Senate Confirms Pro-Life Appeals Court Nominee Steve Grasz

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 12, 2017   |   6:40PM   |   Washington, DC

The Senate today approved a pro-life appellate court nominee and pro-life groups are celebrating the confirmation of Steve Grasz to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

While serving as Nebraska’s Chief Deputy Attorney General, Judge Grasz authored nine briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and defended the state’s ban on partial-birth abortion before the Supreme Court in Stenberg v. Carhart.

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse (R), who is pro-life, voted for confirmation for Judge Grasz and sent a statement to LifeNews:

“The end of a long process in the Senate is just the beginning of a new chapter in Steve’s distinguished record of public service for Nebraska and the nation. Nebraskans will have a voice on the Eighth Circuit committed to an impartial and independent judiciary – someone who understands that judges don’t write laws. At every step during this process, from his interview back in Nebraska to his hearing in the Judiciary Committee, Steve’s humility, integrity, and experience were clear. As a member of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, I join Nebraskans across the political spectrum in wishing Steve the best in his new calling.”

The pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List told LifeNews today it appreciates the Senate vote.

“Today’s confirmation of Steve Grasz to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals is just the latest example of President Trump and Leader McConnell hitting home runs on judges,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “We thank President Trump for such strong, well-qualified judicial nominees and thank Leader McConnell for standing up to pro-abortion Democratic obstructionism and getting them confirmed.

“With a long record of distinguished service to Nebraska that has earned him praise across the political spectrum, Steve Grasz will no doubt be a fine appellate court judge who will rule with respect for the constitutional rights of all Americans.”

Meanwhile, Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins praised the U.S. Senate today for confirming more, qualified legal professional to vacant judicial posts.

Hawkins told LifeNews, “Steve Grasz faced a career roadblock when the American Bar Association attempted to stop his advancement simply because of the belief that he might be pro-life. That kind of abortion prejudice should not be used to justify crushing the career choices of qualified attorneys.”

Hawkins noted that the ABA’s anti-life perspective is on full display in their opposition to Steve Grasz whom Trump picked for the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In their analysis of Grasz, the ABA reached beyond a detached evaluation of Grasz’s professional competence by basing part of its evaluation on whether or not Grasz embraced the ABA’s own radical position on abortion. The organization deemed the nominee “not qualified” because he opposes partial-birth abortion.

Hawkins observed, “The pro-life majority stands to be overruled by the fringe radical abortion crusaders of the ABA if the Senate Judiciary Committee does not wake up from its trance and relinquish the ABA’s stranglehold over its collective thinking process. This is even more true of pro-life legal students working with Students for Life of America who will find their opportunity diminished if the ABA prevails.”

Planned Parenthood has won most of its victories the past few years in courts, rather than legislatures.  So, it’s no surprise that the top abortion chain in America is watching President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees very closely and, in many cases, lobbying against them.

In an op-ed for The Hill, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards blasted Trump’s choices of conservative judges Steven Grasz and Amy Coney Barrett for the 8th and 7th Circuit Courts of Appeals, respectively.

She characterized them as “ideologues who would put politicians in charge of some of the most fundamental decisions a woman has to make: where she gets health care and if and when she has a child.”

Specifically, Richards complained that Barrett has been a vocal opponent of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed abortion on demand up until birth. Richards also claimed Planned Parenthood fights for women while attacking Barrett, a woman.

Richards clearly stated why she is so concerned about Barrett and Grasz:

All told, there are more than 140 federal judicial vacancies, each one a lifetime appointment. That’s why we need our senators to do everything in their power to stop these nominees. The health and lives of millions of women are at stake.

Because across the country, the courts are often the only check on lawmakers bent on making women’s health care decisions.

During the first six months of this year, legislators in six states have introduced measures to ban all abortions, and legislators in 28 states have introduced measures to ban abortions under some circumstances, many of which should be struck down under the Supreme Court’s decision in Whole Woman’s Health. Many of these states also have judicial vacancies — future judges who could decide the fate of women’s health and lives in their states.

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Publicly-elected state legislatures passed a record number of pro-life laws in the past decade, but pro-abortion groups managed to block a number of them. They largely succeeded by filing lawsuits and relying on the courts to overturn pro-life laws. Many of the judges who sided with the abortion industry were appointed by President Barack Obama, who is pro-abortion.

The abortion chain is trying to cling to its judicial life-line by opposing conservative judges. Without it, the abortion industry could suffer huge losses – and unborn babies and moms could win huge victories for their protection and lives.