The Life Choice Election
By Thomas A. Glessner, J.D.
November 29, 2011
The state of the economy continues to be the issue that political commentators and the media proclaim as the number one concern facing Americans in the upcoming election of 2012. Indeed, all of the current Republican candidates for president are emphasizing economic issues as they challenge President Obama's reelection. The economic situation of our nation is not good. Unemployment is high and the nation is suffering from large numbers of unemployed and larger numbers of underemployed who are struggling to support their families.
The state of the economy is, of course, an issue of vital concern. However, abortion and related life issues are absolute critical issues that will define the future of America. Yet, they are barely visible on the media's radar screen. The state of the economy will undoubtedly determine how millions of Americans vote in November 2012, but the future of the nation will ultimately be determined by how Americans decide the abortion/life issues.
Lincoln said that our nation cannot continue to exist half slave and half free. Ronald Reagan said, in the spirit of Lincoln, that our nation cannot continue to exist where the lives of some human beings, i.e. the unborn, are not protected under the law while others are granted such protection. Indeed, current abortion statistics are sobering. Since 1973 nearly 55 million unborn children have been killed by abortion. Abortion takes the lives of 1.3 million unborn children a year, 3,300 per day and one every 25 seconds.
Can this nation survive when it is in fact committing demographic suicide and killing our posterity? The results of the upcoming election may well answer this question.
The next President and Congress will have the ability to bring an end to this tragic era of abortion on demand. Not only can they pass meaningful legislation that will protect the unborn but they ultimately will determine the future of Roe v. Wade and its legal license of unlimited abortion.
The future direction of the United States Supreme will undoubtedly be determined by the next president. A look at the current justices and their ages clearly shows that the results of this upcoming election will likely decide for the next generation whether Roe and it's edict of abortion on demand remains the law of the land.
Legal commentators tend to categorize the current makeup of the Court as 4-1-4. That is to say, there are four justices — Chief Justice John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito — who vote the conservative position on social issues; there are four justices — Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayer and Elena Kagan — who vote the liberal position on issues; and one justice — Anthony Kennedy — who is generally conservative but remains the swing vote on social issues, particularly abortion and the future of Roe v. Wade.
It is generally believed that the four conservative justices would, in the appropriate case, vote to overturn Roe and the four liberal justices will vote to uphold it. While he has voted to uphold pro-life protective provisions it is unclear as to how Justice Kennedy would vote on the future of Roe.
Kennedy, a Roman Catholic, was appointed to the high court in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan. At the time it was hoped that he would be the fifth vote on the court to reverse and correct the tragedy and colossal judicial blunder of Roe. Sadly, however, Kennedy was a major disappointment in 1992 when he voted with the majority as the fifth vote in Planned Parenthood v. Casey to uphold the central and faulty premise of Roe that a constitutional right of privacy exists that includes a right to choose an abortion.
Despite his vote in Casey, there is some speculation that Justice Kennedy might have undergone a change of view and would change his vote on the constitutionality of Roe. While such an assumption is impossible to make, Kennedy is a reliable vote to uphold abortion restrictions. He wrote the majority opinion in Gonazlez v. Carhart (2007), the decision that upheld the Congressional ban on the brutal practice of partial birth abortion
A look at the ages of the current justices indicates that the next president will have the opportunity to appoint one or more justices to the high court. Such appointments will clearly tip the balance when it comes to abortion and Roe v. Wade. On the conservative wing of the court Chief Justice Roberts is 56, Justice Scalia is 75, Justice Thomas is 62 and Justice Alito is 60. On the liberal wing Justice Ginsberg is 78, Justice Breyer is 73, Justice Sotomayer is 57, and Justice Kagan is 51. Justice Kennedy, the swing vote, is 75.
Any, or all, of the four oldest justices — Ginsberg, Scalia, Kennedy, and Breyer — could retire in the next four years. Ginsberg, in particular, has suffered from cancer and the speculation is that she is remaining on the court only to prevent her replacement to come from a conservative pro-life president.
The political ramifications of this next election are clear when it concerns the make-up of the Supreme Court and the future of abortion on demand. President Obama has said that in his view abortion is a fundamental right and that he will accordingly appoint justices who will uphold Roe v. Wade. Thus, if he is reelected and either Scalia or Kennedy is replaced by him the future of Roe will be secured and millions more unborn will die.
On the other hand, if a pro-life President is elected in 2012 and Ginsberg, Kennedy, and/or Breyer is replaced then clearly Roe v. Wade will be discarded and take it's deserved place alongside the Dred Scott Decision of 1857 as the one of the most divisive Supreme Court decisions in our nation's history.
Perhaps the challenge for America in 2012 can be summed up in Deuteronomy 30:19, which says: "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live."
The election of 2012 is the "Life Choice Election" of our time. Will America choose life in 2012 and secure a future for our descendants? Or will this great nation continue on its slippery slide down a path that will leave us in ruins and eliminate our posterity?
The call to our nation today is simple — choose life so that you and your descendants may live.
Copyright © 2011 by Thomas A. Glessner. All rights reserved.