For a long time, the abortion issue has been rather absent in the Presidential races.  Actually, it has been quite refreshing.   But things suddenly changed this week.

Supreme Court Justice John Scalia is found dead in a cabin.  This one was really a shocker.  There are so many other older justices and Clarence Thomas might as well be dead, but Scalia’s demise was a surprise and it has really turned things upside down.

We all know that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made it very clear that he will not schedule a vote if President Obama nominates a replacement.  Sure, they might hold a hearing but the nomination is dead in the water.  Foul, cry the Democrats!  You are circumventing the U.S. Constitution, they scream.  The President deserves a vote!

Okay, let’s be honest.  Of course, I would love to see the President nominate a staunchly pro-choice justice but if the Democrats were in control of the Senate and the President were a Republican, there ain’t no way the Dems would allow a vote on that nominee.  Let’s call a spade a spade.  I grow weary of the whiney babies in both parties who condemn such parliamentary maneuvers when we know damn well that if they were in the majority they would be pulling the same crap.  So, the bottom line is we will not see a new justice until after the Presidential election.

Meanwhile, however, there is a case that is going to be reviewed by the Court that deals with abortion.  It is a challenge to a Texas law that imposed ridiculously strict regulations on abortion clinics, regulations so strict that it would force most of them to close.  A short while ago, the Court of Appeals for that district upheld the law.  So, when this case gets to the current court there will be four solid votes to overturn that decision (Kagan, Ginsburg, Sotomayer, Breyer).  Then there would be three solid votes to uphold the ruling (Roberts, Alito, Thomas).   If Justice Kennedy votes with the anti-abortion group, it is a 4-4 decision which means the lower court opinion prevails.  That means the clinics in Texas are screwed.  Those clinics will be closed which means that women will have to travel a bit further to get their abortion.  But who gives a crap, huh?

During the primary season, the abortion issue will not be high on anyone’s list since all the GOP are pro-life and the Dems are pro-choice (It is funny, however, how Donald Trump is getting a free ride on how he has “evolved” in his thinking over the years on abortion – what a crock).  But once the nominees are selected (GO BERNIE), all hell is going to break loose.  There will be intense debates not just on the future of Roe v Wade, but on the funding of Planned Parenthood and that fetal tissue video.  (By the way, I’m glad to see that Carly Fiorina – the one who insisted there was a video that showed a baby squirming on a table about to be aborted – dropped out).

For the first time in many years, the abortion issue is going to be front and center during a presidential election.  Can’t wait to see the commercials.