‘Ecstatic’ Religious Right Sees Kennedy Resignation As Chance To Overturn Roe, Obergefell

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Religious Right leaders and organizations are gleeful at the announcement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, seeing it as an opportunity to reverse the Supreme Court’s recognition of a woman’s right to choose and the right of same-sex couples to be legally married.

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, declared in an email alert, “It is impossible to overstate the importance of this moment.” If Trump and the Senate put another Gorsuch on the Court, he wrote, “we will go from a 5-4 split that redefined marriage to a 5-4 pro-marriage majority. It will give us a legitimate opportunity to remove the lie of same-sex ‘marriage’ that was illegitimately imposed on the nation.”

Political strategist Ralph Reed, whose Faith and Freedom Coalition recently honored Vice President Mike Pence, called Kennedy’s retirement “a seminal moment in the modern history of the Supreme Court,” saying that Roe v Wade had “imposed abortion on demand by judicial fiat.”

“President Trump won the evangelical vote overwhelmingly in 2016 in no small measure because he made an ironclad pledge that he would nominate pro-life, strict constructionists who would respect the Constitution, not legislate from the bench,” said Reed. “President Trump and the U.S. Senate have an ideal opportunity to restore the rule of law and create a culture of life.”

The Christian Broadcasting Network described Catherine Glenn Foster of the anti-choice Americans United for Life as “ecstatic.” Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance declared, “This is the moment conservative women have been waiting for—the chance to return justice and constitutional limits to the nation’s highest court. This is the reason they voted overwhelmingly for Donald J. Trump over Hillary Clinton.”

Extreme anti-choice activist Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, denounced Kennedy for having voted to uphold Roe v. Wade.

Because of Kennedy’s treachery to God, the babies, and his oath before God to uphold the U.S. constitution, tens of millions of babies have been discarded in sewers and landfills, where their blood cries to God for vengeance, and cries as a witness against Justice Kennedy, and all his comrades in judicial fiats.

Terry also denounced Kennedy’s support for marriage equality, which Terry described as “audacious belligerence against God.”

We would do well to remember that of the four sins that cry to God for vengeance, the “shedding of innocent blood” is first, and “sodomy” is second. If America reaps the judgment it beckons, Justice Kennedy could find himself in the front row of the guilty defendants appearing before God’s Judgment Seat where Kennedy’s Supreme Court opinions and rulings will only serve as a witnesses against his immortal soul.

In contrast, Alliance Defense Fund’s Michael Farris played it cool, saying, “We respectfully disagree with those decisions where Justice Kennedy created ‘rights’ not found in or intended by the United States Constitution. He deeply disappointed many Americans with his constitutional jurisprudence favoring abortion and same-sex marriage. But we also praise Justice Kennedy’s insight and forceful celebration of First Amendment freedoms, his sensitivity to the danger of authoritarian government, and his refreshing desire to preserve and teach the necessity of freedom of speech to future generations.”

When speaking before anti-choice audiences, ADF is more forthcoming about its goals, as Kennedy’s replacement with a far-right justice will boost ADF’s strategic plan to “eradicate” Roe and ban abortion altogether.

The Heritage Foundation, a massive right-wing think tank and advocacy organization that helped vet candidate Trump’s list of potential justice, said Kennedy’s resignation has handed Trump “the biggest gift of his presidency.” Heritage immediately began promoting its favorites from Trump’s list and profiled the Federalist Society’s Leonard Leo, an architect of the long right-wing campaign to achieve ideological dominance of the federal judiciary, and Trump’s closest adviser on judicial nominations.

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins wrote, “On cases involving abortion and issues of sexuality and gender, there stands to be a major sea change with Trump’s next SCOTUS pick.”

“As the first GOP nominee in history to say that he would only appoint pro-life justices to the bench, Trump won over plenty of skeptics by releasing his list of solid and impartial jurists in advance of the election,” said Perkins. “For voters who ranked SCOTUS as the number one priority in 2016 (and there were a lot of them), Kennedy’s retirement gives them another major opportunity to help President Trump appoint another Neil Gorsuch-type justice to the Supreme Court.”

Mat Staver, head of the anti-equality Liberty Counsel, made a similar point in a press release that said Trump has “another chance to fundamentally reshape the top of the judiciary and to create a solidly conservative court that could last for decades. “The Supreme Court is why many people voted for President Donald Trump,” said Staver. “With Justice Kennedy’s retirement, the next justice will have a huge impact on the future of America.”

“Wow,” declared Catholic Vote, declaring that it is gearing up to pressure red-state Democratic senators who are up for re-election this year:

“Remember, this isn’t merely a political game. In many ways, this will be a spiritual war. Anyone paying attention knows what is at stake. … We find ourselves at what seems a surreal moment in American history. The future of the country hangs in the balance. For the people of life, the stars are aligned to score a major victory. If we capture it…

Ed Martin of Phyllis Schlafly Eagles says Trump has “the chance for decades of impact on America’s legal landscape.”

Independent Women’s Forum’s Erin Hawle said in a press release that Kennedy’s retirement is an opportunity for Trump to appoint “a second Supreme Court justice who believes in originalism and will take the words of our Constitution seriously. This will likely be his most important and most enduring legacy.”

And from the National Religious Broadcasters’ Jerry Johnson:

“This week’s 5-4 decisions are a vivid reminder that we must have Supreme Court justices who honor the values of life and liberty at the very core of our Republic. Free speech and religious liberty hang in the balance, and those values would have suffered dearly if Justice Gorsuch had not been on the bench. I urge President Trump to nominate a Constitution-honoring individual in the mold of Justice Scalia once again, and for the Senate to confirm him or her quickly.”