Roundup: Obama Starts Conversations with Potential Supreme Court Picks

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Roundup: Obama Starts Conversations with Potential Supreme Court Picks

Emily Douglas

Obama starts talking to potential Supreme Court picks; Americans United for Life examines abortion-related stances of possible Supreme Court nominees; House Republicans call for reinstating the conscience clause; the Gallup poll in context.

Obama Starts Conversations with Potential Supreme Court Picks
Obama has begun talking to potential Supreme Court nominee picks, the Wall Street Journal reports today.  David Axelrod tells the Journal:

"Fidelity to the Constitution is paramount, but as with any document
that was written no matter how brilliantly centuries ago, it couldn’t
possibly have anticipated all the questions that would be asked in the
21st century," Mr. Axelrod said.

Mr. Axelrod’s comments come as conservative activists gear up for a
fight over a nominee they say will inevitably be a "judicial activist,"
since the president has said he will seek a justice who can use life
experience and empathy for the powerless and downtrodden to help shape
court rulings.

 

Roe is gone. The chaos is just beginning.

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Americans United for Life Examines Abortion-Related Positions of Possible Supreme Court Nominees

Americans United for Life has released an analysis of the abortion-related positions of the leading contenders for the Supreme Court nomination, LifeNews reports

On Elena Kagan:

AUL
indicates Kagan is at odds with a Supreme Court decision that upholds
the right of government to stop taxpayer-funded abortions.

"Kagan
has publicly and repeatedly criticized Rust v. Sullivan, a 1991 U.S
Supreme Court decision upholding federal regulations that prohibit
recipients of Title X family planning funds from counseling on or
referring women for abortions," AUL says.

On Sonia Sotomayor:

Writing for the Second Circuit, Judge Sotomayor upheld the Mexico
City Policy which prohibited foreign non-governmental organizations
(NGOs) from using federal funding to promote abortion overseas.  In a
constitutional challenge brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights
(CRR), an American abortion advocacy group that routinely argues that
"abortion is the law of the world," Judge Sotomayor first rejected a
claim that the policy burdened the First Amendment rights of domestic
pro-abortion groups, finding that no First Amendment rights were
implicated.  The significance of this part of her opinion, however, may
be minimal because the issue was largely controlled by the Second
Circuit’s earlier opinion in a similar challenge to the policy. 

More interesting was Justice Sotomayor’s response to CRR’s second
claim that the policy violated the Equal Protection Clause by
impermissibly burdening the "rights of domestic abortion groups
relative to domestic anti-abortion groups."  Rejecting this new
argument, Justice Sotomayor wrote that because the challenge involved
neither a suspect class nor a fundamental right, a deferential
"rational basis" test was appropriate.  She then acknowledged the
ability of the government to adopt anti-abortion policies, noting
"there can be no question that the classification survives rational
basis review.  The Supreme Court has made clear that the government is
free to favor the anti-abortion position over the pro-choice position,
and can do so with public funds."

On Kathleen Sullivan:

Sullivan,
who has no judicial experience, published an article in the August
1992 New Jersey Law Journal, commenting on the U.S. Supreme Court’s
decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey and arguing that legal status
of abortion should be decided by the courts, particularly the U.S.
Supreme Court, and not the American people through the democratic
process," AUL indicates.

Sullivan
argued that ‘women’s reproductive freedom’ was ‘too precious
and fragile’ to be ‘left to politics,’" Sullivan added in the
article.

House Republicans Call for Reinstating the Conscience Clause
Did you notice Obama’s shout-out to conscience clauses in the text of
his commencement address at Notre Dame last weekend?  "Let’s honor the
conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and
draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our
health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as
well as respect for the equality of women," Obama stated.  In response,
"[s]taunch pro-life House conservatives have ‘renewed hope’ that the
president will reinstate Bush-era regulations protecting the rights of
doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers who choose not to give
abortions," The Hill reports. Republican members of the House sent Obama a letter thanking him for his respect for conscience and asking him to reinstate Bush’s regulations.

