Chief Justice Roberts: stare decisis is not an ‘inexorable command’ – overturning Roe v Wade

I have so much to read that I quail at the idea of more.  Still, after a reader alerted me to this, I am thinking that perhaps I did not make a mistake by putting Newsmax on my wishlist.  

My emphases and comments:

Justice Roberts Hints He Could Overturn Roe
Sunday, 24 Jan 2010 03:29 PM

By: Theodore Kettle

Chief Justice John Roberts last week made it clear that the Supreme Court over which he presides will not hesitate to sweep away its own major constitutional rulings when doing so is necessary to defend America’s bedrock governing document.  [And if this POTUS gets to name more justices?]

The announcement of that guiding core principle means two very big things. First, Roberts and his fellow strict constructionists on the court are now armed and ready with a powerful rationale for overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion ruling if [IF] Justice Anthony Kennedy or a future justice becomes the fifth vote against Roe[I repeat... and if this POTUS gets to name more justices?]

Secondly, successfully placing Roberts atop the high court is beginning to look like former President George W. Bush’s most important legacy – a gift that will keep on giving for conservatives for decades.  [Not to mention Justice Alito.]

In last Thursday’s 5-to-4 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling dismantling the McCain-Feingold campaign law, Roberts joined with fellow Bush appointee Justice Samuel Alito to issue a separate concurrence “to address the important principles of judicial restraint and stare decisis implicated in this case.”

While Roberts conceded that “departures from precedent are inappropriate in the absence of a ‘special justification,’” he quickly added that “At the same time, stare decisis is neither an ‘inexorable command’… nor ‘a mechanical formula of adherence to the latest decision’ … especially in constitutional cases,[!] noting that “If it were, segregation would be legal, minimum wage laws would be unconstitutional, and the Government could wiretap ordinary criminal suspects without first obtaining warrants.”  [That in itself doesn't mean an overturning of Roe v Wade (which only came to pass by a resort to the judicial vaporware of "emanations from penumbras".]

Instead, under the “stare decisis” judicial doctrine of respecting past rulings, “When considering whether to re-examine a prior erroneous holding, we must balance the importance of having constitutional questions decided against the importance of having them decided right.” The chief justice declared: “stare decisis is not an end in itself.”

The court’s most senior liberal, Justice John Paul Stevens, even found himself haunted by his own words on the subject of when precedent can be discarded, courtesy of Roberts. In a 1995 dissent, Stevens had argued that returning to the “‘intrinsically sounder’ doctrine established in prior cases” can “better serv[e] the values of stare decisis than would following” some “more recently decided case inconsistent with the decisions that came before it.”

Moreover, when Roberts mentions a need to “curtail the precedent’s disruptive effects” and imagines instances in which a “precedent’s validity is so hotly contested that it cannot reliably function as a basis for decision in future cases,” the “hotly contested” Roe decision, which 37 years ago disrupted the abortion laws of all 50 states, cannot help but come to mind.  ["... emanations from penumbras..."]

He also said a precedent could be targeted for destruction if its “rationale threatens to upend our settled jurisprudence in related areas of law, and when the precedent’s underlying reasoning has become so discredited that the Court cannot keep the precedent alive without jury-rigging new and different justifications to shore up the original mistake.” ["... emanations from penumbras..." ] That uncannily describes Justice Antonin Scalia’s long-held objections to Roe v. Wade, and the unusual joint opinion that shored it up in 1992 in the Casey decision.

[...]

 

Fascinating. 

I’ll believe it when I see it, but that was pretty interesting.

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36 Responses to Chief Justice Roberts: stare decisis is not an ‘inexorable command’ – overturning Roe v Wade

  1. Maltese says:

    As I’ve told my father many times: W may have been wrong on Iraq, but my God did he make some great Supreme Court picks (or, the Republicans for him.) He prospered where his father failed (read: Souter.) Remember, even Stevens was a Republican pick–may God preserve Steven to the next Republican administration (so they can replace him)!

