May 18, 2016 / Press Releases

Trump’s SCOTUS nominees: Donor to Right to Life, Roe v. Wade “worst abomination in the history of constitutional law”

May 18, 2016

Donald Trump has released the names of individuals he would nominate for the Supreme Court if elected president of the United States.

**Spoiler alert: these people are terrifying. And many of them are devoted members of the anti-choice movement.

A deeper dive into some of these individuals reveals dangerous anti-choice records, and we expect they would work to overturn Roe v. Wade. Here’s a preview of what a Trump court would look like:

  • William Pryor: A highly controversial George W. Bush judicial appointee, Pryor is a long time outspoken anti-choice activist who opposes legal abortion even in cases of rape or incest.[i] Among his statements on the issue: “I will never forget Jan. 22, 1973, the day seven members of our highest court ripped the Constitution and ripped out the life of millions of unborn children.”[ii] He also said Roe v. Wade was the “worst abomination in the history of constitutional law.”[iii]
  • Diane Sykes: Also a George W. Bush appointee, she has a long and documented history opposing the right to choose. As a judge in open court, she praised the criminal motives of anti-abortion protesters. “I respect you a great deal for having the courage of your convictions and for the ultimate goals that you sought to achieve by this conduct.”[iv]
  • Thomas Hardiman: Another George W. Bush appointee, he has contributed to the National Right to Life Committee before he was appointed to the federal bench.[v]
  • Raymond Kethledge: He was the Judiciary Committee counsel for Sen. Spencer Abraham while Sen. Abraham was pushing for the Federal Abortion Ban. He also supported the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel Alito; it is worth noting that Alito became the fifth vote to uphold the constitutionality of the Federal Abortion Ban.
  • Steven Colloton: Also a George W. Bush appointee, he worked on special assignment to the Office of Independent Counsel, Kenneth Starr.

Said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America: “Donald Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees is a woman’s worst nightmare. Their records reveal a lineup of individuals who would likely overturn Roe v. Wade if given the chance, gutting what’s left of abortion access in this country and heaping punishment on women. His vision appears to be turning the court into an ideological instrument instead of an arbiter of the bedrock values of our country -justice, freedom, and equality. His candidacy is being driven by a misogynistic world view that would play to the basest of fears and disrupt the path to progress that our country desperately needs for women and families to thrive. With the release of this list, Donald Trump has proven once again how dangerously unfit he is to lead.”

[i] In response to NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Survey of Attorney General’s choice positions for the publication Who Decides? A State-by-State Review of Abortion & Reproductive Rights, Pryor responded that the statement that best reflects his views was “Abortion should be legal only when the life of the woman is endangered,” although he had the option to select the statement “Abortion should be legal only when the life of the woman is endangered or in cases of rape or incest.” NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Survey, 2002 on file with NARAL Pro-Choice America.

[ii] Kelly Greene, Bill Pryor Hopes to Ride Court Crusade to the Top, WALL STREET JOURNAL, May 21, 1997.

[iii] Bill Pryor, Federalism and the Court: Do Not Uncork the Champagne Yet, Remarks before the National Federalist Society, Washington D.C., Oct. 16, 1997.

[iv] Dick Durbin, Nomination of Diane S. Sykes to be United States Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit, Congressional Record, Jun. 24, 2004.

[v] Alliance for Justice, Report on the Nomination of Thomas M. Hardiman to the Third Circuit.


Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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