I think speculating on which Supreme Court Justices a potential president may appoint is a waste of time. I do not think it should be a major factor in how one chooses which candidate to support. As I have noted before, if twelve years of purportedly conservative, “pro-life” presidencies (Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush) with five Supreme Court appointments (Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, and Clarence Thomas) do not result in a repeal of Roe v. Wade, then I do not think anyone can reasonably place much hope in potential Supreme Court nominees, let alone argue that others should vote accordingly.
But one thing that I can not and will not ignore is the more direct power the president has to codify certain abortion provisions. This leads me to Barack Obama. Frankly, I do not worry much over his potential Supreme Court appointments on account of what I will now refer to as the Reagan reality (i.e., even the most pro-life of presidents has done a poor job in appointing anti-Roe Justices). What I worry about is what Christopher Blosser tuned us into back in January: The Freedom of Choice Act.
Essentially, FOCA seeks to “prohibit, consistent with Roe v. Wade, the interference by the government
with a woman’s right to choose to bear a child or terminate a pregnancy, and for other purposes.” The intent is to codify a woman’s right to abortion in U.S. law and to overrule federal, state, and local restrictions to access to abortion. In a very real and terrifying sense, FOCA is far worse than Roe.
On July 17, 2007, while stumping before the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Obama openly declared, “Well, the first thing I’d do as president is, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act.” You can watch Obama’s full speech here.
So do I. I cannot vote for Obama in good conscience, and, therefore, I shall not. When a presidential candidate vows to sign into law a measure that rolls back legal restrictions on killing human beings–whether by abortion or capital punishment–I do not become a single-issue voter. Rather, I become a single-issue eliminator, and Barack Obama is eliminated from my list of candidates for whom to vote.