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Morality of Abortion

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Re: Morality of Abortion

Robert Tulip wrote: Sun Jun 26, 2022 4:00 pm Now that the Supreme Court has announced its decision on abortion law, it is even more important to reflect on how this has come about. My own perspective is to support abortion on demand, while also encouraging dialogue about the moral and political issues that arise, recognising abortion as a significant moral issue.

The essential issue in this decision is about the misuse of political power. At the time of Roe v Wade, Congress did not have enough votes to enforce the national legalisation of abortion, so use of judicial power was a way to get around this democratic deficit.
I've been thinking along these lines as well. If SCOTUS now is “legislating from the bench”, isn’t that what it did in the 1970s?

Certainly the issue of abortion has become a rather protracted grudge match between Democrats and Republicans. Maybe now that the shoe's on the other foot, it will be easier to imagine how it must have felt for conservatives when the original Roe vs. Wade decision was imposed on them. In that sense I think I agree with Justice Alito's statement that Roe v Wade was “an abuse of judicial authority." Although I also agree with LanDroid that Alito conveniently ignores the “unenumerated rights” discussed in the 9th Amendment.

Most people see abortion in very black-and-white terms, but as I have posted here before, it's not difficult to see validity in both pro-life and pro-choice positions. Robert poses an interesting question: If abortion rights had been left to the states all along, would it be the political firestorm it is today? Can progressives take a live-and-let-live approach, allowing each state to do its own thing, even if many red states impose draconian laws on its own citizens?

I'm definitely pro-choice, though at some point I would argue that a growing fetus becomes close enough to a person to be protected by law. When is that magic tipping point when a woman loses domain over her own body? Historically, we have compromised somewhere in the first trimester. Even most pro-choicers would not advocate abortion in the third trimester, unless there were dire health issues.

Republicans played a very long game to overturn Roe vs. Wade, and now with a majority on the Supreme Court, there is a very legitimate fear that the pendulum will swing too far in the other direction. Will SCOTUS revisit past decisions on contraception, sodomy and same-sex marriage? Perhaps David French would argue these matters should be left to the states as well. But I guess I fear a turn towards authoritarianism.
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Re: Morality of Abortion

geo wrote: Mon Jun 27, 2022 11:13 am If SCOTUS now is “legislating from the bench”, isn’t that what it did in the 1970s?
I thought the point of this latest abortion decision was to reject the judicial activism of Roe v Wade. Except alongside the New York gun decision it looks hypocritical, activist on guns and non-activist on abortion.
geo wrote: Mon Jun 27, 2022 11:13 am Certainly the issue of abortion has become a rather protracted grudge match between Democrats and Republicans. Maybe now that the shoe's on the other foot, it will be easier to imagine how it must have felt for conservatives when the original Roe vs. Wade decision was imposed on them. In that sense I think I agree with Justice Alito's statement that Roe v Wade was “an abuse of judicial authority."
That is exactly right. Roe v Wade was an undemocratic authoritarian power grab from the centre, contrary to the spirit of federalism. That is the main reason conservatives were so upset about it. The main political driver was never really about the metaphysics of right to life. Liberals rightly point out that most Americans support access to abortion, but federalism means that is a viewpoint that can vary by state, not something that should be imposed from the centre.
geo wrote: Mon Jun 27, 2022 11:13 am Although I also agree with LanDroid that Alito conveniently ignores the “unenumerated rights” discussed in the 9th Amendment.
I don’t get how this unenumerated rights line is relevant, it looks like a Pandora’s Box.
geo wrote: Mon Jun 27, 2022 11:13 amRobert poses an interesting question: If abortion rights had been left to the states all along, would it be the political firestorm it is today? Can progressives take a live-and-let-live approach, allowing each state to do its own thing, even if many red states impose draconian laws on its own citizens?
It just shows the authoritarian tendency in politics is not something coming only from the right. Liberals want to be just as authoritarian about their own pet emotional issues such as abortion. The key point is that process is central to politics. People can cope with a decision they don’t like if there is a clearly democratic process. That is why Australia had a largely symbolic national plebiscite to ratify gay marriage. If we had gone the US route, with a judiciary scheming to do an end run around democracy, the 40% who oppose gay marriage would have got their backs up. They would have insisted they are actually 60% based on precedents like Trump and Brexit where polls undercounted the level of conservative sentiment.

