WASHINGTON, D.C. (02-13-16) – Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest called news of the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia “a tragic loss for our country. Americans mourn the passing of a man with deep integrity and unparalleled intellectual force, who valued the Constitution over the whims of popular culture.”
She continued: “Known for his great wit and wisdom, Justice Scalia continually reminded us that the rule of law and protections enshrined in the Constitution are essential. His contribution to our country has been immeasurable. His respect for life in law, calling himself a ‘textualist,’ allowed him to decide on the tough cases more easily: he once said to reporters, ‘Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion.’”
Yoest added, “His loss is tragic, and we hope that when it comes time for the Senate to vote on his replacement, that a worthy successor who can pick up his banner can be found after the election.”
Justice Antonin Scalia was a long-standing and consistent voice on the Court for allowing the American people, through the democratic process, to protect human beings from abortion or assisted suicide. He was one of the strongest critics on the Court of the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, as unconstitutional and illegitimate. And he voted with the majority of the Court in 1997 against a constitutional right to assisted suicide. In both cases, he affirmed that the Constitution leaves these issues to the people to formulate public policies through their elected representatives.
AUL’s leadership on pro-life law and policy and its reputation as a thoughtful pro-life advocate has been recognized four times by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee when AUL was asked to address pro-life concerns in confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees. AUL leaders testified during confirmation hearings for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Stephen Breyer. Recently, AUL’s current President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest testified during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. AUL has also given Congressional testimony before both the House of Representatives and the Senate regarding federal legislation.
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