President Donald Trump will announce his nomination for the vacant US Supreme Court position tonight at 8 PM, a decision that could tip the balance of the high court in a decidedly conservative direction. Pro-Life advocates are hoping this leads to a successful challenge of Roe vs. Wade, but ULM Political Science Professor Joshua Stockley says it’s unlikely this selection will tip the scales on reproductive rights.
“It’s going to take more than a conservative nominee. Abortion decisions have not been close decisions except when we’re trying to talk about policies at the margin.”
Republican control of the Senate means it is unlikely the choice will be denied the seat.
But Stockley says that doesn’t mean some substantial changes to abortion rights could be on the way. The ULM Professor says a more conservative court could make it less likely that state-based abortion restrictions would be overturned when challenged.
“If anything, a conservative pick would probably simply reaffirm Louisiana’s position as opposed to threatening Louisiana with overwhelming its laws.”
Louisiana recently passed legislation that would ban abortion after 15 weeks, pending a Federal Appellate Court decision on a similar piece of legislation from Mississippi.
Stockley says you shouldn’t expect radical changes in the court's direction on topics like workers’ rights and abortion as a result of the new Justice, because Justice Anthony Kennedy, who recently retired, wasn’t nearly as moderate as his reputation indicated.
“The individual who is being replaced, while viewed often times as a moderate, will cast a critical conservative vote many times siding with the majority.”