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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Fearing that devoted constitutionalists if placed on the High Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, pro-abortion activists are urging Democratic senators to screen judicial nominees using a new personal liberty standard.
At a press conference Thursday in Washington, Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, unveiled a new litmus test for discerning nominations to the U.S. Supreme Court who could reverse Roe. Speaking on behalf of several pro-abortion groups, Laguens said:
We are calling for a personal liberty standard, that a Senate must only confirm a justice who affirmatively declares that they believe that the Constitution protects individual liberty and the right of all people to make personal decisions about their bodies and their personal relationships, including the use of contraception, the right to have an abortion and the freedom to marry who you choose.
Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice, explained during the press conference that the new standard is needed because Justice Neil Gorsuch and Chief Justice John Roberts both affirmed during their confirmation hearings that Roe was "settled law" and "precedent," only seeming to rule otherwise once seated on the High Court.
Fallen added, "We're here to warn Trump's nominee ... that calling Roe a precedent or settled law is not enough, not even close."
He then brought up the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who was adamant about enforcing the Constitution as it was originally understood by its writers — a judicial philosophy known as originalism.
"Trump's own litmus test has raised the bar for what a nominee must answer at a hearing. Because so many of these people on Trump's shortlist are scholars of the late Antonin Scalia, we are not going to accept any jiggery-pokery on Roe v. Wade, and we are not going to accept any applesauce answers on the Affordable Care Act," Fallen said.
Gorsuch is seen by many as closely following in the judicial footsteps of Scalia. Gorsuch was promoted by Leonard Leo, vice president of the conservative Federalist Society, which seeks to have the Constitution applied according to the original understanding of its authors and the American people. Leo is credited with helping Trump form his list of Supreme Court nominees. But most, if not all, of these judges see Roe as indefensible when pitted against the Constitution.
Even liberals believe the Constitution doesn't explicitly contain a so-called personal right to abortion. Rodney Smolla, a professor at the University of Richmond, last year conceded, "I think the framers were inviting future generations of Americans to apply their own experiences in saying that there may be certain rights, like rights of privacy, that we now think of as vital that they didn't put down explicitly on the list of rights in the bill of rights."
Constitutionalists on the Supreme Court must overturn Roe in order to restore jurisprudence, says Evan Bernick of the Federalist Society. Roe, left unchallenged, presents a serious danger to society, writes Bernick:
It exposes ordinary citizens to government power of a kind that the Framers regarded as "the very definition of tyranny." The minotaur of arbitrary government, unlike that of "judicial supremacy," is no myth — it is all too real, and it is fast devouring rights once held sacred. It is time that constitutionalists cease encouraging judges to keep it satiated.