So if due process had been followed in the 1970s, the red states holding an oppressive line on right to choose would have been gradually isolated, and the progressive view would have been able to speak to a wider audience without the cloud hanging over it that it was just a totalitarian liberal autocracy, which is how the SCOTUS decision looked to the crazy right wing audience, with some justice.
geo wrote: Mon Jun 27, 2022 11:13 am Will SCOTUS revisit past decisions on contraception, sodomy and same-sex marriage? Perhaps David French would argue these matters should be left to the states as well.
What is more likely in my opinion is that the court will wait to see the political blowback on the abortion decision before cancelling these judicial rights. But there is also the risk that an emboldened court will strike while the iron is hot and use the federalist principle to drastically curtail DC power.
geo wrote: Mon Jun 27, 2022 11:13 am But I guess I fear a turn towards authoritarianism.
The big driver for authoritarianism in the USA is the nearly trillion dollars spent every year on the military. As polarisation increases, we can imagine an American Allende, like the Chilean government that the CIA booted out in 1973. That is the danger of people like AOC, that they want an authoritarian communist government and distort the facts to delude their supporters about the prospect of achieving their goals. My view on these matters is that the US is now in a similar situation as the ancient Roman Republic as it moved toward becoming an explicit empire in the second century BC, with the military gradually taking a more prominent role in politics to enable centralised control of the state.

Preventing authoritarian politics requires a sensitive and explicit conversation about the real psychological drivers of political decisions, bringing material into conscious awareness that is largely left to fester in the collective unconscious.
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Re: Morality of Abortion

And in a further blow to authoritarian liberalism, SCOTUS has defended freedom of speech about religion, overturning the repressive policy that required all public institutions to censor people of faith.

Pretty amazing that the Constitution clause stopping anyone from "prohibiting the free exercise" of religion was previously used to do exactly that, with the former liberal consensus enabling authoritarian censorship of free speech. It just shows how Supreme Court decisions twist the meaning of words to support political agendas that they cannot get endorsed by democratic process. Only in America.

The gross confusion of the previous policy practically amounted to saying "We will ban prohibition by requiring prohibition." ???

https://edition.cnn.com/2022/06/27/poli ... index.html
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Re: Morality of Abortion

People of faith are free to express their religion in public spaces. Students are free to pray all they want without disturbing others. The problem is when people in authority lead others in religious expression on public property, that tends to break the establishment of religion clause (i.e. establishing a state religion). Obviously that coach believes it was his personal expression, but he is in a position of authority over his team on public property. I doubt the players felt free to sit on the sidelines or Gawd forbid take a knee. Some viewed it as necessary to team unity or the ability to play in future games.

Conservatives absolutely will not stop until school principals nation wide lead students in christian prayer over the loudspeaker system as was done up until 1962. Many conservatives view life before that ban as idyllic. They trace everything bad that happened since directly on the lack of forced christian prayer in public schools. This includes abortion, desegregation, gay marriage, drugs, wokeness, crime, and everything else they fight against. Once forced christian prayer is re-enforced in public schools all of those problems will magically disappear. Why private prayer cannot make these changes they won't say...

One can understand the establishment of religion problem clearly by considering that only christian prayer will be permitted to be broadcast over public school loudspeaker systems (or led by teachers in every classroom). If that coach was Muslim, his on field prayers would not have happened. Jewish, Shinto, or Buddhist prayers will not be permitted in school. I expect in certain parts of the country there would be a huge outcry even if a purple robed catholic bishop strode into a public school wanting to toss some hail marys (prayers, not footballs).

It's frustrating that so many Americans don't understand the 1st amendment. They accurately state the phrase "wall of separation between church and state" comes from a letter by President Jefferson and is not in the Constitution, but refuse to understand he was describing the affect of that amendment.

