Wednesday, November 23, 2005

What Abortion Debate?

Via Mickey Kaus one of my favorites, an article by Michael Kinsley on the abortion debate.

Actually Kinsley contends that the "debate" on abortion is a cynical tool used by political hacks to serve their ends. I"ll buy that.

Here is the beginning:

In a 1986 case called Bowers v. Hardwick , the Supreme Court ruled that state laws against homosexual sodomy do not violate the Constitution. In a 2003 case called Lawrence v. Texas , the court ruled that, on second thought, anti-sodomy laws do violate the Constitution. Liberal politicians cheered this rare and unexpected admission of error by the court. They did not express any alarm about the danger of overturning precedents. Plessy v. Ferguson , upholding racial segregation, was a major precedent when the court overturned it and ended formal racial segregation with Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Liberals did not complain.

These days, the vital importance of respecting past Supreme Court rulings is an urgent talking point for Democratic operatives, liberal talk-show hosts and senators feeling their way toward a reason to oppose Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. Olympia Snowe, a liberal Republican from Maine, said Wednesday that Alito's respect for precedents will be "the major question" in her decision on whether to support him.

Last night I found myself in a discussion about abortion with a friend in which I was arguing the anti-Roe position, from a legal position, even though I believe in the right to an abortion with certain limits. Granted, I'm no lawyer and I probably got several legal points wrong but I was simply pointing out the role of the court to interpret laws and not make them.

Kinsley slaps down those that are using this argument for political purposes and you should read it all.

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