On Election Night 2016, I went to bed sad, but not surprised, after writing a short presentation for an academic panel on why I had supported what appeared then to be the failed campaign of Donald Trump for president.
While Trump was not my first (or even second or third) choice among the expansive field of Republican candidates, he promised to protect the unborn and religious liberty, in part by appointing judges who would interpret the Constitution according to the text and original intent.
His promises to create jobs and restore balance in many of our foreign trade agreements was a welcome contrast to our painfully slow return from the great recession that had destined many of my graduating law students to temporary work or finding jobs in other fields.
Having lived in Texas for several years, I welcomed Trump’s promises to create a system of orderly immigration, in part by building a wall, given the human trafficking and abuses by criminals operating across parts of our border that Texas papers regularly reported. His demand that we fix our porous border before negotiating the fate of people who entered the US illegally made sense to me as someone who had actually supported Reagan’s 1986 Immigration and Reform Act.
As a new lawyer in the late ’80s, I had happily provided pro bono services to a woman who, after having entered the country illegally a decade earlier, qualified for amnesty. However, while the amnesty provisions were pursued enthusiastically, the Act’s promises of tighter border security and strict employer penalties faded away. Given that experience, it seems quite sensible to pursue border security before discussing amnesty.
I believe that each of these positions was (and is) consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church, notwithstanding the contrary position of individual bishops, priests, and some lay people….
Imagine my surprise and excited optimism the morning after the election when I learned that Trump would be president for the next four years. I hurriedly rewrote my remarks to be celebratory but muted, knowing that the vast majority of my colleagues at the university would be in mourning.
Had President Trump proven unfaithful to his promises to protect the unborn and religious liberty, I would consider voting for someone else. Had a significant number of his judicial nominees been unqualified or unsuitable, I would be looking at other candidates more closely. Had the president failed to seek an orderly and just system of legal immigration, I would have to look at others. In fact, the president has been faithful to his promises and delivered more than I hoped for when I voted for him in 2016.
He has publicly and repeatedly opposed abortion.
One of his first executive orders was an order reinstating and expanding the Mexico City Policy prohibiting U.S. funding of foreign organizations that perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning. Under the president’s leadership, federal officials have publicly and effectively opposed attempts to create an international “human right” to abortion by prochoice activists. In an address to the United Nations General Assembly, the president explained: “We in America believe that every child — born and unborn — is a sacred gift from God.” He supports the passage of federal legislation that protects children born alive during abortion and prohibiting abortions obtained for discriminatory reasons.
His support of religious liberty is evident by his executive order on the subject, the resulting regulations issued by the US Department of Labor and the positions the Department of Justice has taken in litigation. Two concrete outcomes of these actions are the current protection of conscience rights enjoyed by the Little Sisters of the Poor related to contraception distribution and, more generally, the newly established procedures for healthcare workers to enforce their federally protected rights of conscience related to abortion, sterilization and other procedures….
The above comes from an Aug. 24 story by Teresa Collett on Religious News Service.
Editor: Collett has served as an advisor for Americans United for Life and helped author parental notification initiatives which were on the California ballot in 2005, 2006, and 2008.