Similarly regarding abortion, if they can't understand explicit phrases in the 1st amendment, how much less likely are they to understand or acknowledge a right to privacy (4th amendment) or unenumerated rights explicitly covered by the founders in the 9th amendment...
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Re: Morality of Abortion

LanDroid wrote: Thu Jun 30, 2022 9:28 am The problem is when people in authority lead others in religious expression on public property, that tends to break the establishment of religion clause (i.e. establishing a state religion).
Okay, so the clause says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". That is it.

Show me just where allowing school prayer involves a congressional law? If Congress has not legislated, the establishment clause is not relevant.

This is where so much legal debate is so confusing. People start with the outcome they want (eg banning religious expressions) and then look to how best they can subvert and twist the language of the constitution to serve their purpose, since their policy is too unpopular to get through Congress. The irony here is that the establishment clause explicitly bans prohibition of the free exercise of religion but was used until this latest decision for precisely the reverse of this plain meaning.

If they were being honest, and this applies to both abortion and prayer as well as anything else, they would recognise that gaining democratic agreement for a policy requires getting Congress and the Senate to pass a law about it, since that is the democratically elected legislature. If you can't get the numbers to get your proposal into law then tough, that is democracy. Don't do an end run by getting the court to impose your policy against the will of the democratically elected majority. That is authoritarian and dishonest and bad process.

I did write on my friend's Facebook page in reply to her comment about the abortion ruling being a return to the dark ages (see my previous post) and she replied in a restrained polite meltdown to say, in effect, that banning abortion is corrupt so we need authoritarian methods to prevent states from doing that. But we don't call it authoritarian since our side is good and their side is bad. That argument does have some merit, since the USA is a corrupt plutocracy as well as a functioning democracy. However the plutocrats are not really the ones going into the trenches over abortion and prayer.
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Re: Morality of Abortion

Mr. Tulip wrote:Okay, so the clause says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". That is it. Show me just where allowing school prayer involves a congressional law? If Congress has not legislated, the establishment clause is not relevant.
That seems definitive, but it lacks the full legal context. After the civil war, a flurry of amendments to the constitution were passed making widespread changes. Among them is the following statement.
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
14th amendment ratified 7/28/1868
This effectively means all constitutional restrictions applicable to congress also apply to the states and legislatures below that. In full context the phrase "Congress shall make no law..." really means "Congress, the states, and all other legislatures shall make no law..."
The irony here is that the establishment clause explicitly bans prohibition of the free exercise of religion but was used until this latest decision for precisely the reverse of this plain meaning.
To clarify, these are actually two clauses that work together to prevent the establishment of a national religion.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." <= Establishment clause.
"Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise thereof." <= Free exercise clause.

Obviously we cannot have Congress (or any other legislature) establishing an official religion since we want to encourage the free exercise of faith. But in turn although folks are able to freely express their faith, they do not have a right to control government and institutionalize their religion. Always keep in mind that no right is absolute. So again these clauses work together: without free exercise you could have a national religion, but if free exercise extends to enforcing a specific faith through government power, then we also will not have free exercise of religion. Bi-directional limitations are required.

That football coach's right to free religious expression has not been infringed. He can pray at home, in his car, silently in his office, at church, even from the pulpit. He could even invite the team to his home for prayers.

But Scotus agrees with your interpretation of that case. You win 50K points. 😎
Where will this lead? Here are some questions.
  • Do you imagine this ruling applies to only one football coach, only one field, or only one sport?
  • See my previous paragraph starting with "Conservatives absolutely will not stop until school principals nation wide lead students in christian prayer..." Does this Scotus ruling apply only to public schools? Any reason it does not apply to universities?
  • Can state legislatures, city councils, or publicly owned corporations start requiring specific prayers at each meeting? Why not?
  • Will these "freedoms" apply to any religion other than American style Christian Nationalism?
  • Out of curiosity, how does your country operate in these areas? Do you have a "Church of Australia" like the "C of E?" Would you be comfortable if Queensland established Southern Baptists or Scientology and restricted other faiths?
  • To return to the topic of this thread, two Scotus rulings on prayer and abortion will escalate efforts to establish a specific flavor of christianity.
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Re: Morality of Abortion

