Donald Trump and Mike Pence have chosen John Bush, a lawyer in Kentucky with a past that is likely to appeal to the administration’s most extreme base, to fill a vacancy on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. His nomination should alarm anyone, especially members of the U.S. Senate, who cares about progressive values.
Bush has already given us a glimpse into his thinking thanks to his extensive (and shady) blogging, which makes it clear that he’s anti-woman, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-progressive, just like the administration that nominated him. (You can read more about his blogging and anti-progressive worldview on Medium.)
As if the views Bush expressed in his blog posts weren’t bad enough, the far-right agenda of the group he did legal work for reveals just how big a threat Bush and his allies would pose to a woman’s right to access reproductive healthcare, including abortion, if he gets put on the bench:
BUSH WORKED WITH THE RIGHT-WING GROUP CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL JURISPRUDENCE
John Bush Wrote An Amicus Brief For The Center For Constitutional Jurisprudence. John K. Bush served as counsel for amicus curiae in a brief written for the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence in the case of Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, No. 14-4008. Filed 4/13/2015.
THE CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL JURISPRUDENCE HAS A LONG RECORD OF PUSHING ANTI-CHOICE POLICIES
Center For Constitutional Jurisprudence Listed The “Right To Life” As One Of Its Categories Of Litigation And Considered “The Right To Life” To Be “Fundamental… In Our Constitutional System.” Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence wrote, “Along with liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the right to life is fundamental both as a matter of our humanity and in our constitutional system. We are committed to the vindication of the right to life of all persons under the law, especially the most vulnerable.” [Claremont.org, accessed 5/31/17; Claremont.org, accessed 5/31/17]
Center For Constitutional Jurisprudence Was “Lead Counsel” In A Case Petitioning The Supreme Court “To Reinstate Arizona’s New Law Limiting Abortions After 20 Weeks.” Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence and its Founding Director John Eastman served as lead counsel representing Attorney General Horne and County Attorney Montgomery in their appeal of a Ninth Circuit ruling against the Arizona 20-week abortion ban. The case, Horne v. Isaacson, was denied reviewed by the Supreme Court on January 13th, 2014. [Claremont.org, accessed 5/31/17; Claremont.org, accessed 5/31/17]
20-Week Abortion Bans Leave Women With Fewer Medical Options When They Need Them Most. 20-week abortion bans were devised by anti-choice politicians to limit our rights. These bans have passed in multiple states and anti-choice legislators have also tried to pass federal legislation that would ban abortion care after 20-weeks.
- These laws are blatantly unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has long held that a woman has the right to choose abortion care until the point of fetal viability; under this standard, state may regulate, but not ban, abortion care before viability. 20-week abortion bans brazenly violate this standard.
- They deny medical care to women in the most desperate circumstances. For example, some women experience serious health threats later in pregnancy, and others discover heartbreaking fetal anomalies that could not be detected earlier. Less than two percent of abortion procedures occur after 20 weeks.
- Most of these laws lack necessary exceptions for when pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. Each of the current state bans allow only narrow exceptions for life of the woman and have inadequate exception to protect a woman’s health. Many offer no exception at all for cases of fetal anomaly. The federal version includes no health exception at all.
Center For Constitutional Jurisprudence Wrote An Amicus Brief In Support Of Texas In Whole Woman’s Health V. Hellerstedt. The brief supported the Fifth Circuit court ruling in favor of the Texas law known as HB2. According to U.S. News and World Report, HB2 “places specific requirements on abortion clinics and has forced many to shutter across the state. It requires doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital no more than 30 miles away, and sets clinic standards that are similar to those of surgical centers.” Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence supported the Fifth Circuit’s ruling that the Texas regulations “do not impose an undue burden” but that “even if Texas’s law creates an undue burden for some women, the lack of an undue burden on most means the law survives this facial challenge.” Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence referred to the Texas restrictions on abortion clinics as “reasonable efforts to protect the health and safety of women seeking abortion.” The U.S. Supreme court disagreed, ruling the law unconstitutional. [Claremont.org, accessed 5/31/17; Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence brief of amici curiae, 2/3/16; U.S. News and World Report, 1/11/16]
H.B.2, The Law In Front Of The Supreme Court In Whole Woman’s Health V. Hellerstedt, Put Onerous, Medically Unnecessary, And Unconstitutional Restrictions On Abortion Clinics In The State. This law forced many clinics in the state to shut down because they could not meet two medically unnecessary requirements:
- The ambulatory surgical center requirement needlessly required clinics to become mini-hospitals at great expense and did nothing to improve patient care.
- The admitting privilege requirement required doctors who provide abortion care to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital without requiring that hospitals grant or even consider such requests.
In June 2016, the Supreme Court ruled 5-3 in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt to strike down these two restrictions as unconstitutional because they placed an undue burden on a woman’s right to abortion care.