    Catholics are now 6-3 on the Court, a historic number. This may sound strange, but I even think we were lucky getting Sotomayor given the current Administration. Interestingly, Thomas converted to Catholicism because of Alito, who is an Opus Dei member.

    That is as an aside.

    To the point of the article: First, lawyers make their money trying to pretend they are smarter than others. They are not. They use Latin phrases such as *stare decisis* so people will be “overawed” by their “vast intellect.” Don’t be. Stare decisis is basically the idea of “let the thing stand.” If it is settled law, leave it alone. Well Roe is far from settled law. We base our legal system off of the English system; so, basically, many of our tenants in law are hundreds of years old. Roe, and it’s notion of a hidden “penumbra” within the Constitution permitting abortions is novel, new, and absurd. No such “penumbra” exists, and even the ultra-liberal Ginsburg knows it, and has come near to admitting it. Btw., as another interesting aside, Ginsburg and Alito are good friends.

    But I know how I personally hate long posts and you must too, so I’ll leave with this: *Dred Scott* was a Supreme Court case upholding slavery, and personhood provisions therein. That case is perfectly analogous to *Roe*. Where the one denied personhood to the black (African American), the other essentially denies personhood to the unborn. So, of course, Roe could easily be overturned as Scott was. Nevertheless, it was courageous of Roberts to imply as much…

  2. JohnMa says:

    All my liberal professors here at Georgetown Law seem to think that this opinion was penned solely for the purpose of setting the groundwork of overturning Roe. Roberts has done this with numerous opinions since being on the bench. He issues an opinion in a case that has dicta that he can later cite in overturning a case that he despises.

  3. capchoirgirl says:

    Maltese–Totally agree. Everyone seems to forget the Dred Scott was the “law of the land”, until it…wasn’t.
    And many of the arguments strike me as the same–”if you don’t want an abortion, don’t have one,” with “if you don’t want slaves, don’t have them.”

  4. A Sinner says:

    The “living Constitution” is very similar to the spirit of Vatican II, in that it has swept away both the plain language of the Constitution and the intent of the framers for some supposed interpretation based on “contemporary values” (i.e., enabling judges to determine the law in any way they choose). The result has been to free government from Constitutional restraints and divorce it from morality–both of which would have been abhorred by the signers of the Constitution. The full-scale destruction of the Constitution began in the late 1930s (following Roosevelt’s attempt to “pack” the Court), so there is many a “prior erroneous holding” to reconsider.

  5. Bthompson says:

    Roe and Casey are indeed bad and inhuman precedents that need not just overturned, but wiped out my a higher and nationally applicable principle. If Roe were merely undone, the issue would be the states’ to decide, but if Roe were wiped out by a declaration that a baby has equal human rights, they would theoretically be federally protected from harm on the state level as well.
    However, I did not read this statement as Roberts specifically threatening Roe, but justifying his vote on the recent campaign finance decision. Now, he is a consistent man, and I do not doubt that he would bring the same mentality to questions of human rights, but I think the reason he said this now was more about last week’s decision rather than the fight for human rights.

  6. robtbrown says:

    To the point of the article: First, lawyers make their money trying to pretend they are smarter than others. They are not. They use Latin phrases such as stare decisis so people will be “overawed” by their “vast intellect.” Don’t be. Stare decisis is basically the idea of “let the thing stand.”

    Phrases like stare decisis, certiorari, habeas corpus, etc., are used because of the influence of Roman law.

    Btw., as another interesting aside, Ginsburg and Alito are good friends.

    Never heard that. But I’ve heard that Scalia and Ginsburg are friends, mostly because they share a love of opera.

    But I know how I personally hate long posts and you must too, so I’ll leave with this: Dred Scott was a Supreme Court case upholding slavery, and personhood provisions therein. That case is perfectly analogous to Roe. Where the one denied personhood to the black (African American), the other essentially denies personhood to the unborn. So, of course, Roe could easily be overturned as Scott was. Nevertheless, it was courageous of Roberts to imply as much…
    Comment by Maltese

    Dred Scott denied slaves the rights of citizens. With the unborn law is inconsistent. On the one hand, abortion is legal. But on the other, the unborn not only have inheritance rights but also have been considered as persons in certain murder cases (cf Scott Peterson).

