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When Justice Kennedy retires, will we issue social security numbers at conception?

Justice Kennedy. (File, Associated Press)

With Justice Anthony Kennedy retiring we are headed for a more conservative Supreme Court. University of Washington law professor Ronald Collins understands that.

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“Though I’m liberal and progressive, I happen to think much is to be said about real judicial restraint,” he said.

And he knows that means pressing pause on gay rights and affirmative action. But what worries him is whether the new court will check the power of the president, and what happens if Roe versus Wade is repealed.

“You would think it would go back to the states, but if they declare fetal life to be life within the meaning of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, then even the state’s ability to provide abortions could be curbed,” he explained.

So would that mean we’d have to issue a social security number at conception?

“I hadn’t thought about that, but states are declaring various forms of fetal life, human life. Will they go that far? I don’t think so, but it’s within the realm of possibility.”

And for Democrats who are determined to find someone willing to swing once in a while?

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“We’re in the ninth inning, it’s two outs, there is no one on base, and there is not a very strong hitter up to bat. I think that’s where the Democrats are right now.”

As most Republicans will tell you, that is why they put Donald Trump on the mound.

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