Mr. Tulip wrote:If they were being honest, and this applies to both abortion and prayer as well as anything else, they would recognise that gaining democratic agreement for a policy requires getting Congress and the Senate to pass a law about it, since that is the democratically elected legislature. If you can't get the numbers to get your proposal into law then tough, that is democracy. Don't do an end run by getting the court to impose your policy against the will of the democratically elected majority. That is authoritarian and dishonest and bad process.
Interesting. A though nut to crack open. Random thoughts.
  • I don't think USA has any sort of national referendum you mentioned elsewhere. California used to have state propositions and it seemed like there were hundreds of them.
  • There are restrictions on what state legislatures can do as stated in the 14th amendment. If they enact laws that contradict those limitations, it is not judicial activism to overturn that over reach.
  • There are similar limitations with Congress and the Senate. It is not judicial activism to overturn national laws that are unconstitutional.
  • Obviously what is deemed to be constitutional or precedent / stare decisis changes over time with different justices. Sometimes that is a good thing, but not always.
  • What would be the effect of "codifying Roe" as some (you?) are advocating? Wouldn't Scotus strike that down summarily? The rule of the people does not always rule and that's probably a good thing overall, but not always.
  • How does this operate in your country? Does Australia have national direct vote initiatives? That sounds entertaining. Have you had any inappropriate initiatives?
  • I supose you are giddy at the EPA ruling too?
  • The US constitution establishes only two branches of government, legislative and executive. Judicial constitutional review by Scotus was established by Marbury Vs. Madison in 1803. I shudder at the effect of overturning that precedent / stare decisis. :P
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Re: Morality of Abortion

I am feeling great now that this conversation has credentialed me as a US constitutional lawyer! Maybe I could get appointed to the Supreme Court when one of the oldies dies? Do I have to become a US citizen?
LanDroid wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 8:06 pm "Congress shall make no law..." really means "Congress, the states, and all other legislatures shall make no law..."
I was thinking, laws are only made to prevent things, not to allow them. Allowing prayer in schools does not require anyone to make a law. Maybe a law allowing abortion would have to prevent people from preventing abortion, and a law allowing government prayer would have to prevent people from preventing prayer? What would break the constitution would be if a legislature passed a law saying Christian prayer was compulsory. The point of "free exercise" is that people get to decide for themselves, without government saying they must or must not do something. Just chill out a bit on diversity. If a Hindu wants to pray occasionally at a predominantly Christian school, that should be fine. The balance is how to limit free speech that advocates hate or violence. You don’t want a Rwanda 1994 situation where school prayer and government radio are used to whip up genocide, to cite the extreme case. I know lots of Southern Baptists are racist and bigoted, but maybe allowing them to pray in school might encourage them to be more tolerant?

My view is that prayer is just a way to publicly articulate shared hopes and intentions, and setting this in a supernatural mythological framework is just a conventional form of language.

I respect that crazy extremists have to be kept in check, exactly what the US has not done with guns. I think the heavy-handed authoritarian banning of prayer is a big overplay by the secular modern liberal culture, a classic case of making the blood of the martyrs the seed of the church, as Tertullian put it. Hateful prayer should be severely limited.
LanDroid wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 8:06 pm although folks are able to freely express their faith, they do not have a right to control government and institutionalize their religion. Always keep in mind that no right is absolute. So again these clauses work together: without free exercise you could have a national religion, but if free exercise extends to enforcing a specific faith through government power, then we also will not have free exercise of religion. Bi-directional limitations are required.
What that means is that if school prayer organisers deny a platform to reasonable and respectful members of their community, they are in breach of the constitution. They don’t have to allow Satanists to publicly call for drinking chicken blood, or other vexatious abuse of the privilege of being granted a public audience, but if they have a lot of Catholic or Buddhist students and systematically deny them any right to share their prayers they are in breach. I think this can promote religious dialogue, since if atheists hear something they don’t like they should ideally have a forum to raise their concerns. The fact that atheists don’t want to pray is not reason to deny that right to others. This latest snowflake concept of “freedom from religion” is not something that stands up well to scrutiny.
LanDroid wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 8:06 pm That football coach's right to free religious expression has not been infringed. He can pray at home, in his car, silently in his office, at church, even from the pulpit. He could even invite the team to his home for prayers.
But Scotus agrees with your interpretation of that case. You win 50K points. 😎
Where will this lead? Here are some questions.
  • Do you imagine this ruling applies to only one football coach, only one field, or only one sport?
It opens the floodgates. Now the blessings of Almighty God will be invoked all over the place and no one will be able to stop it. It is such an irony that the US is such a religious country, with politicians always talking about God and praying, such as these examples https://www.faithgateway.com/prayers-of ... r__j3ZBw2w
LanDroid wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 8:06 pm [*] See my previous paragraph starting with "Conservatives absolutely will not stop until school principals nation wide lead students in christian prayer..." Does this Scotus ruling apply only to public schools? Any reason it does not apply to universities?
It is entirely up to local decision as long as governments don’t make rules about it beyond normal restrictions on libel etc.
LanDroid wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 8:06 pm [*] Can state legislatures, city councils, or publicly owned corporations start requiring specific prayers at each meeting? Why not?
See my point above about excluding members of your community from right to pray in public at official events. Such exclusion would break the establishment rule. I think prayer at official events is something that will gradually evolve its own etiquette. In Australia we are evolving a new civic religion where every event is opened by a statement of respect for indigenous people.

