With all eyes on the Supreme Court in the wake of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s resignation, it is clear a battle is about to ensue. The question is: Which fight will the president pick – a fierce confirmation battle or the alienation of his political base?

That appears to be the president’s only choice. Will he pick a truly conservative pro-life judge cut from the same cloth as Scalia and Thomas or another liberal disguised as a conservative who will nullify conservative efforts?

The rumor mill suggests Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is on the short list to fill the first available slot open on the court. As you might expect, conservatives went nuts at the mere suggestion. Why? Because Gonzales supports abortion, specifically, Roe v. Wade.

Naturally, the response of moderates and liberals is to criticize the conservative base as single-issue voters. If Gonzales is conservative in every other way, so what if he isn’t really pro-life. Right? Wrong!

To start, I am tired of the rhetoric minimizing the impact of abortion on this nation. I am also tired of the rhetoric selling abortion as a “rights” issue, a solution to empower women, or a cure-all for social problems such a child abuse, hunger and overpopulation.

Let me remind everyone that of all the rights provided by the Constitution, none is worth a plug nickel without the right to life. I mean, if you’re dead what difference does free speech make? Additionally, abortion doesn’t empower women. To the contrary, abortion encourages sexually irresponsible men to exploit women with no risk or responsibility to themselves. Women who submit to abortion suffer the surgery as well as all the associated physical and psychological harms. And the child is violently dismembered in the womb. Finally, not a single societal problem has been improved in the 30-plus years since Roe – not homelessness, not hunger and not overpopulation (which by the way is a myth.)

As for the upsurge in social ills, let’s see, in general, how judicial activism has contributed. All of the following decisions were impacted by the jurists’ worldviews, which naturally include his or her position on life.

  • Requiring evolution to be taught in school = Emerson v. Arkansas

  • Legalizing abortion-on-demand = Roe v. Wade; Doe v. Bolton
  • Erecting the wall of separation of church and state = Everson v. Board of Education
  • Outlawing prayer in school = Engle v. Vitale
  • Barring Bible reading in school = Abington v. Schempp
  • Forbidding Ten Commandments displays at school = Stone v. Graham
  • Censoring graduation prayers = Lee v. Weisman
  • Prohibiting creationist lessons = McLean v. Arkansas
  • Overturning child pornography laws = Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition
  • Overturning the ban of partial-birth abortion = Carhart v. Stenberg
  • Establishing a constitutional right to sodomy = Lawrence v. Texas
  • Recognizing same-sex “marriages” = Goodridge v. Department of Public Health

Each of these cases undermines founding principles and represents an attempt to somehow deny the inherent value of human life: endowed by our Creator, recognized in the Declaration and underscored by our Constitution. The combined and tentacle-like impact of these decisions on our nation is staggering.

Our nation is not only hardened to the unborn but to all human life. It is horribly commonplace to hear of children taking the lives of other children in our schoolyards. Babies having babies dumped in trashcans despite safe haven laws. Think about why Social Security is doomed. We have killed off an entire generation of people (over 3,000 every day) who might otherwise contribute to society and the retirement system. In fact, according to one source, in the year 2000 alone “more children died from abortion than Americans died in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World Wars I and II the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf Wars combined.”

Sadly, the devaluation of human life continues to sweep through our nation like a firestorm. There are continuing attempts to deconstruct the traditional family, legalize euthanasia and pull the plug on non-contributing members of society.

So do you still think a jurist’s position on life doesn’t matter? I tell you it matters.

During the past 60 years, Americans have watched the creation of public policy with the swing of a gavel. Gone are the days when moral issues were primarily determined by duly elected representatives. Today, the direction and fate of our nation lies largely with the judiciary. That is why the minority fights tooth and nail to prevent conservative judges from taking their place in the federal judiciary. The court has usurped the role of the elected legislature and control of the court has become tantamount to control of the nation. It is a battle of worldviews.

So, Mr. President, what will your legacy reflect in years to come? Will you be the president who abandoned his base for a legacy in naming the first Hispanic justice? Or will you be forever known as the president who turned the tide of immorality in this nation back to its founding principles, beginning with the most fundamental and widely impacting of them all, the right to life?

Sam Kastensmidt contributed to this column

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