The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ted Miller, 202.973.3032

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


"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

For over 50 years, Reproductive Freedom for All (formerly NARAL Pro-Choice America) has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for everybody. Reproductive Freedom for All is powered by its more than 4 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.