Choosing ‘choice’ in the Supreme Court
With an open seat on the high court, rumors are flying once again over what Obama is looking for in a nominee, particularly on the issue of choice: not the issue of abortion, but the issue of choice.
I say “issue of choice” because, in my opinion, Roe v. Wade represents much more than just abortion. It represents the right to have control over your own body, your “bodily integrity.” And, it seems, Obama agrees with me.
On April 21st, the President made the following statement (emphasis added):
“You know, I am somebody who believes that women should have the ability to make often very difficult decisions about their own bodies and issues of reproduction. Obviously this has been a hugely contentious issue in our country for a very long time. I will say the same thing that every president has said since this issue came up, which is I don’t have litmus tests around any of these issues.”
“But I will say that I want somebody who is going to be interpreting our Constitution in a way that takes into account individual rights, and that includes women’s rights. And that’s going to be something that’s very important to me, because I think part of what our core constitutional values promote is the notion that individuals are protected in their privacy and their bodily integrity, and women are not exempt from that.”
To choose a nominee solely based on their opinion or view on abortion is, simply put, silly. Even if the new justice sits on the court for just one year, they would be appointed for the purpose of one vote, of the potential 75-100 votes cast in any given year on the Supreme Court. And as important as that one vote may be, it’s simply not worth it.
Rather than favoring a “pro-choice” nominee, Obama favors a nominee who views the constitution in a way that protects individual rights. To choose a nominee who views the constitution in a way that does not support individual rights has much broader implications than not having the right to reproductive choice. I hate to use the term “slippery slope” but I think a pretty strong argument can be made is that if our next Supreme Court justice does not value individual rights, in the way Obama has explained above, the end to reproductive choice will be just one of many rights we may kiss goodbye.
Individual rights are about men and women having personal control over their lives, their health, their bodies and their future — and who doesn’t want that?
Posted in The F Word