Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Supreme Court Abortion Argument In The Upcoming Election

If you are in favor of the reversal of Roe v Wade, you think that Supreme Court appointments are paramount. Indeed they are. Unfortunately, conservative justices will issue other rulings that will do much harm to America. You will say that it does not matter, that anything the court does will be outweighed by the importance of reversing Roe v Wade. It will save the lives of 1.21 million children, won't it? No, it won't.
Assume a Republican appoints a conservative justice, and that justice is instrumental in reversing Roe v Wade: What will really happen? The reversal of Roe v Wade will transfer the power to legislate on abortion back to the states. Liberal states will NEVER ban abortion. They would rather secede, and might very well do it. Some conservative states may try to ban abortion, and many states already have laws that make it near impossible to have an abortion, but an outright ban goes too far for most Americans, including me and at least the good citizens of South Dakota, who in 2006 rejected an attempt by the legislature to do just that. Women who live in states where abortion is all but illegal will still get it in states that allow it. Those who cannot will find a way to end the pregnancy anyway. At what cost?

The likely answer is that a conservative Supreme Court will also be instrumental in limiting the rights of individuals versus corporations, for example in the area of workers rights, or equal pay for women. It will limit the right of individuals to appeal against corporations by reforming tort law (not all lawsuits are as frivolous as corporate America would have you believe). It might extend the power of the president over congress in times of war. It may reverse some of the desegregation laws that have an impact on the quality of education for inner city students (this has already been done, by the way, by the current right-leaning Supreme Court). It will likely limit state's powers to demand cleaner air and water for their citizens. It will rule in favor of more media deregulation and on, and on, and on…

Abortion is a fundamental issue for many voters. The problem is that no judicial appointment alone will end abortion. But it might put a stop to progress in the lives of those individuals who have had the fortune/misfortune to make it out of the womb already. Think well before you vote, and before your principled, one-issue-above-all stand wreaks havoc on the nation.

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