Several Supreme Court justices from the liberal side may retire during the next presidential term. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is about to turn 80, and there are four justices in their 70's.
The New York Times summed it up by saying, "The winner of the race for president will inherit a group of justices who frequently split 5 to 4 along ideological lines. That suggests that the next president could have a powerful impact if he gets to replace a justice of the opposing side."
What would that impact be on women's rights? Considering what Republicans have attempted to pass in Congress, which destroys women's rights and gives them to lawyers in DC, the impacts could not be more severe.
The party who worries about government involvement in health care wants to make women's life choices for you. By looking at the Republican platform and the statements of Todd Akin, you will see that there is a razor thin line that prevented women from losing their rights already. You are about to lose that razor thin line. Obama must be re-elected, or women will face government intrusion in their lives unlike anything they have ever experienced. Justice Ginsburg was born in 1933, think about that. Sandra Day O'Conner, who retired in 2006, was born in 1930.
Why should the statements of Todd Akin concern you so much? It's not that one guy is so important. You should be concerned because Paul Ryan and dozens of Republicans co-sponsored legislation that worked to redefine rape. Also, they co-sponsored legislation to redefine constitutionally defendable life, with the full rights of a citizen, as occurring from the moment of fertilization.
What does this mean for women? No abortion and no morning after pill. Maybe, not even birth control. You and I might both be pro-life, but does that mean a bunch of lawyers should make your decisions for you?
The question of being pro-choice asks, "whose choice?" The "personhood," bill was unconstitutional. This goes against previous rulings by the Supreme Court. What happens if the razor thin line that protects women's rights is sliced?
We are relatively certain that at least one Justice will retire, but there are possibly three retiring in the next term. Imagine how the constitutional questions would be answered regarding women.
Read the laws co-sponsored by Paul Ryan and Todd Akin and see what they mean to you in my previous article: "How Todd Akin and Paul Ryan Worked Closely Together to Define Rape in the US." You can view Paul Ryan's name on the bill and all the other co-sponsors who want to take women's rights away. Will you let them? Will you let Democrats lose the presidency so that women lose their rights?
What about the Republican Party? Here is a statement from a draft of that platform: "Faithful to the 'self-evident' truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed." The draft platform declares: "We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children." (Source.)
Darwin Long, goes deeper into this question regarding Akin and the platform asking, "How can GOP leadership reprimand their Senate hopeful with one hand, while endorse(ing) exactly what he said with the other hand." Read more about how "Republicans Reject Todd Akin Legitimate Abortion Comment in Public, Yet Support Him Behind Closed Doors."
Republicans aren't talking about exceptions for rape and incest. A 13-year-old child who is raped by a 47-year-old man would have to give birth if these sorts of laws pass. Republican platform = "bye, bye" women's rights. The lawyers are in charge now and they want it to stay that way by enshrining in the Constitution.
Make no mistake, whomever is president for the next four years will have the opportunity to change the way the Court decides on women's issues for the duration of your life time. Justices are often appointed at around age 40. They may serve for forty or more years. That is two generations that will be impacted by who is appointed next to the Supreme Court. The entire legal direction of the country, as it impacts women's rights, could be impacted for your lifetime.