National Right to Life: The next President will pick Justice Scalia’s successor

WASHINGTON — The head of the nation’s largest pro-life organization, National Right to Life, said that her organization’s members will strongly support Republican senators’ decision to preserve the current U.S. Supreme Court vacancy for the next president to fill.

“This is not primarily about the professional credentials of a particular nominee – it is about who picks the justice who will decide whether unborn children will be protected, whether religious liberty will be protected, and whether the free-speech rights of groups out of favor with the liberal elites will be protected,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “President Obama hopes to decisively shift the Court’s balance on abortion, political free-speech rights, and a host of other issues. Yet, while President Obama has the authority to nominate, he appoints only with the consent of the Senate. The Republican senators have decided that, with an upcoming election in November, the voters should decide what kind of justice they want on the Court by the election of a presidential candidate.”

In a new column being published today in National Right to Life News, to be read by pro-life activists nationwide, Tobias writes,

In a sense, the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court is on the ballot in every presidential election — yet, the intensifying debate surrounding the current vacancy may have an impact on the general election to a degree seldom if ever seen before in our nation’s history. . . . Use every opportunity— petitions, fair booths, social media pages, advertising campaigns, etc., to reach voters; explaining their opportunity to make their voices heard in the nomination process. And definitely use every means possible to encourage the Senate to stand firm and #LetThePeopleDecide.

President Obama recently claimed that the Senate must act on his nominee, lest it will threaten the independence of the judiciary, and create risk that the Supreme Court would “become one more extension of our polarized politics.” National Right to Life Legislative Director Douglas Johnson called such concerns “laughable, coming from Obama, who filibustered Samuel Alito’s nomination, and whose administration has repeatedly urged the Supreme Court to strike down state laws that violate no constitutional text. In reality the president wants not an independent judiciary, but a Supreme Court majority that will vote in lock step to strike down protections for unborn children, to tolerate escalating governmental attacks on religious liberty, to permit severe limits on the rights of independent groups to criticize those who hold or seek public office, and to nullify other laws that conflict with current liberal dogmas and policy preferences.”

Johnson also noted that Senate Democrats had killed many of President George W. Bush’s nominations to courts of appeals by denying them up or down votes. Even earlier, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Joe Biden killed President George H.W. Bush’s January, 1992 nomination of John Roberts to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, simply by refusing to schedule a hearing on the nomination through the entire year. Indeed, during 1992 alone, Roberts was one of over 50 Bush judicial nominees who never received a hearing from Biden.

Founded in 1968, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, NRLC works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia.

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