In an interview with Bloomberg Politics, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump responded to a question about his sister, senior Third Circuit Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, by saying she would make “one of the best” Supreme Court Justices.
But in his pro-life book The Party of Death, National Review senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru recounts that Barry has ruled against the constitutionality of banning partial-birth abortion. Barry wrote that one such law in New Jersey was “based on semantic machinations, irrational line-drawing, and an obvious attempt to inflame public opinion instead of logic or medical evidence.”
After striking it down in a previous case, the US Supreme Court upheld the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in 2007’s Gonzales v. Carhart.
Trump did, however, say on the prospect of nominating his sister should he become President, “We will have to rule that out now, at least,” though he did not make clear whether he meant he would never nominate her, or if he was simply alluding to his earlier-stated contention that it was too early to discuss presidential nominees.
Trump has sent mixed messages on abortion during his campaign. He has declared that he is “very, very proud” to identify as pro-life following a conversion he attributes to personal friends who chose life after considering abortion. He has also expressed willingness to risk a government shutdown to defund Planned Parenthood, but he has wavered on that pledge, suggesting the abortion giant still deserves taxpayer dollars for performing other health services.