Big Deception on Both Sides of Roe v. Wade

 

© 2017 Steve Feinstein. All Rights Reserved.

 

There are lots of practical and philosophical differences between the two major political parties in America. Some are real differences, some are more perceived than real and some are just clichés that one side likes to perpetuate to the detriment of the other:

 

  • Taxes
  • Free-market capitalism vs. Gov’t-controlled safety net
  • Affirmative Action
  • Immigration Policy
  • Health Care
  • Foreign policy/use of military force
  • Education
  • Woman’s/minorities/sexual orientation rights/pay inequality
  • Law enforcement/legal issues
  • Energy policy/Environmental/Climate Change issues
  • Media coverage

 

Those are the broad categories on which most elections are based, and at least within some limited range, negotiation/compromise between the two parties is theoretically possible, and actually happens from time to time.

However, there is one topic that is not on the list above, because compromise hasn’t been possible to this point: Abortion.

Abortion is the Democratic Party’s Line in the Sand.

The abortion constituency is a—no, the—major voting bloc for the Democrats. It cuts across all ethnic, racial, age, gender/orientation and economic lines in a way that no other important Democratic issue does. Liberals of every stripe are in favor of it, although perhaps for wildly different reasons. Nonetheless, they all arrive at this same destination, even though it’s often by dramatically different routes. The unquestioned availability of abortion is the common denominator of all Liberal voters. Some Democrats may be more business-oriented and like low taxes and limited restrictive regulations; some may be low-income/minority but have high-achievement children, so Affirmative Action is their thing. Some may perceive a wage gap or gender/orientation discrimination or feel strongly that we shouldn’t drill into the earth and strip Her bounty just to turn on the lights. And so on.

The common thread among them all: The continued legal availability of abortion. Many voters—too many—base their Presidential vote on this issue of so-called “choice,” mistakenly believing that the party of the President determines the availability and legality of abortion.

For the Democrats, a Presidential Supreme Court appointment means only one thing: the preservation of Roe v Wade, which Democrats feel preserves unfettered access to abortion. This issue, more than welfare, affirmative action, higher taxes on the rich, stiffer environmental regulations, relaxed immigration rules or gay rights, is the cornerstone of the Democratic platform. Strip away everything else, and the Democrats know that their core constituency will always vote for them as long as they can deliver the abortion issue. They may euphemistically shroud the issue with phrases like “women’s health,” or “choice,” etc., but it all means the same thing: the Democrats are the Party of Abortion. To justify it, they use the scare tactic of saying they will fight to “keep abortion safe and legal,” implying if the Republicans win the Presidency and appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court, abortion will suddenly become unsafe and illegal.

This is a perfect example of politicians using the ignorance of the majority of the voting populace to further the party’s goals. What a majority of voters don’t seem to realize is that if Roe v Wade were overturned by the Supreme Court (as incredibly unlikely as that is), the abortion issue would then simply become one of states’ rights, with the voters of each state deciding the particulars by referenda. Constitutional scholars point to the 10th Amendment, which reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Would the specific details that govern the procedure vary from state to state? Quite possibly—that would be up to the voters in that particular state. But some evil, unnamed Government power wouldn’t force the decision upon the voters. The states would decide it for themselves.

Abortion would not become “illegal” if Roe was overturned. Instead, the fifty states would simply decide for themselves how to handle it. The overwhelming likelihood is that in virtually all states, abortion would continue to be available and performed much as it is today, especially in strong Democratic states. It’s hard to imagine any states actually voting to deny access to the procedure, since it is accepted law and had been for many decades. Certainly, it would never be outlawed or restricted in New York, Massachusetts, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington, Oregon or any other strongly blue state.

No judgment is being made here on the relative appropriateness of abortion, so we need to resist the temptation to veer off topic. This is not a discussion “in favor” or “opposed” to the availability of abortion. Rather, this is simply the observation that a change in the Supreme Court’s position on Roe won’t have the legal/illegal effect on abortion that both sides imply it would.

However, the Democrats politicians who know this (and, unfortunately, not all do) are worried that this information might actually become common knowledge, because if it did, their vice-grip on their constituents because of the abortion issue would be broken. Overturning R v W will not push abortion into the threatened “back alley,” and—giving Democratic politicians the benefit of the doubt with regard to their legal grasp and understanding of the issue—most of them know this. They’re simply using the issue as a reprehensibly disingenuous way to prey upon a mostly-ignorant public’s fears.