  7. Wasn’t “penumbras from emanations” actually Griswold v Connecticut (another poorly decided case, and certainly a precursor to Roe and Doe)? [Of course... which is why I wrote what I wrote.]

    Also, given the kinds of candidates that the Republicans are running as of late, what are the odds that the next one to be elected president will desire to be–let alone will be–as good at picking judges as G.W. Bush, from a socially conservative (or even just simply constructionist) standpoint? There’s always hope, but from the looks of things, the 10′s could be a long decade…

  8. capchoirgirl says:

    “Emanations from penumbras” was from Griswold –right.

  9. Bos Mutissimus says:

    Funny… when Lawrence v. Texas was decided (2003, was it?) no liberals objected that Bowers v. Hardwick (1986 or so) need be inviolably upheld under Stare Decisis.

    For a GREAT dissent, read Hon. Justice Scalia’s in Sternberg v. Carhart (2000), which is even more incisive than his excellent dissent in Casey. He was both prophetic and eloquent.

  10. This is a topic I want to handle more on my own blog, but I will quickly sum up why I think it is important that in the very least you posted this article and have fellow Catholics thinking and talking about it:

    1. Supreme Court decisions, cases, and decisions are a very slow process and are often a product of CIRCUMSTANCE as opposed to establishing (or desconstructing) certain laws.

    2. As a new Catholic lawyer and as a developing Catholic thinker and philosopher, the interplay between “Caesars” law and The Natrual Law is a difficult union to reconcile within one another; therefore accomplishing “good results” is often hard to do because of not only the complexity of the issue, but due to the manner in which it must be accomplished.

    3. As a Catholic lawyer, there are more “bad examples” than there are “good examples” of the appropriate or proper way in which a young lawyer should think and practice – as a Catholic.

    Now I know this article doesn’t speak to that directly, but when we talk about the intersection of the Fides et Ratio (Faith and Reason) or in this case Catholicism and US Law – we must do so in the proper context and with the proper expectations. Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating Pragmatism, quite the opposite actually. Yet, we must temper our expectations in terms of a timeline and circumstance. What I mean is that CJ Roberts could not simply wake up tomorrow and write a decision reversing Roe v. Wade. Nor should he based on our Constitutional Principles. Instead we must pray that if the situation presents itself the correct decision is written within the proper boundaries of American Constitutional Law.

    I think it *IS* possible to reconcile and align Catholic principles with US Constitutional Principles; in fact I think that if we were more WILLING to align them we would find our courts more closely resembling their true nature.

  11. Oneros says:

    Great! Now, when are we going to see this rejection of face-saving applied to Vatican II???

  12. Central Valley says:

    Let us pray the “living constitution, spirit of Vatican II and Camelot” will soon be burried together in a common plot. Oremus.

  13. Maltese says:

    robtbrown: *I’ve heard that Scalia and Ginsburg are friends.* You’re right, I was wrong, my bad.

    *Dred Scott denied slaves the rights of citizens. With the unborn law is inconsistent. On the one hand, abortion is legal. But on the other, the unborn not only have inheritance rights but also have been considered as persons in certain murder cases (cf Scott Peterson).*

    I certainly admire states that extend such rights to the unborn, but few do. In fact, it is rare where a murdered pregnant-mother has two counts of homicide leveled at the perpetrator; sad, that.

    Yes, the unborn have “inheritance rights” but only after they are born! No law in all of the Americas or England (going back to William the Conqueror) affords rights to land or property to those not yet born.

    But, robtbrown, you are absolutely right that slaves and unborn were and are treated differently.

