By Jennifer Popik, JD
At the time of this writing, the 2020 elections have thus far produced a U.S. Senate composed of 48 Democrats and 50 Republicans. There are currently two run-off races scheduled in Georgia for January 5th.
While the Republicans were widely predicted to lose their Senate majority this past election, the election of either Georgia candidate would maintain the Senate under the leadership of pro-life Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Sen. McConnell easily beat his pro-abortion opponent, and last week, was unanimously elected to his eighth term as GOP leader.
McConnell, who first became Republican Senate leader in 2007, has held the position longer than any other senator. He has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to unborn children. His unwavering leadership, particularly on lifetime nominations to the courts, has cemented his place in history.
Unborn children and those in the pro-life community owe an immeasurable debt of gratitude to Leader McConnell for prioritizing the pro-life issue. His role in ensuring the confirmation of solid, conservative judges and justices has been instrumental. He has stood rock solid when pro-abortion Democrats attacked immensely talented jurists.
For example, in early 2017, President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court seat left vacant by the 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Following the 2016 elections, Republicans controlled the U.S. Senate by a slim 52-48 margin. Sen. McConnell had made the election a referendum on what sort of justices ought to be on the Supreme Court which proved to be critical to retaining the Senate majority. Having a pro-life Senate turned out to be critical in the years that followed.
When the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch came to the Senate floor in the spring of 2017, Senate Democrats launched an partisan filibuster to prevent an up or-down vote on his confirmation.
Under the Senate’s operating rules at the time, 60 votes were required to end such a filibuster, and an initial cloture attempt failed, with only four Democrats supporting cloture (an end to the filibuster). Pro-life Leader McConnell then triggered the so-called “nuclear option” — that is, he forced a Senate vote on whether to create a new precedent, under which only a simple majority would be required to end debate on a Supreme Court nominee. He led Republicans in extending the same operating rule already established by Democrats in 2013, when they were in the majority, for all other presidential nominations, judicial or otherwise.
Over the next years, Leader McConnell ushered in the confirmations of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and, most recently, Justice Amy Coney Barrett. According to an interview with the New York Times Sen. McConnell said, “I certainly didn’t expect to have three Supreme Court justices. At the risk of tooting my own horn, look at the majority leaders since L.B.J. and find another one who was able to do something as consequential as this.”
In addition, Senator McConnell has also fought tirelessly to confirm hundreds of federal judges to the bench. These are the judges that will often be tasked with reviewing the many strong pro-life laws that are passed in the states.
Leader McConnell has also made the life issue a high priority, scheduling votes on important pro-life pieces of legislation. Sen. McConnell co-sponsored and voted for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This legislation would protect unborn children at 20 weeks, a point by which the unborn child is capable of experiencing great pain when being killed by dismemberment or other late abortion methods.
Senator McConnell co-sponsored and voted for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. This Act would require that a baby born alive during an abortion be afforded the same degree of care that would apply to any other child delivered at the same gestational age.
Senator McConnell voted numerous times against using tax dollars to pay for abortion, and he opposes taxpayer funding of abortion providers.
Those in the pro-life community can look forward to continuing important work with Leader McConnell to protect the most vulnerable members of the human family. We congratulate him on his re-election, and will work to help elect two more pro-life senators from Georgia to secure another majority.