Vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence said this week that that by electing Donald Trump, conservatives could finally put the country on a path to making abortion illegal. At a town hall in Michigan, the Indiana governor said Trump could be counted on to choose Supreme Court justices who would overturn the worst decision in judicial history.
“I couldn’t be more proud to be standing shoulder to shoulder with the next pro-life president of the USA,” Pence said Thursday. “I believe we’ll see Roe v. Wade consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs.”
Trump himself has expressed little interest in the abortion debate, and his most significant moment in relation to the issue was a disaster. Caught in an uncomfortable corner by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Trump said that if abortion were to become illegal, “some punishment” would have to be incurred by women who violated the ban. He walked that statement back by the end of the day, but we’ll hear it a thousand times before this election is through.
Still, he has proclaimed himself to be pro-life, and he has vowed to appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court. As long as he sticks to that promise, his personal beliefs are of little consequence. Suffice to say, Trump didn’t run for president to get rid of abortion. But if he nominates the right kind of justices, it could turn out to be his ultimate legacy.
“While we’re choosing a president for the next four years, this next president will make decisions that will impact our Supreme Court for the next 40,” Pence said. “Go tell your neighbors and your friends, for the sake of the rule of law, for the sake of sanctity of life, for the sake of our Second Amendment, for the sake of all our other God-given liberties, we must ensure the next president appointing justices to the Supreme Court is Donald Trump.”
About this, there is no doubt. Some NeverTrump conservatives bristled this week when Trump said that they had “no choice” but to vote for him, specifically because of the Supreme Court. They insisted that he could very well nominate the same liberals that Hillary Clinton would prefer. And sure, that’s possible in a world where anything can happen. But would it not still be wise to choose the person who at least says they will nominate conservatives to the court? With Hillary, there’s not a single chance in a million that we’ll get another conservative on the bench.
After fighting for more than a half-century, it’s hard to believe that we could actually cleanse this country of this heartbreaking shame. But if there’s any possibility…well, that’s motivation enough to pull the lever for Trump.