    Whereas the slave was occasionally treated with dignity, the unborn aborted person is always treated with the utmost rudeness: ripped-apart, teared-asunder, grinded, degraded, the body thrown asunder in the garbage bin. If you don’t think a late-term, or even mid-term, baby feels pain, do some research….

  14. We’ve had so many stealth liberal nominees for SCOTUS, it seems to me high time for some stealth conservative ones!

  15. MisterH says:

    Very interesting article…

    …barring the unexpected, Ginsberg is the most like justice to retire in the next three years, so Obama may not have a chance to change the ideological makeup of the court until his second term, if at all (assuming of course he is reelected, which does not seem to be a given at this point in time)

    The cultural tide seems to be turning against abortion as demonstrated by the lament of a Washington Post columnist, who attended the March for Life, this past week:
    http://allhands-ondeck.blogspot.com/2010/01/pro-abortion-reporter-laments-youth_25.html

    Mr. H
    http://www.allhands-ondeck.blogspot.com/

  16. TJerome says:

    Ironically, before Ruth Bade Ginsberg was on the Supreme Court she stated that Roe v Wade was poorly decided and politicized the issue of abortion. I believe she felt at the time the issue should have been handled at the State level. Go figure. Tom

  17. Peggy R says:

    This is interesting. Certainly last week’s ruling may be a harbinger of things to come–provided we can get 5 votes.

    An overturning of RvW, however, requires a state statute outlawing abortion. I think SD (or ND?) came pretty close to that a few years ago. We should concentrate on getting a strongly pro-life STATE legislature and governor–of at least one state, to pass such a law and be committed to pushing the issue through the courts. It won’t be dropped until SCOTUS rules.

  18. patrick_f says:

    You might see it sooner then you think Fr. He is a Knight, and one in very good standing I understand (not like a certain vp or former MA senator), so he probably has his council encouraging him too

    I truly believe now is the time this can happen, we have providence on our side. God will change hearts!

  19. robtbrown says:

    I certainly admire states that extend such rights to the unborn, but few do. In fact, it is rare where a murdered pregnant-mother has two counts of homicide leveled at the perpetrator; sad, that.

    Well, we know that liberal California does provide for such a prosecution.

    Yes, the unborn have “inheritance rights” but only after they are born! No law in all of the Americas or England (going back to William the Conqueror) affords rights to land or property to those not yet born.

    Let’s say that a man dies whose will says that his estate will be divided with 50% to his wife and 50% among his children. Let’s say that his wife is pregnant at his death. Are you saying that the estate will be divided among his living children and that the newly born child will receive nothing?

    But, robtbrown, you are absolutely right that slaves and unborn were and are treated differently.

    Whereas the slave was occasionally treated with dignity, the unborn aborted person is always treated with the utmost rudeness: ripped-apart, teared-asunder, grinded, degraded, the body thrown asunder in the garbage bin. If you don’t think a late-term, or even mid-term, baby feels pain, do some research….
    Comment by Maltese

    Of course, what you say is true about abortion. Slaves, however, had no property rights. As I noted above, the unborn do.

  20. TonyLayne says:

    The thing that frightens me most about judicial activism is the anti-democratic (with a small “d”, folks) tone to much of liberal legal theory. To talk of “the tyrrany of the majority” is to imply that representative democracy is somehow a cancerous aberration; it’s an attitude that reeks of elitism, as though the self-rule of the ignorant, sweating masses were something to be tolerated only to the extent that any particular law doesn’t offend the delicate sensitivities of the enlightened. And when the talk shifts to SCOTUS being a “counter-majoritarian force” by design rather than occasion, it’s enough to shiver your boxers down.

    When Roberts and Alito were nominated, I had to smile with sour satisfaction when I heard that they were both conservative activists. I don’t think the liberals–even Dahlia Lithwick, whose commentary I respect even when I don’t agree–ever thought that the sword could have two edges.