Gallup Poll in Context
In the Chicago Tribune,
Eric Zorn compares the recent Gallup poll on Americans’
pro-life/pro-choice identification with other recent polls, which
suggest that "[t]hese snapshots show that the pendulum swings slightly
around the midpoint but doesn’t gather much momentum either way," he
writes.  For example, an April CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll in April
found 49% of respondents identify as "pro-choice" and 45% as
"pro-life." Zorn concludes, "If you’re looking for a more telling number to unpack, try
68: That’s
the percentage of respondents who told pollsters from CNN/Opinion
Research over the weekend that they do not want the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade. But
if you’re looking for resolution or even real movement on this issue in
the near or even distant future, the surveys say you’re out of luck."

Wednesday’s Words from Women
The National Abortion Federation has launched a series called Wednesday’s Words from Women, a weekly collection of voices of women who have had abortions: "Over one-third of women of reproductive age have an abortion by the
age of 45. However, women who have chosen abortion are often absent
from the public debate. In order to break the silence surrounding
abortion, we will be featuring real stories from real women each
Wednesday on our blog."
  This week, Sharice (name changed) writes, "Recently I was in an abusive relationship where I feared for my life.
After an almost fatal accident I learned I was pregnant. I knew I
couldn’t have a baby by somebody who was capable of killing me so I
decided to end the pregnancy. When I made the call to schedule an
appointment they were more than helpful. I am very grateful and this is
something that in a way saved my life."

Other News to Note
May 19: The Item: Teen pregnancy prevention topic at regional meeting 

May 18: UPI.com: MTV plans ’16 & Pregnant’ reality show

May 20: Catholic News Agency: Ultrasound technology and laws credited for pro-life shift

May 19: Catholic NewsWire: At Christendom College Commencement, Rev. Frank Pavone Gives Strong Pro-Life Message to Graduates

May 19: HuffPo: Why "Choosing Life" is a False Choice

May
19: Christian NewsWire: Why Obama is Going to Turn America into a Pro-Life Nation, and Other Opinions from a Young Pro-Life Activist Who Knows What’s Up

May 19: LifeNews: Pro-Life Groups May Have to Lead Battle Against Pro-Abortion Supreme Court Pick

May 19: Chicago Tribune: Abortion polls back and forth

May 19: Fox News: Political Battle Over Obama’s Supreme Court Pick Hits the Web

May 19: Houston Chronicle: Even if we can’t agree, President Obama calls for reasoned respect on the topic of abortion

May 19: The Hill: Pro-life and pro-choice

May 20: MetroWest Daily News: Reidy: When Catholics stopped obeying the pope

May 20: Roundup: Obama’s sexually innovative education plan

May 19: Eurekalert: New contraceptive device is designed to prevent sexual transmission of HIV

May 19: Forbes: Parents Influence Sex Decisions, Hispanic Teens Say

May 19: Monsters and Critics: Carla Bruni-Sarkozy wants evolution in Catholic teachings

May 19: HuffPo: Survey: Majority Of Latinas Pregnant By 20th Birthday

May 19: Newsweek: The S Word

May 19: Times Record: Student’s Prop Fuels Controversy

May 19: LA Times: Women’s clinics see rise in calls and visits

May 20: LA Times: Obama connects while deflecting abortion furor

May 19: AP: Analysis: Expect nominee to dodge hard questions

May 19: HuffPo: Much Ado About Abortion…

May 19: HuffPo: Aborting Abortion Debate’s Tone

May 19: HuffPo: Obama’s Lack of Leadership on Abortion Means His Impact Won’t Match Reagan’s Or Roosevelt’s

May 19: Daily News: Obama, want common ground? Start by curbing fetal pain

May 19: Slate.com: Abortion and Economics

May 19: Seattle PI: The abortion debate comes home to Seattle

May 19: La Prensa Michigan: MDCH awards $1.4 million to Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programming

May 18: The Epoch Times: A Victim of ‘Family Planning’ Withdraws From CCP’s Youth League

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roundup, Supreme Court