Thomas Hardiman’s abortion stance is expected to get a lot of scrutiny if President Donald Trump nominates him to fill Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.
With Kennedy a centrist and often swing vote, some feel Roe v. Wade hangs in the balance of the nomination. Hardiman, a federal judge nominated by George W. Bush, is widely reported to be one of the president’s four final choices for the spot; the other three are Judges Amy Coney Barrett, Raymond Kethledge, and Brett Kavanaugh. Trump has said he will announce his pick on July 9, 2018.
Hardiman, a federal judge based in Pennsylvania, was Trump’s second choice when he named Neil Gorsuch to the nation’s highest court. Is it known how Hardiman feels about abortion? What’s he said on abortion and/or Roe v. Wade?
Here’s what you need to know:
Hardiman Overturned the Conviction of an Anti-Abortion Protester
(Western District of Pennsylvania)Thomas Hardiman is a registered Republican.
There aren’t that many clues as to how Hardiman would rule on Roe v. Wade other than the fact he’s generally considered to be a conservative-oriented jurist. “Hardiman has never had the opportunity to weigh in” on abortion rights questions, according to The Hill. That stands in stark contrast to one of the other finalists, Amy Coney Barrett, whose writings on things like stare decisis and staunch Catholic beliefs have made her the candidate considered by many to be the most likely to overturn Roe.
Hardiman did join an opinion in 2010 that “overturned the conviction of an anti-abortion protester arrested outside the Liberty Bell Center in Philadelphia,” Reuters reports, but the news site added, “Though the court said park rangers had violated his free speech rights, the case was not about the right to abortion itself.” You can read the opinion here.
Hardiman has not spoken publicly about his stance on abortion. “Our role as judges is to interpret the law,” Hardiman has said.
Hardiman is also Catholic, as are the other finalists with the exception of Kethledge, an evangelical, according to NPR.
Read More From Heavy
Amy Coney Barrett & Roe v. Wade: Her Position on Abortion
Hardiman Sided With the Little Sisters of the Poor
Madeline Runya of Louisana State University at Alexandria (C) takes a selfie with Sister Cecilia of the Little Sisters of the Poor in Baltimore before the start of the 44th annual March for Life January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Although the case wasn’t on abortion specifically, some point to a Hardiman ruling involving the Little Sisters of the Poor as a possible sign of his inclinations on Roe.
According to The Hill, that case involved the “so-called ‘birth control mandate’ in Obamacare, that required organizations to pay for plans that offer contraception.” A religious group named the Little Sisters of the Poor “claimed the law violated its religious freedom,” and Hardiman sided with them, The Hill reports.
You can see a detailed history of the …read more