If people say things that are bizarre and offensive under the cover of prayer, they may have a legal right to do so, but they will face the normal social opprobrium that such comments attract. If the legislature in Arkansas allows prayers calling for New Yorkers to believe in Young Earth Creationism, that will attract the disdain of liberals, but hey, it’s a free country. Better out than in. The resulting debate will educate people.
LanDroid wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 8:06 pm [*] Will these "freedoms" apply to any religion other than American style Christian Nationalism?
They would have to, or the organisation would be in breach of the constitution.
LanDroid wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 8:06 pm [*] Out of curiosity, how does your country operate in these areas? Do you have a "Church of Australia" like the "C of E?" Would you be comfortable if Queensland established Southern Baptists or Scientology and restricted other faiths?
Australian governments open each day with the Lord’s Prayer, something that is under hostile attack from the Greens, who have a hysterical communist hatred toward forgiveness and other similar Christian ideas, as well as toward the Australian flag. As I mentioned we are also evolving a civic indigenous religion. The usual statement opening all public events is something like “we acknowledge and honour the indigenous people who have nurtured this place since time immemorial, and honour their elders, past, present and emerging.” That is not at all exclusive. Also, we had a big political debate about a section of the human rights act that bans offensive speech, something much more restrictive than the free for all in the US. That section still stands, after strenuous conservative effort to overturn it. And our libel laws make it far more dangerous to defame people in Australia than in the US.

It is interesting that the culture of a colony reflects its founding. Just as the US reflects the Pilgrim culture, Australia, settled in 1788, has more of a secular enlightenment ethos reflecting the prevailing views of that time. I think our patron saint is David Hume //sarc/irony//.
LanDroid wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 8:06 pm [*] To return to the topic of this thread, two Scotus rulings on prayer and abortion will escalate efforts to establish a specific flavor of christianity.
What these rulings will do is return debate about these matters to the proper local level, instead of escalating them into national divisive political touchstones by authoritarian judicial federal regulation. It is far better that a free market of ideas be allowed to flourish, to limit the festering of resentment. Where policies are stupid and harmful, that will be exposed to the disinfectant of publicity. These states that have passed abortion trigger laws will fairly soon need to walk them back, I am sure.

My personal view on abortion is that prenatal screening should lead to abortion of all detected serious disabilities. The argument that congenital disability is a great part of human diversity just imposes awful pain on parents looking after a totally dependent child. I would also like to see greater encouragement of adoption in the case of healthy pregnancies that are unwanted, with ethical protocols to enable contact between genetic parents and their children.