    But while Roberts’ threat has definite implications in the matter of Roe, I’m not looking for it anytime soon. I think before dismantling Roe, they’ll have to undermine Griswold and Eisenstadt v. Baird, which tried to locate the right of privacy in the 14th Amendment “equal protection” clause–oh, there’s a big surprise; that’s the “go to” citation for any new right. Since both deal with contraception, I don’t foresee either being overturned–or even challenged–any time soon; but at least the rationales could be recognized as faulty.

  21. First let me ask what does Potus mean. I recognise it as a Latin word drink but I don’t understand how it is being used here. Or it could be President Obama something T U S. Please let me know.

    Next, I know this may be a very unpopular thing to say but America and the Constitution are very badly broken. Roe was just the icing on the cake. We must remember that the constitution was a very flawed document when it was first written and lots of people back then opposed its adoption by pointing out what could happen under the system proposed by the constitution and to a very large extent those predictions have come true.

    The history of the supreme court is a step by step, decision by decision dismantling of every right and freedom enjoyed by the people and an ever greater extension of government into our lives in areas where it does not belong. But that is not all. The Federal government was not, repeat, NOT meant to be our “national” government. It was supposed to be more like the U.N. is now. It is responsible for only two things:

    Interstate commerce (this includes foreign trade)
    National defence (by borrowing the armies of the states)

    Keep in mind that the People are the constituents of the House but the State governments are the constituents of the Senate. Now the states no longer have a voice in the federal government at all even though there is a specific place in the constitution that says you can’t take way their voice.

    The Electoral college that elects the president today is a Nominating body that sends names to congress so that CONGRESS can elect the president. But now that they have rigged the system with only two choices, there will always be a majority causing the Electoral College to actually elect the president when that is not the way it is supposed to be. A healthy democracy should not have only two choices.

    Many people see the constitution as having flaws originally, such as slavery and limited suffrage, but feel that we have overcome those obstacles. The truth is that while expanding the right to vote was a good thing, we have paid dearly for it by having the federal government which was never supposed to have a budget even half the size of the smallest state, not grow to the monstrous size we see today.

    Keep in mind, Congress does not have the authority to pass most of the laws that they pass. They have to buy legislation from the states. The federal government can’t pass it so they say to the cash strapped states “pass this law for us and we will give you all this money”. The states say ok because they need the money but the reason the states are broke in the first place is because the Federal government, the very undemocratic federal government, took all the money from the people that should have been going to the state governments. There is even a place in the constitution that actually says the federal government can’t tax the public directly but must receive funds from the state governments instead.

    The supreme court has been interested in giving the federal government more power and decision by decision they do just that. Dred Scott was supposed to be a way to Federalize slavery so that you could bring your slaves to any state to work regardless of the local state laws on the matter. The Supreme Court lost all notions of what the Constitution was all about a long time ago. That is why the talk about the federal government having inherited powers which logically is should not have now and should never have. The States have inherited powers if there is such a thing but NEVER the federal government because of the very nature of the constitution. Besides, who gets to decide what those inherited powers are anyway? Oh, let me guess, the Supreme Court. All they did there was give themselves more power over us.

    I have said it before and I will say it again, If America is to survive it needs a new constitutional convention and a new constitution. This way we get the public involved and we wake them up so that the can try to correct the country. The current constitution has not been followed for many years now, since before the turn of the 20th century. And even if it were to be correctly followed today it would not meet our needs as a country. We need not just a new constitution forced on us from those like Obama but we the people need to have a Constitutional convention that we control. We need to take back the power because the government has shown that they aren’t responsible with it. It may even require the break up of the Union and the end of American prominence in the world but what is right is right and we can not continue down the road we are presently on.

    For myself I’d like to see an independent traditionalist Catholic nation spring up somewhere so that I can have a place to move to.

  22. Tom in NY says:

    The headline writer could have said, “Roberts May Stray From Precedent.” But that would have been dull. Most of the story discusses the dull topic of “stare decisis.” The whole article only made one reference to Roe v. Wade, in the ninth paragraph, in a story with 14 paragraphs. The story’s last line gives the conclusion, as well as the first paragraph’s summary, as normal in a properly written news story.
    The use of Latin terms in American law comes from Roman law, and through the Normans, who spoke French and Latin (but not English) in the law from 1066 to approx 1400 or so. Res gesta est.
    Salutationes omnibus.

