The retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer gives President Biden a significant opportunity to leave a true legacy upon the nation. As Biden begins his interview process, it is clear he is committed to appointing a far-left ideologue to replace Breyer. However, this effort will not impact the current ideological divide on the high court or the chance to reverse Roe v. Wade.
Breyer, when appointed by Clinton in 1994, was applauded by both Republicans and Democrats as a centrist who would not fit into a particular ideological camp. This did not turn out to be the case. During his tenure, he was a consistent and reliable vote for the liberal wing of the court.
One case stands out as an example. In 2015 the state of California passed a law – the so-called “Reproductive Fact Act” – that mandated pro-life medical clinics to post signs on the walls of their waiting areas advising patients of their right to a state-funded abortion. These signs had to be in multiple languages, large font and include an 800 number to call to obtain an abortion.
The law, if left to stand, held serious implications for the right of free speech for pro-life agencies, which number over two thousand nationwide. In a broader sense, the law had serious implications for the future of free speech in this country.
Can the government mandate that Hindu temples promote state-funded hamburgers? Can the government mandate that Alcoholics Anonymous post signs in its offices advising members where local liquor stores are located? Or, how about a law that forces the American Cancer Society to promote cigarettes?
Such examples appear to be extreme. However, if the California law was allowed to stand, then the answer to these questions would have been “yes.” If special interest groups were to gain sufficient political power to […]
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