Seven Years Since Gorsuch, Elections Have Consequences

CD-1 Democratic House Candidate Conor O’Callaghan.

Conor O’Callaghan is running for Congress as a Democrat in AZ01. He is an Irish immigrant who grew up in Congressional District 1. He excelled in Scottsdale public schools, which took him to an Ivy League university. Conor has a B.S. in Economics, a B.A.S. in Engineering, and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, plus a J.D. from Fordham. O’Callaghan is a Managing Director at BTIG. Learn more about Conor at: conorforaz.com.

On April 3rd, 2017, the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch to the full Senate, beginning a series of events that would ultimately lead to the fall of Roe v. Wade. 

We all know the story of how this court seat was stolen from President Obama and how Trump and McConnell systematically filled the lower courts with conservative judges, all the while bending the Supreme Court towards the far right. But the worst could still be yet to come if people don’t vote blue this fall. 

Yesterday, I appeared on PBS with my fellow candidates to discuss the issues impacting Arizonans in AZ01. Of course, abortion was one of the main topics. A right protected for nearly 50 years was wiped out in a day because of a Supreme Court that would never have ruled in such a way if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 election. 

Now seven years since the day Gorsuch got the nod, we’ve lost Roe and personal freedoms are finding themselves under severe threat from the country’s highest court. Sitting out this cycle is simply not an option; electing Democrats is critical to securing reproductive freedom.

I understand people are fatigued from being involved in seemingly non-stop high-stakes elections since 2016, but now is not the time to take our foot off the gas. This election cycle is quite literally the most important of our lifetime. Unless Democrats retain control of the Senate and keep the White House, MAGA extremists will continue to have disproportionate sway over judicial appointments. Control of both chambers of Congress will be necessary to pass crucial reforms, such as codifying Roe v. Wade once and for all and imposing ethics standards on the Supreme Court. It is therefore essential that we nominate strong Democrats who can actually win in targeted House districts like AZ01, where there’s a strong possibility of turning red to blue.  We simply cannot afford to nominate weak candidates or those who may not share our values. 

I’m a lifelong, pro-choice Democrat who can build a broad coalition without sacrificing our values. I’ve been doing it my whole life. As the child of two registered Democrats, I served as a congressional page for a Republican Congressman in high school. I was part of a John Kerry rally in college in 2004 and volunteered for Hillary Clinton in 2007 and 2008. I worked on Wall Street where I had to build consensus with people across the political spectrum. I helped grow the Arizona Fund Managers Association and their annual LIFT AZ conference in a bipartisan fashion right here in AZ01. And having grown up in this vast, diverse district, I know how to communicate with voters about the issues that are important to them. 

As we enter the final four months of this pivotal primary, we must constantly remind our friends and neighbors of the stakes involved. This election cycle will determine whether women have control over their own bodies, whether meaningful gun reform will finally be enacted, whether we secure our water supply for future generations and whether democracy is preserved and the American experiment persists. Without Democratic majorities, little good will be accomplished. Seven years from now, I hope we can look back and smile, knowing that we’ve come a long way from the abyss we are staring into today. It will only happen if we vote for the right candidates.