Interestingly, the Republican Party is just as reluctant to level with its core supporters regarding abortion as the Democrats are to level with theirs. If the Democrats don’t want their voters to realize that a change in the Supreme Court’s position on Roe wouldn’t really affect the availability or safety of abortion, then the Republicans feel exactly the same, but for exactly opposite reasons: Republicans appeal to much of their base by implying that a change in the courts will result in abortion “finally being outlawed,” but that isn’t true—if Roe were overturned, abortion would still be available. It may well vary a bit from state to state and the availability of funding from third parties might be somewhat affected in the details, but abortion’s actual availability would not be impinged. Like the Democrats, the Republicans don’t want that to be widely known.

Obviously, this is a tremendously complex issue. New technology that makes fetal survival after 20 weeks a real possibility (unimaginable in 1973), partial birth abortion, parental notification, and concerns for the mother’s health (emotional as well as physical) are among the components that imbue this subject with its infinitely varied shades of gray. Stripping away the deceptive veneer of abortion politics that both sides currently employ exposes the reality that neither national Party has the power to change the general availability of abortion. Peoples’ votes should be based on national security, immigration, energy policy, taxation/Government spending, etc. Those are the things that the office of President can influence in a major way, not the availability and access to abortion. A Presidential vote—either way— based on “abortion” is an ill-informed, wasted vote.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had our high school yearbook photographs taken on the stone front steps. In winter as I recall. My pants were checkered and slightly flared and my shirt had a big collar. It was the mid-70’s ok? And I take full responsibility for my sartorial choices. What I take no responsibility for, however, is the JFK quote the yearbook editor gratuitously snuck in and that made me look like an even bigger dork than the one I surely was. The in-jokes and snide little digs were, and still are, a part of the joys of the mostly thankless job of assembling a yearbook.

Could something like a high school yearbook caption, therefore, ever be considered legitimate material for judging the character of a government appointee? Much less, revealing of the character of a Supreme Court nominee? When the caption in question had nothing to do with reality and everything to do with one of those in-jokes that populate most high school year books?

When the progressive and activist world is in a screaming, hysterical rebellion against the duly elected President. When media is a partisan echo chamber that goes above and beyond its call to dig up the dirt on those in power. When a former official at Defense, and current law professor at Georgetown, suggests options for cutting short President Trump’s first term in office in Foreign Policy. Including a possible coup by the military who would theoretically refuse to carry out orders and defy the White House. When disobedience by the deep state bureaucracy is public and shamelessly partisan.

When all of this is true. Then the answer, predictably and appallingly, is yes. Neil Gorsuch apparently has a caption in his high school yearbook that includes a reference to a “Fascism Forever Club” that never existed -according to teachers and students who were at Gorsuch’s private school – and was an ironic reference to his conservative outlook and how it conflicted with much of the liberal views espoused at the school.

Never mind. The Daily Mail dug it up and it is now being shouted out loud and proud throughout social media. And this is just getting started. Judge Gorsuch will have to answer question after question from Democrat lawmakers in his hearing, about how he was not a fascist in high school. That’s the level that discourse has descended to. Yes, the previous campaign had a lot to do with a nastier discourse. On the part of both Hillary’s and Trump’s campaign teams.

But this is different. This is the left unwilling to give any legitimacy to a duly elected administration. It will be tempting for GOP senators – like maybe Ted Cruz – to fight fire with fire and go looking for silly yearbook captions on the part of Democrat members of the Senate committee. Gorsuch himself, however, would be best advised to try and rise above the fray as he patiently responds to the most provocative and muck-racking falsehoods the media can find.

Once you use a weapon in Washington, it is then seen laying there for all sides to use, as they see fit. From now on, a high school yearbook will potentially be a mine filled war zone for anyone seeking office. Heck, for just about anyone who has a public profile. Thanks to the Daily Mail, for upholding the best of Fleet Street traditions.

Just this week the Supreme Court declared in a 5-4 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that businesses need not be required under the ACA to provide emergency contraceptives to their employees. Under this ruling a closely held company claiming to hold a religious belief can be exempt from offering something its owners religiously disagree with. Under the ACA, companies were required under the contraceptive mandate to provide them to employees. This decision has caused a bit of a firestorm over women’s rights, the freedom of companies to do as they please, the limits of freedom of religion, etc. All of these issues are extremely important but I believe that the issue of personal responsibility is one of the most important.

Now companies do provide healthcare to their employees. Companies do have a vested interest in their employees and the interests of keeping them healthy should extend to a genuine concern for the welfare of an employee beyond maintaining staffing levels. At the same time though, why should companies be mandated to provide emergency contraceptives? Should companies also provide e-cigarettes to smokers and non-alcoholic beverages to alcoholics? No. While it might behoove a company to have fewer employees out on maternity leave for cost purposes, where does it behoove a company to baby its employees? Provide routine eye care to employees; yes. Provide contraceptives to careless employees who disregard the possible burden an unintended child might have; no.

