“Given President Obama’s pro-abortion litmus test, his nominee will prohibit the states from passing health and safety regulations and leave women completely unprotected from substandard providers and clinics,”
said AUL’s Clarke Forsythe.

MEDIA ADVISORY: AUL Legal Experts Available for Comment

WASHINGTON, D.C. (03-10-16) – In a letter to members of the U.S. Senate, Americans United for Life Acting President and Senior Counsel Clarke Forsythe urged Senators “to stand resolutely against filling the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia until the election and inauguration of the next President.  Doing so is a proper exercise of the authority granted to the Senate by the Constitution and necessary to the preservation of self-government, especially on the life issue.” Not only does the Constitution allow this, according to Article II, Section 2, which gives the Senate the role of “advice and consent” for “judges of the Supreme Court,” the Senate has often taken advantage of that option, noted Forsythe.

Writing in an op-ed for The Hill, which accompanied the letter, Forsythe said: “There are numerous instances where the Senate has rejected presidential nominees to the Supreme Court.  Approximately 31 of 160 Supreme Court nominees have been rejected.  (Henry Hogue did a detailed analysis for the Congressional Research Service in 2010.) A list of some relatively recent ones (listing president-nominee) include: Hoover-Parker (1930), Johnson-Fortas (1968), Nixon-Haynsworth (1969), Nixon-Carswell (1970), and Reagan-Bork (1987).”

And contrary to partisan advocates who say that nine justices are required for the work of the court, Forsythe observed, “There’s no magic to the number nine.  The number of Justices is not set by the Constitution, but by statute.  The number of justices, for example, fluctuated between 1866 and1871.  Congress reduced the number of Justices in 1866, then increased the number to ten, before reducing the number to nine in 1871, where it has remained.”

Forsythe commended Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for his leadership in calling for the Senate to wait until after the election to move on any nomination, and called on the Senate to support such an effort.

“President Obama’s pro-abortion litmus test for Supreme Court justices is long-standing and well-known. In 2010, President Obama expressly stated that a prospective nominee’s position on abortion was ‘very important,’” Forsythe wrote. “At stake are the long-recognized legitimate state interests in protecting maternal health and unborn life. Any nomination by President Obama promises to jeopardize these critical state interests, which were even acknowledged by the Court in Roe v. Wade.”

In addition to calling on the Senate to hold the line, AUL is also engaged in building grassroots support in a national petition urging the Senate to wait until after the election to confirm a replacement for Scalia. To view or sign the petition, click here.

To learn more about the dangers of abortion for women, click here.