Trump Misses Huge Opportunity on Supreme Court Abortion Case

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

After keeping silent for most of the week following the Supreme Court’s pro-abortion ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, Donald Trump finally weighed in on the case yesterday in a radio interview, arguing that the outcome would have been different if he were president:

“Now if we had Scalia … or if Scalia was replaced by me, you wouldn’t have had that. Okay? It would’ve been the opposite,” Trump told radio host Mike Gallagher during an interview, referring to late Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February.

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Trump also said that the decision was the first of many liberal victories to come if his likely Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, wins the presidency in November. On the campaign trail, Trump has regularly talked about Supreme Court appointments to elevate the stakes of the race.

“You know, there’s your first example right there …that’s going to be the first of many. And if she gets in, if she gets in, you won’t even have to question. You wouldn’t even have to bother going to court. You’re going to know the answers,” he said.

For conservatives deeply concerned about the normally outspoken Trump’s lack of comment on the issue, these remarks were likely met with at least a partial sigh of relief. But is this a case of better late than never? Or did his response come too little too late?

It depends on which conservative you talk to:

The episode reinforced doubts among prominent conservatives over whether Trump is sufficiently dedicated to ensuring a right-leaning Supreme Court.

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Missing: Loud, Outspoken Republican Presidential Candidate

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

The Supreme Court handed down an awful ruling yesterday in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Mary Powers covered it in detail here. Obviously, this decision was a pretty significant blow to the pro-life movement.

It was also probably a good time for Donald Trump to rally the troops, right? Maybe do a few media hits and bash liberals on the Supreme Court?

Nope. Silence. He hasn’t tweeted since yesterday, and his campaign ignored all media requests for comment yesterday.

I tweeted earlier about this:

Is that so hard? Come on. One tweet, Mr. Trump. You could have done it in less than 140 characters. Show some leadership. In order to unite the party and let some air out of the #NeverTrump balloon, you need to be strong on issues like this. Not completely AWOL.

Jon Schweppe is the Communications Director for American Principles Project. Follow him on Twitter @JonSchweppe. Continue Reading

A Hillary Clinton Presidency Would Be Terrible for the Pro-Life Movement

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (photo credit: Lorie Shaull via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

The season of waiting for the Supreme Court to issue some of its most controversial rulings of the year is upon us, and one of the most far-reaching decisions is the one on Texas’s abortion health and safety law. HB 2, adopted by wide margins in the state legislature, created tougher standards for Texas clinics and required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at hospitals to facilitate treatment of complications.

It is always possible that the Court, which is short one member due to the death in February of Justice Antonin Scalia, will deadlock over the Texas law. But even if it doesn’t, the Court is closely split on abortion policy, which makes 2016 a potential turning point.

From one perspective, things could hardly be worse for right-to-life advocates. More than four decades after Roe v. Wade, the basics of that ruling are still in place and the United States still sees more than one million abortions each year. Abortions are legal in half the states even in the third trimester, public funds flow to abortion in 17 states, and the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, receives more than$500 million from the government each year. Recent efforts to limit abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy have been struck down, as have two states’ laws to limit abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Given this state of affairs, how much more damage could the replacement of Justice Scalia with a judicial activist for “abortion rights” actually do?

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Pro-Lifers Will Be Watching Donald Trump Closely on Monday. Here’s Why.

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

I was encouraged when, during a meeting with evangelical and social conservative leaders this week, Donald Trump reiterated the most important pro-life commitment he has made to date: that he would appoint pro-life judges to the U.S. Supreme Court.

To quote him verbatim, “We are going to appoint great Supreme Court justices… These will be justices of great intellect… And they will be pro-life.”

Mr. Trump also spoke about threats to religious liberty and how the federal government continues to threaten the ability of people of faith and conscience to speak out in the public square.

The conversation which started on Tuesday is far from over, but it is encouraging and important that it is taking place. Over the next few weeks and months, I will continue to encourage Mr. Trump to reiterate all of the pro-life commitments he’s made to date:

  1. That he will appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court.
  2. That he will advocate for and sign into law the Pain-Cable Unborn Child Protection Act that would ban abortions after 5 months — a point by which the science is clear: unborn babies can feel pain.
  3. That he will defund Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion business.

He may get another opportunity to speak to these promises on Monday, when the Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether states have the right to protect the health and safety of women inside of America’s abortion facilities and to require abortionists to be known to the local hospital and have admitting privileges in case of emergencies. Continue Reading