Thursday, April 19, 2007

Supreme Shock: The Nation's Court Upholds Partial-Birth Abortion Ban

I'm not sure if many people noticed due to the Virginia Tech tragedy and aftermath, but the Supreme Court upheld the ban on partial-birth abortion by a 5-4 decision. I'm not going to go deep into the workings of this case, but I did note that Justice Anthony Kennedy, a notorious swingman from right to left, actually wrote the majority opinion. In a world of surprises, this one is most welcome.

I find it quite surprising that Kennedy took the pro-life side in this particular case. This development led me to wonder a bit about what exactly is going on in the Supreme Court. I put my conspiracy theory powers to work and came up with the following. It is well-known that Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito are staunchly pro-life, persuasive, and brilliant. It is also well-known that Kennedy switches sides on opinions--sometimes he leans to the right side of the boat (literally), other times he leans to the left. He has fashioned himself in the role of the wild card, and he may be convinced, provided you make a good case to him. I'm wondering if Roberts and Alito aren't warming to him personally and whispering to him intellectually, exerting a positive influence on him. It is thought, of course, that Kennedy may be against partial-birth abortion but overwhelmingly supportive of regular abortion. This may well be so, but it does not necessarily shoot down my theory. Kennedy has clearly recognized that partial-birth abortion is horrible (his majority opinion makes this clear), and I wonder if more time around such persuasive and winning presences as Roberts and Alito may sway him further. I may well be wrong, but we can hope that this is so.

The upholding of the partial-birth abortion ban is a reminder to pray for the end of abortion. If you are a Christian, pray often for this. Don't simply pray about your family and friends and home life and work. Pray for major causes like this. Abortion is the chief evil of this society. Beseech God that He would remove it from us, and save countless lives, and end the horrific, abominable holocaust that is everywhere around us.


Blogger Paul Cable said...

Great post- hopefully, we'll be able to look back as a nation on abortion the way we look back now on slavery- with pain, astonishment, and repentance.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Despite the fact that Kennedy's abortion jurisprudence is, on the whole, fairly ridiculous, this is indeed a great outcome. I think you are exactly right that Roberts hopes to influence Kennedy and indeed the rest of the court through winsome persuasion. He is smart enough to do it.

In all probability, Kennedy's authorship of the opinion was the precondition of his vote on the majority side. Notice Scalia and Thomas with separate concurring opinions, going further than Kennedy. Alito and Roberts probably did not issue separate concurring opinions because there is no wisdom in their showing all their cards yet. Some people still think they--especially Roberts--might be a Kennedy. They hope, they hope, they hope. This is almost certainly not the case, but Roberts is saavy not to burst this particular bubble yet. The less clear it is that we have added two consistent textualist votes to the court, the easier it is to get through a third appointee-- should Stevens leave in the next year and a half.

We'll see.

It's important to remember that this decision is not about national abortion policy. It is not about whether abortion is right or wrong. The point, indeed, is that it is not up to unelected judges to set abortion policy. That's what politics is for.


8:00 PM  

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