  23. Bthompson says:

    quomodocumque, they are abreviations.
    POTUS – President of the United States
    SCOTUS – Supreme Court of the United States

  24. Templar says:

    Maltese wrote: “Interestingly, Thomas converted to Catholicism because of Alito, who is an Opus Dei member.”

    Actually, Justice Thomas was raised a Catholic, and attended Minor and Major Seminary with the intention of eventually being ordained a Catholic Priest. He left Seminary because he felt the Church was not doing enough to combat racism. Later he attended an Episcopal Church because his wife was Episcopalian, but he returned to Catholicism in the 1990s.

  25. Ferde Rombola says:

    IMO, Roe needs no line of cases to overcome to be reversed. An important element of the case was the finding that a fetus was not a person. Modern science has put that theory to rest. If a direct attack could be made against Roe, the worst case is a prohibition of abortion past the first trimester on the grounds a 3 month old fetus is, indeed, a person.

  26. robtbrown says:

    Actually, Justice Thomas was raised a Catholic, and attended Minor and Major Seminary with the intention of eventually being ordained a Catholic Priest. He left Seminary because he felt the Church was not doing enough to combat racism. Later he attended an Episcopal Church because his wife was Episcopalian, but he returned to Catholicism in the 1990s.
    Comment by Templar

    Yes, and I think it was Scalia who influenced Thomas’ return to the Church.

  27. pvmkmyer says:

    Father, you can relax over future Obama appointments to the court. The most likely justices to retire are Stevens, who is older than dirt, and Ginsberg, who is in ill health. Obama will replace 2 liberals with 2 liberals. It won’t change the make-up of the court. Only Kennedy’s retirement, which is unlikely, will change the current conservative bent of the majority.

  28. MichaelJ says:

    robtbrown,

    I do not understand the distinction you are trying to make between the Dredd Scott decision and Roe v. Wade. I have to agree with Maltese in that they are perfectly analogous. Both decisions decisions denied rights to the identified classes of people on the basis that those classes were not considered “human”. What am I missing?

  29. robtbrown says:

    I didn’t make that distinction. Obviously, Roe denies the unborn of their rights. What I said was that the law is inconsistent. On the one hand, there is Roe. On the other, there are laws which grant the unborn certain rights, as noted in my two examples.

    With Dred Scott, however, slaves had no rights.

  30. pvmkmyer,

    There’s more to it than that. Obama would be replacing two aging liberals with 2 younger ones who could be on the court for another 20 years. Ten years from now, it may be Scalia’s or Thomas’ “turn” to leave the court, and if the court make-up at the time is still 4 liberals, 4 conservatives, and one guy with his finger in the wind, getting two more conservative appointments gives us no gain. Status quo only really works out if no progress needs to be made (in this case, if no rulings need to be overturned).

    People who are happy with decisions like Roe, Doe, Casey, Griswold, etc. can use status quo to their advantage; we cannot, since overturning any of those rulings will require one more conservative justice’s being appointed to the court. A net change of zero (replacing a liberal with a liberal, or a conservative with a conservative) will not move us any closer to overturning these. You’ll notice that the closer we get to a change in the balance of power, the more hard-fought will be each appointment; hence, the treatment of Bork as opposed to Scalia, or even of Alito as opposed to Roberts (which of these two was a closer call for being confirmed?).

  31. BrKonrad says:

    This article oddly refers to “Roberts and his fellow strict constructionists.” Based on the 2007 Carhart “Partial Birth Abortion” decision, Roberts, Kennedy, and Alito are NOT strict constructionists, because they all reaffirmed the pro-abortion Casey decision, which in turn reaffirmed the invented “constitutional right” to abortion.

