Wednesday, January 22, 2003

We don't need no steenking privacy rights

As long as I'm bringing up blasts from the past, let's review this one, just in case anyone had forgotten exactly what -- after taking over the judiciary -- is the foremost item on the agenda of the Federalist Society:

We Hold These Truths: A Statement of Christian Conscience and Citizenship [July 4, 1997]

While we are all responsible for the state of the nation, and while our ills no doubt have many causes, on this Fourth of July our attention must be directed to the role of the courts in the disordering of our liberty. Our nation was constituted by agreement that "we the people," through the representative institutions of republic government, would deliberate and decide how we ought to order our life together. In recent years, that agreement has been broken. The Declaration declares that "governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." In recent years, power has again and again been wielded, notably by the courts, without the consent of the governed.

The most egregious instance of such usurpation of power is the 1973 decision of the Supreme Court in which it claimed to have discovered a "privacy" right to abortion and by which it abolished, in what many constitutional scholars have called an act of raw judicial power, the abortion law of all fifty states. Traditionally in our jurisprudence, the law reflected the moral traditions by which people govern their lives. This decision was a radical departure, arbitrarily uprooting those moral traditions as they had been enacted in law through our representative political process. Our concern is for both the integrity of our constitutional order and for the unborn whom the Court has unjustly excluded from the protection of law.

Our concern is by no means limited to the question of abortion, but the judicially-imposed abortion license is at the very core of the disordering of our liberty. The question of abortion is the question of who belongs to the community for which we accept common responsibility. Our goal is unequivocal: Every unborn child protected in law and welcomed in life. We have no illusions that, in a world wounded by sin, that goal will ever be achieved perfectly. Nor do we assume that at present all Americans agree with that goal. Plainly, many do not. We believe, however, that democratic deliberation and decision would result in laws much more protective of the unborn and other vulnerable human lives. We are convinced that the Court was wrong, both morally and legally, to withdraw from a large part of the human community the constitutional guarantee of equal protection and due process of law.

Oh, and a little bit more about judicial nominee John Roberts' colorful history, arguing against abortion rights. Roberts, you may recall, authored a brief in the Supreme Court case Rust v. Sullivan -- a case that did not implicate Roe v. Wade -- that "the Court's conclusion in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion... finds no support in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution."

Roberts was Deputy Solicitor General at the time. His boss? None other than Kenneth Starr.

In case anyone has forgotten how outrageous Rust v. Sullivan was -- it certainly foreshadowed Bush v. Gore in the foulness of its logic -- here's a blast from the past from Anna Quindlen:

The Most Serious Threat is Rust v. Sullivan [CJR, 1991]

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