The decision reached in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby removes the mandate on companies providing contraceptives on religious grounds. Frankly I can’t understand why such a mandate exists in the first place. Granted large sums of money are saved by the use of contraceptives when one looks at the overall expenses paid by the state for unintended pregnancies in the forms of medical care, welfare programs, education, etc. At the same time though if half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended, why isn’t action taken to decrease the cost of contraceptives in the first place? Instead of at least making an attempt to address the situation of unintended pregnancies earlier on such as dealing with the costs of contraceptives, this administration prefers to have employers provide to employees what the latter failed to provide for themselves. Ultimately, bad careless decisions will still be made.

This issue in my mind is more about personal responsibility or the lack of it and with the government and its authority being used as a bailout. Initially the contraceptive mandate was ruled out for churches and other organizations that had clear religious differences. For example asking the Catholic Church to provide contraceptives is tantamount to asking parishioners to steal if necessary to provide money to the church. It’s wrong. Now in some ways such as with Hobby Lobby, the grounds for claiming religious freedom are harder to prove. Regardless I think it’s absurd. Never mind the fact that the contraceptive mandate failed to cover male contraceptives. I don’t hear the left screaming about the lack of equality.

In my family we believe in the idea that you sleep in the bed you make. You don’t expect others to bail you out for something you could’ve easily prevented and you most certainly don’t force others to do so. I’m happy that Hobby Lobby has had this victory and that the SCOTUS reached this decision. Though the issue I believe extends beyond the religious sentiments of an organization. It is a matter of personal responsibility and requiring employers to rectify issues that employees could’ve easily avoided in the first place is not the answer.

The recent news cycle is replete with celebrations of the SCOTUS rulings on same-sex marriage. Activists on both sides of this very personal and contentious issue are either joyous or despondent depending on which side of the issue they find themselves.

I myself am sorrowed – but not for the reasons you might think. I see the frothing activists and sign-waving chanting protestors screaming at each other on the steps of the Supreme Court and wonder what has happened to this country. We have abandoned the legislative process for social change and replaced it with an ad-hoc random judicial circus which places the most important legal, social, and cultural issues of our times in the hands of nine unelected jurists. Four of them lean conservative. Four of them lean liberal. One man – Anthony Kennedy  – decides for a nation of 300 million people.

Yeah. That’s a recipe for disaster right there.

If you listen to the MSM, you’ll learn that the Supremes handed down two major rulings on same sex marriage yesterday. On one hand, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed by Congress and signed by none other than President William Jefferson Clinton, was declared invalid on its face. Fine. That’s very cut and dried. I’ll skip the news of Clinton celebrating the judicial invalidation of a law he signed because I’m simply tired of hypocrisy today.

The second ruling had to do with the very contentious amendment to the Constitution of the State of California known as Proposition 8. This ballot initiative was passed on the same ballot that elected Barack Obama to the Big Chair in 2008. 52% of California’s voters followed the law as laid out in the State Constitution and defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Thus the State Constitution was legally and lawfully amended by the citizens of that state.

You may not like that process. You may find those people who voted for that proposition to be bigots and homophobes and you may resent the enshrinement of what you consider to be bigotry in the State Constitution. You may believe you have the overwhelming majority of public opinion behind you in your belief. Fine. The bottom line is, in America the only poll that matters in defining the law is the one take on Election Day and when the votes were legally and lawfully counted your opinion was outnumbered.

Them’s the breaks. If you don’t like that, it’s up to you to garner enough votes to change the law with which you disagree.

That’s the way America works. Spare me the lectures on fairness, equality, and justice. The whole “Equal Justice Under Law” concepts applies to everybody – including those who hold an opinion different than yours. Under the Rule of Law this is how it works.

Unless you’re Arnold Schwarzenegger and “Moonbeam” Jerry Brown in 2010. When the Anti-Prop 8 crowd brought the much anticipated lawsuit against the implementation of Prop 8, Arnold and Jerry made the decision that the State of California would not defend the legally and lawfully passed amendment to the State Constitution. In other words, they simply up and decided to abdicate their constitutional duty to defend their State Constitution because they personally disagreed with the voice of the people.

Lest you doubt my reasoning in accusing Arnold of violating his oath of office, here’s what he swore to do when he ascended to California’s Big Chair:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter.” (Emphasis Added)

The Governor is the State’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer. It is his job to enforce all the laws of the state – even those with which he personally disagrees. This duty is what separates our society from the arbitrary-ness associated with two-bit dictatorships everywhere else in the world. Arnold’s duty was to defend the law regardless of his personal opinion. Even people accused of the most heinous of crimes are afforded a competent defense by counsel at their trial. By abdicating this duty, Arnold put the 52% of California voters beneath even the lowest of criminals.

