For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Ted Miller, 202.973.3032

Statement of Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, on Reports of Justice David Souter’s Possible Retirement

WASHINGTON - "Speculation regarding Justice David Souter's possible retirement is
yet another stark reminder of the important role the Supreme Court
plays in our everyday lives.

"In the event of a vacancy, President Obama will have the
opportunity to nominate a fair-minded individual who, like him and the
majority of Americans, supports the constitutional right to privacy as
reflected in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. The president
has consistently voiced his support for these fundamental American
principles, which created a clear contrast between him and his opponent
in last year's presidential race.

"As legal observers discussed at length during that campaign,
today's Court is in a tenuous position. With the addition of President
Bush's appointees, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito,
the Court has moved in a direction hostile to a woman's right to
choose. Justice Anthony Kennedy, regarded as the key swing vote on
cases related to reproductive rights, has sided with Justices Antonin
Scalia and Clarence Thomas in the last two major choice-related cases.

"These changes in the Court's composition further underscore why, in
the event of Justice Souter's retirement, it will be critical for
President Obama to nominate-and for the U.S. Senate to confirm-a
successor who will uphold American liberties, like those set forth in Roe, that respect individual freedom and prevent politicians from interfering in our most personal, private decisions.

"Without a doubt, opponents of women's freedom and privacy will use
a vacancy on the Court as an opportunity to further their attacks on
nominees who have taken pro-choice positions. America's pro-choice
majority will fight back."

Additional Resources:

For more information about Justice Souter's decisions on choice-related cases, please visit

For information about the Supreme Court's decisions on key cases related to reproductive rights, please visit


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NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as "one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America."

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