To the Editor:
In his letter published Nov. 27, 2014, Larry Schroeder asks why a Catholic should have struggled with the decision of who to vote for in the recent Iowa U.S. Senate election. Allow me to offer a possible explanation. Schroeder identifies a candidate being pro-life as the determining factor for a Catholic voter.
Changing the current legal status of abortion and laws allowing or prohibiting abortion will require either an amendment to the U.S. Constitution or reversal of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision. A constitutional amendment will require two-thirds approval in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate and approval by three-fourths of the states.
Overturning Roe v. Wade will require a number of sequential steps. A president must first have opportunities to nominate Supreme Court justices and then nominate justices they believe will vote pro-life. (History tells us that justices do not always vote as anticipated.) The nominees must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The Supreme Court must agree to hear an appropriate case. A majority of the justices must agree to overturn Roe v. Wade. A reasonable person — even one who favors a constitutional amendment or reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision — may conclude that neither is likely to happen. Given these circumstances, a Catholic may decide to consider candidates’ positions on a variety of issues and may, therefore, struggle with the decision of who to vote for.