Because Arnold abdicated his constitutional duty, citizens of the State of California banded together to defend the legally and lawfully passed ballot initiative. When SCOTUS ruled on Proposition 8 yesterday, it did not decide the constitutionality of the issue. SCOTUS simply ruled that the citizens group did not have “standing” to defend the case. That duty, they said, is the exclusive domain of the state government.

This sets in quickly drying concrete a dangerous precedent – and where SCOTUS is concerned, precedent is important. While you may applaud the ruling on its face value, the devil is always in the details. Now a chief executive can simply decide for him/herself what laws they will choose to enforce and defend. Imagine for a moment a right leaning governor of a fictional state who – after reading this decision – decides that he will no longer enforce the legislative under-pinnings  of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision simply because he finds it unconstitutional. You may scoff at such a possibility but I bring it up only to illustrate the unforeseen penalties related to the Law of Unintended Consequences.

For the time being, proponents of same sex marriage are going to take their victory lap. I’m sure many a wedding will be planned and tens of thousands of ugly dresses will be purchased with promises that they can be tailored to fit any shape and of course can be re-used as evening wear next summer. Horrifically overpriced flowers will adorn inedible cakes and the Wedding Industrial Complex will get its own version of a custom made economic stimulus package. Go forth. Be happy. Good luck with all that.

Just remember that, in the end, how you get what you want is oft times more important that getting it. The newly blazed trail can, and most likely will, be used by someone else whose goals and objectives are diametrically opposed to your own. The next time a governor or state attorney general decides – in an arbitrary or capricious manner – to ignore the law of the land based solely on his personal beliefs, that law may well be one that personally affects you. The shoe will then be on the other proverbial foot as will all the other proverbs associated with that metaphor.

In the mean-time, cheers to the happy couples. Enjoy your cake and finger sandwiches.

Here endeth the lesson.

A Supreme Court justice should present an image of intelligence, competence, and wisdom. Such qualities identify sound judgment and inspire public trust. But two of SCOTUS’s “progressive” purists have sullied that image. In fact, we might wonder if a grasp on reality remains requisite for a seat on the high bench.

During ObamaCare arguments Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked, “What’s wrong with leaving this in the hands of those who should be fixing it?” Read more

Where do you stand, PD community?

A Kansas church that attracted nationwide attention for its angry, anti-gay protests at the funerals of U.S. military members has won its appeal at the Supreme Court, an issue testing the competing constitutional rights of free speech and privacy.

The justices, by an 8-1 vote, said Wednesday that members of Westboro Baptist Church had a right to promote what they call a broad-based message on public matters such as wars. The father of a fallen Marine had sued the small church, saying those protests amounted to targeted harassment and an intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Read the rest.

Pres. Barak Obama has nomintated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be the next SCOTUS justice.

She’s being called one of the “best legal minds of our nation”. The problem is she’s never been a judge. She’s never even really practiced the law — meaning she’s never been in the courtroom litigating a case.

Her “brilliance” aside. Just as it was with Harriett Meyers, so it should be with Ms Kagen. You should be a judge for a while before being on the SCOTUS.

I’m just sayin’!!

The wounds are still fresh from the health care battle, but the next major battle for President Barack Obama is looming with today’s announcement that Justice John Paul Stevens, the leader of the liberal bloc on SCOTUS, plans to retire this summer.

The announcement is sure to set the stage for another bloody duel between the Obama Administration and the GOP, pending on who exactly the Obama/Reid/Pelosi triumvirate unveils as the nominee.

The names will surely begin to drop into the media hopper in the next few weeks, as Obama floats some test balloons to see what type of nominee would stand the best chance of getting through unscathed.

Stay tuned!

A few things have happened today in the realm of campaign finance issues.

First the SCOTUS knocked the wind out of McCain-Feingold today. The President says it’s a victory for Wall Street banks, Big Business fat cats, who are all special interests. I’d like to remind Mr O, his unions are just as special and interesting. I’m just sayin’

The second bit of news deals with an older law that puts limits on campaign contributions. Unions and business can now contribute to campagins out of their general funds among other things without limits.

I’m not sure what to think about this. I think you should be able to give as much as you want to whatever cause you choose to align yourself with. Of course, I’m saying that as a responsible person not out to get anything or to cause any trouble. However, I am worried about more corruption and buying of votes, which we know already happens.

What say you Derby fans? Is this good or bad and will this years’ elections be uglier for it?