    In Carhart, on page 15 of the majority decision, it states: ” We assume the following principles for the purposes of this opinion. Before viability, a State ‘may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy.” It goes on to say, “It also may not impose upon this right an undue burden, which exists if a regulation’s ‘purpose or effect is to place a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus attains viability’.” It goes on to say, “On the other hand, ‘[r]egulations which do no more than create a structural mechanism by which the State, or the parent or guardian of a minor, may express profound respect for the life of the unborn are permitted, if they are not a substantial obstacle to the woman’s exercise of the right to choose.” It goes on to say, “Casey, in short, struck a balance. The balance was central to its holding. We now apply its standard to the case at bar.”

    So, in accord with stare decisis, the court reaffirmed the Casey proabortion precedent. Although Justices Thomas and Scalia signed on to the majority opinion because it accurately represented the court’s current jurisprudence, they qualified their support by affirming that there is no constitutional basis for abortion. However, the other Justices who signed on to the majority opinion, Roberts, Kennedy, and Alito, did not make this qualification. They could have, but they did not. Therefore, in April of 2007, when Carhart was decided, they were clearly not strict constructionists, as they clearly and uniquivocally supported the novel idea that abortion is a right, which has no basis in the Constitution.

    This article also indicates that Roberts supports the Federal Minimum Wage, for which there is also no constitutional authority. Again, this indicates that he is not a strict constructionist.

    Recent claims, made by Theodore Kettle and who knows who else, that these people are now suddenly strict constructionists, sound like fantasy. Unfortunately, when this type of bizarre thinking is widely influencing the pro-life community, it is likely to perpetuate a failed political strategy which has been gradually destabilizing our republic over a period of many decades. The situation is getting more and more critical, and we simply can not afford to be carried away by nonsense like this.

    Jon Hill
    Chairman,
    America First National Committee
    http://www.americafirstparty.org
    Fighting for Faith, Freedom, and the Constitution

  32. MichaelJ says:

    Sorry robtbrown,

    When you responded to Maltese’s statement of:

    “Dred Scott was a Supreme Court case upholding slavery, and personhood provisions therein. That case is perfectly analogous to Roe. Where the one denied personhood to the black (African American), the other essentially denies personhood to the unborn.”

    by pointing out that laws are inconsistent regarding the rights of the unborn, I took it to mean that you were drawing some sort of distinction between the two cases. My mistake.

    Still, I do not think I can agree with you when you state that “there are laws which grant the unborn certain rights”. As the Holy Father has repeatedly stated, the most fundamental human right – upon which all other rights are based – is the right to life. Take away this, and there are no other rights. In your example about the right of an unborn infant to inherit and own property, how would the law guarantee or enforce this right if the mother chose to kill her baby in an abortion? It seems to me, then, that any “rights” that an unborn baby might have in this society exist soley at the whim of the mother.

  33. muckemdanno says:

    Roe will never be overturned.

    The Democrats are in favor of it, and the Republicans can;t afford to lose this as a national issue. Once Roe is overturned, the pro-lifers don’t need to vote Republicans anymore.

    Want proof? For most of the last 40 years, 7 of the 9 judges on the COurt were appointed by Republicans.

  34. Jordanes says:

    The Democrats’ support for killing babies is the only reason to vote for Republicans instead of for Democrats, muckemdanno? Really?

    Did you forget that the Democrats are also the party that supports the destruction of marriage, the promotion of sexual deviancy, the killing of the sick and elderly . . . not to mention a statism corrosive to subsidiarity?

    You have woefully inadequate grounds for your confidence in your prediction that Roe will never be overturned. You talk as if Supreme Court justices appointed by Republicans take orders from the Republican Party leadership, and that there are no sincerely pro-life Republicans.

  35. Jordanes says:

    quomodocumque said: “The truth is that while expanding the right to vote was a good thing . . .”

    I’m not so sure about that . . . .

  36. EENS says:

    Prayer is the strongest weapon in our arsenal, Roe v Wade will be overturned.
    People are not stupid and are awakening to the fact that this scourge of infantacide is exactly what the Nazis did in WWII.