Different Takes: Next Supreme Court Justice Can End Abortion Rights, Health Law; Democrats’ Scare Campaign Sounds So Familiar
Editorial pages focus on the potentially crucial role the replacement of Justice Anthony Kennedy will have on health issues.
The New York Times:
Chuck Schumer: Our Rights Hang In The Balance
Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement has created the most important vacancy on the Supreme Court in our lifetimes. Whoever fills Justice Kennedy’s seat will join an evenly divided court with the ability to affect the laws of the United States and the rights of its citizens for generations. Enormously important issues hang in the balance: the right of workers to organize, the pernicious influence of dark money in politics, the right of Americans to marry who they love, the right to vote.Perhaps the most consequential issues at stake in this Supreme Court vacancy are affordable health care and a woman’s freedom to make the most sensitive medical decisions about her body. The views of President Trump’s next court nominee on these issues could well determine whether the Senate approves or rejects them. (Sen. Chuck Schumer, 7/2)
The Wall Street Journal:
The Abortion Scare Campaign
Some things in politics are predictable—a New Jersey tax increase, a “no” vote by Senator Rand Paul, and an abortion-rights scare campaign every time a Republican President makes a Supreme Court nomination. And sure enough, the predictions of doom for abortion and gay rights began within minutes of Anthony Kennedy’s resignation last week. These predictions are almost certainly wrong. (7/2)
The Washington Post:
Will The Supreme Court Really Lurch Rightward With Trump’s Next Appointment?
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s announced retirement has led many to speculate about how Trump’s second appointment to the Supreme Court will affect national politics. Most think the court will lurch right. But is that really certain? (Michael Bailey, 7/2)
Why We Live In Anthony Kennedy’s America, Not Robert Bork’s
Justice Anthony Kennedy has announced his retirement from the Supreme Court. Picking his successor will be highly consequential, and one need only rewind history to the vacant seat that ultimately became Kennedy’s 30 years ago to see the real-world stakes for millions of Americans. During his Supreme Court tenure, Justice Kennedy cast critical votes in landmark decisions upholding individual dignity and autonomy. He voted to preserve the core holding of Roe v. Wade in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and reaffirmed the Court’s commitment to reproductive rights again two years ago in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. He also authored a number of decisions protecting the rights of gay people, including the decision guaranteeing same-sex couples the right to marry. (Joel Dodge, 7/2)
Save Us, Sens. Collins And Murkowski
Until last Wednesday, Anthony Kennedy was arguably the most powerful person in the country. Now, two people can claim that mantle: Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. A historic battle over replacing Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court is about to unfold, and as swing-vote moderate Republican senators, Collins or Murkowski can, with a little help, shape the court for a generation. They can either allow it to swing far right or they can insist that it be right of center but in the mainstream. Their decision could determine whether abortion remains legal, whether gay people will lose some of their hard-earned equality and whether there will be any checks on corporations’ power. (7/2)
The Wall Street Journal:
Abortion, Roe—And Trump
Whenever a Supreme Court seat opens up during a Republican administration, headlines start warning that American women will soon be in for a new Dark Ages if Roe v. Wade—the landmark 1973 decision legalizing abortion across all 50 states—is overturned. This time around, with Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, the fifth vote to overturn Roe has just become a numerical possibility. Unfortunately, what ought to occasion a healthy debate over a contentious issue once again looks to be clouded by a handful of dubious orthodoxies. In rough order, they are as follows: First, that Roe is the settled law of the land. Second, that litmus tests are bad and unhelpful. Finally, that an individual’s stand on abortion determines where he stands on Roe. (William McGurn, 7/2)
Los Angeles Times:
No, Trump Should Not Abandon His Supreme Court List
Presumably, as you read this, the White House is setting up its war room for the Supreme Court confirmation battle to come. The interns are stocking the mini fridges and hanging the musk-masking air fresheners that are de rigueur for any top-flight political bunker. But before the administration goes to the mattresses, it first must pick a nominee. And that is why I hope White House counsel Don McGahn is hanging a sign for all to see: “It’s the list, stupid.” Over the next week, the White House will come under incredible pressure from the news media, the Democrats and some Republicans (pro-choice and abortion-squeamish) to abandon the list of potential Supreme Court nominees President Trump campaigned on (and later expanded slightly). On Sunday, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine told ABC’s “This Week” that the president “should not feel bound” by the list. (Jonah Goldberg, 7/3)
Roe V. Wade: Does Donald Trump Want The Next Justice To Outlaw Abortion?
President Trump has vowed not to ask prospective members of the Supreme Court about their views on Roe v. Wade, the basis for legal abortion nationwide since 1973 and the most widely discussed legal case in American in the last half century. President Trump also made a rather different promise to voters in 2016 in his third televised debate with Hillary Clinton. He said Roe would be overturned if he got to change the balance on the court. (Ron Elving, 7/3)