Abortion Court Decision A Victory For Donald Trump

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2022/06/24/abortion-court-decision-a-victory-for-donald-trump/

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision flipping Roe v. Wade and returning abortion law to the states is a victory for former President Donald Trump.

Trump got done what decades of Republican presidents before him failed to do:  Getting the worst decision in the history of the nation’s highest federal court overturned.

It would not have happened without the votes of three Trump appointees – Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, and Neil Gorsuch. On this most important of issues, Trump went three for three in his Supreme Court nominations – a batting average of 1.000. That’s something no other Republican president can approach.

How vital were those three?

Well, six justices signed the majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health issued Friday, June 24. But only five supported the opinion’s most important finding:  That Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood are unconstitutional and should be discarded. (As they are, and as they should.)

The weak sister of the court, John Roberts, said in his concurring opinion that he would have left Roe and Casey standing, and that the court should simply have monkeyed around with where to draw the line. Roberts wrote that banning abortions after 15 weeks, as the Mississippi statute calls for, is constitutional, and that the court should have left it at that.

That leaves five justices willing to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Three of the five were Trump appointees.

No Trump, no abortion decision. It’s that simple.

The situation becomes clearer still if you consider where we’ve been during the 49 years 154 days of federal abortion tyranny.

We think of abortion as breaking down along party lines – Democrats for it, Republicans against it.

But during the past five decades, abortion has been a largely Republican phenomenon. For decades Republicans have courted and depended on pro-lifers’ votes … but not been too eager to deliver pro-life victories.

Just look at the numbers.

A Republican was president when Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. Of the seven justices who signed the majority decision in Roe v. Wade, five were appointed by Republicans. (One of the two dissenters was appointed by a Republican, the other by a Democrat.)

In 1992, 19 years after abortion had become an important consideration in selecting federal judges, the U.S. Supreme Court issued Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which claimed that abortion is a fundamental liberty protected by the federal constitution, as opposed to merely an offspring of a right to privacy found by the Roe court. Of the five justices who signed the majority opinion in Casey, all five were appointed by Republicans. (As were three of the four dissenters.)

Here’s the breakdown of the Casey miscreants:  Harry Blackmun (Dwight Eisenhower); John Paul Stevens (Gerald Ford); Sandra Day O’Connor (Ronald Reagan); Anthony Kennedy (Ronald Reagan); David Souter (George H.W. Bush).

Now here are the Casey dissenters:  Byron White (John F. Kennedy); William Rehnquist (Richard Nixon); Antonin Scalia (Ronald Reagan); Clarence Thomas (George H.W. Bush).

What are the individual statistics of Republican presidents during the last 50 years?

When it comes to abortion, Richard Nixon batted 1 for 4. (William Rehnquist, anti-Roe; Warren Burger, Harry Blackmun, Lewis Powell, pro-Roe.) That’s an average of .250.

Gerald Ford went 0 for 1. (John Paul Stevens, pro-Roe.) That’s an average of .000.

Ronald Reagan went 1 for 3. (Antonin Scalia, anti-Roe; Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy, pro-Roe.) That’s an average of .333.

George H.W. Bush went 1 for 2.  (Clarence Thomas, anti-Roe; David Souter, pro-Roe.) That’s an average of .500.

George W. Bush went 1 for 2. (Samuel Alito, anti-Roe; John Roberts, pathetic.)  That’s an average of .500.

Think maybe some of those averages don’t look so bad?

Consider the Democrats’ numbers.

Jimmy Carter did not play. (No nominations.)

Bill Clinton went 2 for 2. (Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, pro-Roe.)

Barack Obama went 2 for 2. (Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, pro-Roe.)

They both batted 1.000.

That’s because on abortion, the Democrats play for keeps.

So did Donald Trump.

Footnotes to the statistics ought to make the picture clearer still. The weakling Roberts was appointed by former President George W. Bush, who thought so highly of him he nominated him for chief justice.

To be fair, Samuel Alito, the author of the Dobbs decision, is also a W. appointee. But Alito was a second-time-around selection for Bush junior, who previously shocked politicians on both sides of the aisle with the strange selection of Harriet Miers, an undistinguished lawyer who proved largely unfamiliar with constitutional law before her nomination was withdrawn.

It’s also fair to note that pro-Dobbs vote Clarence Thomas was appointed by W.’s father, President George H.W. Bush. Yet that selection was largely based on race – look, a black Republican! – as Bush senior enjoyed the prospect of putting Democrats in a pickle. (Thomas’s views on the federal constitution were at most an afterthought, and his subsequent distinguished service on the court not a particularly important goal of the first Bush.)

Even more to the point:  Alito and Thomas could have gone on writing endless eloquent dissents in cases like this without Donald Trump.

Trump made appointing anti-Roe justices to the Supreme Court a campaign promise, something no other Republican nominee for president had ever done. And he delivered.

None of this is a comment on who should be the Republican nominee for president in 2024. That’s a prudential decision. In a republic, loyalty to a particular politician should be close to non-existent. Questions like “What are you going to do now?” and “Can you win?” ought to be front and center.

It’s almost like the old Russian proverb:  Trust but verify. Minus the trust.

But facts are facts.

When it comes to abortion, Donald Trump got it done.

At a minimum, Republican voters should demand that future GOP candidates for president do the same.

 

Matt McDonald is the editor of New Boston Post.

 

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