Efforts to establish state religion will founder on the rock of explicit constitutional prevention. I think what will emerge is that positive prayers within a faith tradition will be fine, but prayers that whip up hate against others will face judicial limits.
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Re: Morality of Abortion

Robert Tulip wrote: Sun Jun 26, 2022 4:00 pm
The essential issue in this decision is about the misuse of political power. At the time of Roe v Wade, Congress did not have enough votes to enforce the national legalisation of abortion, so use of judicial power was a way to get around this democratic deficit.
I don't know this history well, but when the court accepted the Roe case, was it then acting in place of Congress to get a ruling that accorded with the Court majority's beliefs? That doesn't seem likely to me, and so I question charge of SC activism.
Justice Alito’s description of the use of the privacy line in the constitution in Roe v Wade as “an abuse of judicial authority” is correct, illustrating that opponents of abortion are viewed with contempt by pro-choice advocates. This perception of abuse and contempt drives the popular anger among those opposed to abortion. Progressives rode roughshod over the concerns of their opponents, presenting them as primitive and oppressive and stupid. Mutual demonisation led to the steady growth of abortion as a flashpoint and signal of social division.
But recall that Roe didn't result in ending abortion restrictions; it allowed states to set limits while preserving a basic right for women to determine, before a certain cut-off, whether to carry the pregnancy to term. And did any states pre-1973 disallow exceptions for rape, incest and fetal abnormality? That's another question to look at when evaluating the severity of the new ruling knocking down Roe.
Use of courts to change the law in contested political questions increases the polarisation of opinion, as unelected courts lack the legitimacy and authority inherent in legislative policy decisions made by elected governments. In a democracy, major policy decisions should be made by the legislature, not the judiciary. If you can't get a decision through the legislature, you should wait until you can. Forcing a policy on communities who disagree with it should only occur when the moral issues are very clear, as they were with slavery but are not with abortion.
Alito et al crow that now the decision is returned to the people, that is, the state legislatures. That level is closer to the people, in a sense, than a SC ruling applying nationally, but it is still far away from the people most affected by the facts of pregnancy, women. It's sad to have to say that such momentous decisions are better left to elected legislatures--bodies riven by partisanship--than to a national court that now seems truly riven by.... political partisanship.
If we think about the counterfactual, what would have occurred if SCOTUS had not legalised abortion? For a start, there would have been ongoing suffering of parents forced to raise unwanted children, as well as ongoing suffering of women finding illegal abortions.

But on the other side, there would not have been an undemocratic suppression of the rights of states to make their own decisions. The nation would not have debated about the authority of the Supreme Court to overrule the authority of states. As a result, the role of abortion as central to the culture war would not have been so fraught.
Had we remained in the pluralistic mode of accepting that on certain difficult, emotional issues, such as abortion, our laws need to stretch to accommodate, we could have remained in equilibrium. Roe was not absolutist, but Dobbs comes very close.
Meanwhile, the pressure for abortion on demand would have continued to grow. States that continued to ban abortion would have been criticised for the inevitable human rights abuses, such as criminal action against women who had miscarriages, and health problems from illegal abortions. Instead of debate about the arrogance of liberal elites in demeaning the moral values of conservatives, the main moral issue would have been the problems of unwanted births and oppression of women. Progress toward abortion law reform would have been slower, but might well have been more effective, gradually building pressure for legislative action at the federal level without creating the current massive backlash.
I guess you're speculating that if Roe had never happened, some states would have maintained bans on abortion, because post-Roe, of course, it was illegal to ban abortion.
This all illustrates how central process is to outcomes. When due process is short circuited, grievance is created, and the aggrieved will build their resentment by campaigning against the decision.
I would hope that the Supreme Court can be revived as the body that can protect due process, as well as other fundamental rights. If all such powers are to be invested in legislatures, what is the value of having a Court?
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Re: Morality of Abortion

DWill wrote: Sun Jul 03, 2022 9:46 am when the court accepted the Roe case, was it then acting in place of Congress to get a ruling that accorded with the Court majority's beliefs? That doesn't seem likely to me, and so I question charge of SC activism.
The filibuster meant legislation could not pass the Senate, frustrating the democratic will. https://19thnews.org/2022/01/congress-c ... rtion-roe/

The charge of court activism seems obvious to me. The Roe decision was an undemocratic process that spawned undemocratic reactions.
DWill wrote: Sun Jul 03, 2022 9:46 am Alito et al crow that now the decision is returned to the people, that is, the state legislatures. That level is closer to the people, in a sense, than a SC ruling applying nationally, but it is still far away from the people most affected by the facts of pregnancy, women. It's sad to have to say that such momentous decisions are better left to elected legislatures--bodies riven by partisanship--than to a national court that now seems truly riven by.... political partisanship.
There are rival concepts of democracy at work here. On the one hand, there is the democratic right of women not to have their personal decisions controlled by the state, getting autocracy out of people’s lives. On the other hand, there is the democratic right of a state to ban abortion when that is what its voters demand.

