- The Washington Times - Monday, June 27, 2016

If conservative voters were looking for a reason to back Donald Trump, the Supreme Court may have just given them one.

The Court ruled in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt on Monday that two Texas regulations on abortion clinics impose an unconstitutional “undue burden” on the right to an abortion.

With the task of filling at least one vacant seat on the Supreme Court left to the next president, Republican strategist Michael McKenna said a heightened emphasis on judicial activism could drive undecided conservatives to turn out for Mr. Trump in November.

“Anything that helps voters (in this case a specific set of voters energized by one particular issue) focus on the importance of the Supreme Court helps Trump,” Mr. McKenna said in a statement.

Many in the pro-life movement communicated the significance of the presidential race in the wake of the Hellerstedt decision.

Marilyn Musgrave, vice president of government affairs for the Susan B. Anthony List, said in a press release following the ruling that the “stakes in the 2016 election just got that much higher.”

SEE ALSO: Supreme Court throws out Texas abortion clinic regulations

“We must hold the Senate and take back the White House in order to pass life-saving legislation, but also to restore the balance of the Court to one that respects life,” Ms. Musgrave said.

John C. Eastman, director of the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, said the decision in Hellerstedt is a glimpse of what the country can come to expect if Democrat Hillary Clinton wins the White House.

“We’ll see a lot more of this, plus we’ll see the loss of First Amendment free speech and free exercise and religion rights, we’ll see the loss in Second Amendment rights,” Mr. Eastman said. “All of those things are in the balance.”

Mrs. Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has said she “loves” the idea of appointing President Obama to the highest court. For his part, Mr. Trump has released a list of 11 conservative judges he would consider nominating to the highest court if elected president.

He also met with nearly 1,000 leaders, activists and donors in the social conservative movement last week, during which he promised to “appoint great Supreme Court justices. These will be justices of great intellect. And they will be pro-life.”

Mr. Eastman acknowledged that he doesn’t know if the billionaire businessman will follow through on appointing constitutional jurists.

SEE ALSO: Obama ‘pleased’ with Supreme Court abortion ruling

“No I don’t — but I know for a fact Hillary won’t,” he said. “I have hope that he’ll honor his word.”

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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