WASHINGTON (CNN) - NARAL Pro-Choice America has issued a statement in reaction to reports that Supreme Court Justice David Souter will soon announce his intention to retire from the nation's highest court.
(full text of statement after the jump)
Statement of Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America:
“Speculation regarding Justice David Souter’s possible retirement is yet another stark reminder of the important role the Supreme Court plays in our everyday lives.
“In the event of a vacancy, President Obama will have the opportunity to nominate a fair-minded individual who, like him and the majority of Americans, supports the constitutional right to privacy as reflected in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. The president has consistently voiced his support for these fundamental American principles, which created a clear contrast between him and his opponent in last year’s presidential race.
“As legal observers discussed at length during that campaign, today’s Court is in a tenuous position. With the addition of President Bush’s appointees, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, the Court has moved in a direction hostile to a woman’s right to choose. Justice Anthony Kennedy, regarded as the key swing vote on cases related to reproductive rights, has sided with Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas in the last two major choice-related cases.
“These changes in the Court’s composition further underscore why, in the event of Justice Souter’s retirement, it will be critical for President Obama to nominate—and for the U.S. Senate to confirm—a successor who will uphold American liberties, like those set forth in Roe, that respect individual freedom and prevent politicians from interfering in our most personal, private decisions.
“Without a doubt, opponents of women’s freedom and privacy will use a vacancy on the Court as an opportunity to further their attacks on nominees who have taken pro-choice positions. America’s pro-choice majority will fight back.”