Justice Anthony Kennedy announced June 27 he is retiring from the Supreme Court, leaving behind a pro-abortion and pro-homosexual legacy, but also an opportunity to begin to set things right.
Originally appointed by President Ronald Reagan, Kennedy has been a notorious swing vote on the court. He did provide pro-life and pro-family advocates with some wins, particularly voting to uphold the federal ban on partial-birth abortion in 2007. In June, he upheld pregnancy centers’ free speech rights in California, and ruled against against religious hostility displayed by states attempting to force Christian bakers to serve same-sex “weddings.”
But when the pro-life and pro-family causes needed him most, Kennedy stood on the other side. He voted to protect abortion-on-demand in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and years later wrote the Obergefell v. Hodges that forced all fifty states to adopt same-sex “marriage.”
President Donald Trump has said that he will “immediately” begin the process of nominating a new judge to take Kennedy’s place, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promises that the Senate will vote on that nominee this fall. While this is joyous news for pro-lifers everywhere, the battle is just beginning.
The Left and the abortion lobby are already declaring a “crisis” over Kennedy’s successor, recognizing that President Trump’s nominee could be the long-awaited fifth vote to finally overturn Roe v. Wade. They’re vowing to fight tooth and nail to sink the nomination, and given the stakes it’s certain that an unprecedented assault is imminent.
At the same time, President Trump will be working with an even narrower Senate majority than the one that confirmed Justice Neil Gorsuch. With just two Republican defections being enough to derail the nominee, the president will face intense pressure within his own party to choose a more moderate judge, someone with no record of ruling on abortion or LGBT cases.
President Trump received widespread support from evangelical and other Christian communities, in large part because of his pro-life campaign promises. So far, he has delivered beyond our wildest expectations. But this will be the fight of his presidency--of any presidency.
He needs to know that we expect him to follow through on those promises, and that when he does so he will have our enthusiastic support and gratitude.
Finally, we urge everyone to pray for President Trump as he makes this major decision.