This morning the Supreme Court has validated what most Americans such you and I believe, and what Sonia Sotomayor does not–that racism is wrong. It has reversed the lower court ruling on Ricci v. DeStefano, a case where White and Hispanic firefighters were denied promotions earned through passing the promotional test because no Black firefighters passed the test.

You may remember that Sotomayor ruled against the firefighters who were denied promotion as an appellate court judge. Now she is likely to sit on the Supreme Court to espouse her view of the world, where lady justice’s blindfold has been torn from her face and ripped to shreds. Lucky us.

Looks like the Chrysler bankruptcy deal has had the breaks applied for now, at least. Justice Ginsburg was the one who signed the order. Very interesting, the details of this will be juicy to say the least in the next few days.

Historically, the Senate looked at a president’s Supreme Court nominee’s qualifications to serve, not their political leanings. Senators realized that the president won the right to pick the Supreme Court when he won the election.

That changed in 1987 with President Reagan’s nomination of the highly-qualified Robert Bork. Judge Bork was rejected by a vote of 58 to 42, and opposition centered on his judicial philosophy rather than his qualifications. Only two Democrat Senators voted to confirm Judge Bork and six Republicans voted against him. (I never voted for John Warner after that. I didn’t vote against him in general elections … I just let the rest of Virginia decide those elections.) Justice Kennedy was later confirmed with no dissenting votes.

In 1991, Justice Souter received 90 votes in his confirmation.

Then came the Clarence Thomas nomination. After a vicious fight, Justice Thomas was confirmed on a razor thin 52-48 vote. Again, it was all about his judicial philosophy. By the way, his “story” was every bit as compelling as Sonia Sotomayor’s. Does anyone remember the news media trumpeting Clarence Thomas as a success story?

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Rate that Ad

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Filed Under Rate that Ad, SCOTUS on May 28 

This is an interesting read on how the media has spun Sotomayor’s selection for the SCOTUS. I’m sure the MSM doesn’t mean to be biased, and has totally forgotten to apologize for the oversight.

It makes me think back to when I read Bias a few years ago. Bernie Goldberg, the former CBS reporter who revealed all, talked about how producers would go out of their way to point out if someone was a conservative, but neglect that if the person had more left-ward leanings. Given the examples that Newsbusters pointed out, I think he was right.

Now we hear that opposition in the Senate to Sotomayor will be seen as racist, and that the GOP has to handle the situation “delicately”. Of course the media, the think tanks and the talking heads are going to play the race card. Never mind that some people, myself included, have serious doubts about Ms. Sotomayor’s ability to be fair to everyone, impartial in every case and blind to her own experiences and prejudices, as the statue of Justice might imply, and the oath of office requires a judge should be.

We shall see what this confirmation will bring as the summer progresses, but I’m sure the media will have it sunshine and lollypops all the way, and if you don’t like sunshine and lollypops, there must be something wrong with you, and I’m sure the MSM will be all too happy to point that out as well.

In an article by AP writers Ben Feller and David Espo, Sotomayor had this to say about her pride in her ethnic background:

“I simply do not know exactly what the difference will be in my judging…But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage.”

Most Americans can read between the lines on that one. But just in case, composed below is a rephrased quote. It comes complete with subliminal messaging for those of you who still aren’t sure what Sotomayor really meant.

“I simply do not know what the difference will be in my judging (other than my bias toward Hispanics/Latinos)…But I accept (expect) there will be some (if not all) based on my gender (let’s don’t go there) and my Latina Heritage (I mean, hubris)”.

Questions for Sotomayor

By

Filed Under SCOTUS on May 27 

This is a good piece from the WSJ. But honestly, can anyone make a convincing argument that she won’t be the next justice on the SCOTUS? This looks like as close to a lock as you can get.

No country for white men?

By

Filed Under General, SCOTUS on May 26 

I guess I should start this post out with an admission in the interest of full disclosure: Despite my nome de blog, I am in fact what Barack Obama would describe as a “typical white guy”. I have blonde hair and blue eyes. I do not tan. I burn. Were I a banker, I’d live in constant fear of Brazil’s Lula da Silva sending his goon squad after me to bring me to “justice” for my role in cratering the world’s economy.

During my youth, I spent a lot of time watching John Wayne movie marathons on Saturday afternoons with my father. He is of the generation raised on the Duke. I’ve seen John Wayne’s version of The Alamo so many times its screenplay is almost second nature to me. It was through this film that John Wayne taught me some principles upon which this nation was founded. As he was the principal money backer for the film, what he wanted in the script was put there. Here’s a bit of the Duke’s civics lesson:
Read more

Any initial reaction to Obama’s choice of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court?