a republican appointee — nominated by President Ronald Reagan — that she would make a good placeholder for pro-life Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat until a more permanent nominee is approved.
In an op-ed piece in The Baltimore Sun on Tuesday, William Blake, an assistant political science professor at the University of Maryland, and Hans Hacker, an associate political science professor at Arkansas State University, say the 86-year-old former justice would be a perfect choice.
“Under these circumstances, her age is a significant asset,” they wrote. “She is more than capable of serving on the court for a year or two, after which she could retire and the new president could use his or her political mandate to appoint a younger justice.”
“Republican leaders routinely tout President Reagan as an icon; a vote against confirming Justice O’Connor would be an admission that the patron saint of the modern Republican Party wasn’t infallible,” they said. “Senate Republicans couldn’t question Justice O’Connor’s credentials. And they would be unable to cast her appointment as one that would shape the court for the next generation.”
The pro-abortion Washington Post agrees.
In the wake of the sudden death over the weekend of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a variety of candidates are being mentioned as possibilities to fill the vacancy. Among them: appeals court judges, sitting senators, the current attorney general. To that list — and I would put it squarely on top — should be added the name of former justice Sandra Day O’Connor. There are both practical and political arguments for her nomination. Foremost is that she is eminently qualified, having served so ably on the court and continuing at age 85 to actively hear cases in the lower courts. She stepped down from the court in 2006 to care for her ailing, now deceased, husband and would be able to hit the ground running. A centrist, she would drag the court neither to the left nor to the right.
Her nomination would effectively call the bluff of Senate Republicans who childishly have threatened not to consider any choice put forward by President Obama. Indeed, not only would Republicans have to hold a hearing for the first female Supreme Court Justice but they would be hard pressed to come up with a good reason to deny her a seat. The same would go for Democrats. When she was nominated for the court in 1981, President Reagan hailed her as “person for all seasons” — and that’s just what is needed in 2016 with a court — and a nation — so divided.
The Washington Pots’ attempt to use sexism to force Republicans to accept her aside, O’Connor is a non-starter for pro-life advocates because of her steadfast support for Roe v. Wade and abortion.
O’Connor was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981 and is often seen as a deciding middle of the road vote on the court. Republicans were consistently chagrined by her decisions and say she betrayed her conservative ideological views on other political issues by strongly backing abortion.
Not only did O’Connor repeatedly promote an unlimited right to abortion throughout pregnancy during her tenure on the Supreme Court, she authored the high court decision that overturned state bans on partial-birth abortion. The Supreme Court had to go back, years later, and reverse her decision to allow the national partial-birth abortion ban to stand.
In the 1992 Casey vs. Planned Parenthood case, which saw the court uphold some state pro-life laws, O’Connor voted with the 6-3 majority to uphold Roe v. Wade, the 1973 court decision that legalized abortion on demand. She called the infamous decision “a rule of law and a component of liberty we cannot renounce.”
“Our obligation is to define the liberty of all. We reaffirm the constitutionally protected liberty of women to obtain an abortion,” she wrote.
She also cast the deciding vote in the 2000 court case that overturned a Nebraska ban on partial-birth abortions.
The Nebraska case had national implications and dozens of bans on the grisly mid-term abortion procedure were overturned as a result.
Meanwhile, O’Connor used a speech at Georgetown University to attack pro-life lawmakers who sided with Terri Schiavo’s parents in their efforts to prevent their daughter’s euthanasia death. She claimed a Congressional effort to have federal courts review the case was a first step towards a dictatorship.
“We must be ever-vigilant against those who would strong-arm the judiciary,” she said of the pro-Terri Schiavo lawmakers.