Prolife voters in both parties should seriously reflect upon the following number before voting – or not voting – in the presidential election next month.
If Hillary Clinton wins, that’s approximately how many unborn children could become victims of abortion before conservatives have another opportunity in the mid 2030s to tilt the balance of the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade.
It’s all a matter of the court’s current composition, existing and potential vacancies, average tenures, and their individual judicial philosophies. The names, dates, and numbers can get a little messy, so bear with me for a moment.
The first thing you need to know is the average tenure of a justice nowadays is about 26-years.The second is that the Centers for Disease Control reports that an average of 799,749 abortions occurred annually in the United States from 2002-2012. A partial survey from the Associated Press showed a 12-percent drop in abortions from 2010-2014, but it’s uncertain if that downward trend will continue. And the third is the ever-changing membership of the nine-member court.
Based on their past votes and written opinions, five of the current justices comprise a solid prochoice voting bloc: Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Associate Justice Elena Kagan.
Three of the nine justices on the court are likely prolife: Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, and Associate Justice Samuel Alito.
The winner of next month’s presidential election will appoint the ninth and final seat, which will replace the famously prolife Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.
As you can see, the court already stands with a five-seat majority in favor of keeping Roe v. Wade and protecting abortion-on-demand. If she’s elected, Clinton will add a sixth member to that pro-choice bloc.
But there’s more. Ginsburg, who has been a prochoice vote on the bench since 1993, is expected to retire soon. That’d be a second Clinton pick. Kennedy is 80-years old and a couple of years past the average length on the court, and Breyer is nearly that old and just a couple of years shy of the average stay, as well. If they wanted to ensure that their replacements held similar judicial philosophies to their own, they might jump ship while Clinton is president. That’d be her third and fourth pick, extending the prochoice bloc for decades.
If Hillary wins and reinforces the court’s prochoice bloc – and our current prolife justices either remain or are replaced by like-minded nominees – it’d be at least until 2035 or 2036 before we could expect to see the retirement of Sotomayor (confirmed in 2009) or Kagan (confirmed in 2010). We’d be stuck with a six-seat prochoice bloc until then.
What will happen in the meantime?
Abortion on demand – through various, gruesome means and effectively during all stages of pregnancy – will continue to be the law of the land. If the rate of abortions holds to its current annual averages until the first year we might be able to tilt the court – 2035 – that could mean more than 14 million unborn babies would die in the wake of this election.
Will the Republican nominee make better picks? It’s hard to imagine Donald Trump doing worse than Clinton, and he has released a list of potential nominees that were universally lauded by prolife conservatives who know their records, but the man is entirely unreliable and unpredictable. I honestly don’t know what Trump will do, but I’m certain about Hillary.
Republican presidents are infamous for nominating “home run” conservatives who later reveal themselves as prochoice liberals (Associate Justices Sandra Day O’Conner and David Souter, for example), but there’s zero chance the Democrats will make similar mistakes. President Bill Clinton was so keen on nominating a prochoice justice to the bench that he brazenly picked Ginsburg, the former general counsel for the radically pro-choice American Civil Liberties Union. Hillary Clinton’s nominees will surely have the same prochoice pedigree, or worse.
Many will call this a scare tactic, fear mongering, or sensationalism.
I call it the cold, hard truth.
So when you walk into that voting booth in a couple of weeks, know that the impact of your decision will stretch well beyond this election and long past the next presidency. It’ll reverberate over the next two decades, and impact millions of unborn children.