It would be possible to see the new SC abortion decision as a proper retreat from judicial activism, except they go right ahead and corrupt the process by their activist NY gun decision. Judicial activism is bad and undemocratic, undermining due process.
DWill wrote: Sun Jul 03, 2022 9:46 am Had we remained in the pluralistic mode of accepting that on certain difficult, emotional issues, such as abortion, our laws need to stretch to accommodate, we could have remained in equilibrium. Roe was not absolutist, but Dobbs comes very close.
The absolutism in Roe was the undemocratic transfer of power from states to the centre, contrary to the democratic principle of subsidiarity, that all decisions should be made at the lowest reasonably possible level.
DWill wrote: Sun Jul 03, 2022 9:46 am you're speculating that if Roe had never happened, some states would have maintained bans on abortion, because post-Roe, of course, it was illegal to ban abortion.
They would have maintained those bans for a while, and would have received ridicule for doing so, creating political pressure for relaxing such bans.
DWill wrote: Sun Jul 03, 2022 9:46 am I would hope that the Supreme Court can be revived as the body that can protect due process, as well as other fundamental rights. If all such powers are to be invested in legislatures, what is the value of having a Court?
The value of a Court is to ensure law is constitutional, not to invent new laws that suit political lobbies who can’t muster democratic support for legislative change. Making law is the exclusive job of law makers.

French has a great comment on all this. At the end of Part One of Divided We Fall he says:
“The goal is domination not discussion… in reality however, the very act of using the levers of political and economic power to drive your opponents to the edge of American influence inflames every single flash point of division articulated in this book. It breaks the fundamental compact between citizen and state.”
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Re: Morality of Abortion

Not trying to derail the thread, but check out this media disconnect. Please compare and contrast these two stories.
An Abortion Story Too Good to Confirm
Biden told a tale of a 10-year old rape victim that no one can identify.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost told Fox News on Monday that his office had heard “not a whisper” of such a crime from prosecutors, police and sheriffs in his state.
...What we seem to have here is a presidential seal of approval on an unlikely story from a biased source that neatly fits the progressive narrative but can’t be confirmed.

Wall Street Journal editorial board 7/12/22 6:41 pm ET
https://www.wsj.com/articles/an-abortio ... malertNEWS
Arrest made in rape of Ohio girl that led to Indiana abortion drawing international attention
A Columbus man has been charged with impregnating a 10-year-old Ohio girl, whose travel to Indiana to seek an abortion led to international attention following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v Wade and activation of Ohio's abortion law.

Gershon Fuentes, 27, whose last known address was an apartment on Columbus' Northwest Side, was arrested Tuesday after police say he confessed to raping the child on at least two occasions. He's since been charged with rape, a felony of the first degree in Ohio.

...On Wednesday, once news of the arraignment came, Yost issued a single sentence statement: "We rejoice anytime a child rapist is taken off the streets."

...In 2020 there were 52 abortions in children 15 or younger in Ohio, accounting for .3% of the 20,605 abortions performed that year, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Data from the health department shows there were 63 such procedures in 2019, 54 in 2018, 61 in 2017 and 76 in 2016.

Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch 7/13/22 1:49 pm ET
https://www.dispatch.com/story/news/202 ... 046625002/
The girl's life has already been ruined by rape and international viral media attention. Why would the WSJ want to identify her and further increase the pain? The rapist was arrested the same day WSJ published that report. The credibility of the WSJ editorial board and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost have been trashed.

Back to the topic, what is the morality of forcing victims of statutory rape to give birth and support the child for the rest of her life? (See last paragraph in quote above.)
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