“Hawley Test” sets bar for Supreme Court and the pro-life movement
By AJ Dominque III — Missouri Senator Josh Hawley has set the bar that should be adopted for all Supreme Court justice nominees moving forward, and for all strategies to end legalized abortion at the federal, state, and local levels.
In a recent interview with the Washington Post, Senator Hawley stated:
“I will vote only for those Supreme Court nominees who have explicitly acknowledged that Roe v. Wade is wrongly decided. By explicitly acknowledged, I mean on the record and before they were nominated. I don’t want private assurances from candidates. I don’t want to hear about their personal views, one way or another. I’m not looking for forecasts about how they may vote in the future or predications. I don’t want any of that. I want to see on the record, as part of their record, that they have acknowledged in some forum that Roe v. Wade, as a legal matter, is wrongly decided.”
The latest Supreme Court session stemmed a tide of optimism in those who believed that adding two more Republican-appointed justices to the court would provide the majority needed to overturn the unjust Roe v. Wade decision.
In particular, Chief Justice John Roberts has proven himself to be an unreliable potential vote to overturn Roe. In the June Medical Services, LLC v. Russo case, his concurrence opinion with the majority literally says:
“I joined the dissent in Whole Woman’s Health and continue to believe that the case was wrongly decided…The legal doctrine of stare decisis requires us, absent special circumstances, to treat like cases alike.”
Roberts decided that in the June Medical case, the Court is required to hold to a decision he claims to still believe was “wrongly decided.” This revelation further demonstrates the futility of looking to the courts to correct the unjust Roe decision.
A long history of Republican betrayal
Roberts most recent betrayal adds to a long history of Republican-appointed justices who have been complicit in the advancement of abortion through judicial overreach.
Republican Presidents have named the last four Chief Justices to the court and 16 of the last 24 associate justices. In fact, the Roe v. Wade decision was handed down by a majority of justices named by Republican presidents.
History shows that taking a moderate stance on nominating Supreme Court justices is a fruitless endeavor. Exit polls indicated that the Supreme Court was a significant deciding issue for people who voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. But the disconnect between the court’s decisions on abortion and the high importance Republican voters give to the right to life should suggest to politicians that a new approach is needed.
After spending decades fighting to try to get even partial limitations on abortion only to reach the end of the slippery slope in June Medical v. Russo, pro-life advocates at the grassroots level are increasingly realizing that a new tact is necessary.
What the future holds
If the pro-life movement seeks to continue to use the Supreme Court in an effort to end legalized abortion, then Hawley’s hard-line stance must be adopted moving forward. Those of us on the ground must demand that our senators hold the same position for all future Supreme Court nominations.
But, given the history of the court’s decisions, the nomination process, and the court’s ever-growing reliance on stare decesis, this route, too, would likely prove to be fruitless, regardless of which side of the political aisle you may be on. We can’t keep holding our breath each time the Supreme Court gathers, only to see the court continue to do what it’s wrongly done for almost 50 years now. To protect human life, it is evident—now more than ever—that local and state efforts must receive our full attention.
Ending abortion will have to come from changing the hearts and minds of the people, reaching our neighbors, and elevating the grassroots movement to our most accessible levels of government. Ultimately, we need to seek out and empower lawmakers who are willing to take a stand and resist these disastrous judicial decisions.
AJ Dominique III is a marketing and management professional and a contributing writer for the Personhood Alliance. He is a life-long Christian, a husband, and the proud father of two who is trying to do his part to protect the sanctity of human life and promote the importance of the nuclear family.