The Supreme Court Term

Given the Dobbs, Bruen, and West Virginia v. EPA decisions and orders in multiple cases such as Box v. Planned Parenthood and Bianchi v. Frosh, the Supreme Court appears to have decided that government by experts, including “expert” judges, must yield to democratic processes spelled out in the Constitution and that those experts should keep their noses out of the people’s personal business the Constitution shields from government intrusion.

I’ve heard it said that Conan best summarized the results thus far—

To crush your enemies. See them driven before you. And to hear the lamentations of their women—

although the Barbarian probably wasn’t a biologist.

Long Marches and “Our” Democracy

I’ve often read about the Left’s long marches through institutions such as academia and the courts and how that changed society during the 20th century. This week, we’ve seen some results of how the Right was able to conduct its own long march through the legal system.

The Bruen and Dobbs decisions came about after a sustained effort to train lawyers with an originalist understanding of the law (the text still means what the people who wrote it thought it meant) and to have them appointed as judges. Now, a majority of the judges on the Supreme Court have ruled that two foundational accomplishments of the Left’s long marching had no basis in the Constitution.

One of the principals embodied in the Constitution is that the United States is a federal republic of sovereign states which have yielded some of their sovereignty to the federal government but retained their sovereignty in all other matters. For example, the power to declare war belongs to the United States, and an individual state can’t engage in war unless it is actually invaded. On the other hand, the United States can’t tell the several states how to set speed limits on their highways (although it can condition federal speeding on having a specific speed limit; remember 55 mph?).

The prohibition movements of the early 20th century were some of the earliest “successes” of the progressive left. The Harris Act (drugs) and the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act (alcohol) were all intended to protect society. In the Real World they had unintended consequences that caused more harm than good. The evil caused by alcohol prohibition was so pervasive that that the 18th Amendment was quickly repealed. The 21st Amendment takes the regulation of alcohol away from the federal government and returns it to the states.

When progressive judges on the Supreme Court imposed Roe v. Wade on the nation, they effectively amended the Constitution, creating a “right” with no basis in the text. Dobbs reverses that extra-constitutional act and returns legal questions dealing with abortion to the states. It repeals an unconstitutionally created amendment.

Another principal embodied in the Constitution is that individuals have certain rights which must be protected. Those rights are shielded from being suppressed by the majority. They are outside democratic control. For example, the majority may not like what you have to say, but with few exceptions they cannot use the government to punish you for saying it, and they can’t use the government to force to say something you don’t want to say.

Another progressive “success” of the early 20th-century was legislation such as New York’s Sullivan Law intended to keep guns out oof the “wrong” hands. Setting aside the empirical data that shows that communities with strict gun control tend to be more violent than those which respect the right to selfdefense secured by the Second Amendment, Bruen follows along the trajectory set by the earlier Heller and McDonald decisions. The right of selfdefense is just like the other individual rights protected by the Constitution, and any restrictions a state would impose must pass strict scrutiny.

Dobbs tells the federal government to keep its nose out of the states’ business when it comes to questions related to abortion.The ready availability of abortion surely had an effect on the changes in the sexual mores of America over the last 50 years, and one can reasonably argue that the resulting changes in family structure and how children are raised have not been good for society. The next few decades will undoubtedly see some interesting experiments in the laboratories of democracy. New York’s democracy may come to different conclusions on how to deal with abortion than Tennessee’s democracy.

Bruen tells the states that the Constitution strictly limits their ability to suppress the right to selfdefense.

One decision expands democracy. The other constrains it.

The Idea of Limited Government

Because we are human beings, we have human rights. Those rights exist regardless of the government we live under. Each of those rights has an associated duty. For example, your right to own property creates a duty for me not to steal it, and my right to life creates a duty for you not to kill me. No government can grant rights, but all governments have a tendency to constrain rights. That tendency to erode rights is why the Constitution takes some of our human rights and places them outside of the reach of government.

The idea of a “living” constitution that could given new meanings by experts was an attempt by Progressives such as Woodrow Wilson to find a workaround to the barriers to whatever scheme they wanted to impose on society for our own good. Most of the past century saw a steady erosion of human rights through legislation, executive action, and judicial decisions with no basis in the actual text of the Constitution, but especially since 2000, there has been increasing pushback.

We now have a couple of cases before the Supreme Court that may help restore the wall between the government (even if it represents a majority point of view) and the right to life. We’ve already seen a leaked draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson that suggests the court will put the question of abortion per se back outside of the Constitution where it lay for almost 200 years. This will allow those states that wish to protect the unborn child’s right to life to do so.

We should see a decision in NY Rifle & Pistol v. Bruen soon. The oral argument suggests that the court will continue in the direction of the Heller and McDonald, and rule that the Second Amendment really means what it says. That would remove the barriers some states have placed in the way their residents’ ability to defend their right to life.

I hope I am not disappointed.

The Frustration of Fauxcahontas

Fauxcahontas is ranting about the results of today’s abortion vote in the Senate. The bill went down 49-51. (But of course, wrong votes aren’t supposed to count in “Our Democracy.”}

Umm, that wasn’t the work of a minority. The larger group of votes were nays.

Also, Cocaine Mitch didn’t bother with a filibuster against a losing bill. Indeed, it was in the Republican’s interest to allow most of the Democrats to vote in favor of killing babies.

Overreach. Desperation. Panic. It’s going to be an interesting campaign season.

That’s Gonna Leave a Mark

Bench slaps are fairly rare in Supreme Court decisions, and it’s almost unheard of for one to be directed at a fellow justice. Justice Gorsuch wrote this in the majority opinion in Whole Women’s Health v. Texas.He was joined by Justices Kavanaugh, Barrett, and (for this part of the opinion) Thomas.

Listening to the Supremes

I was able to listen to most of the oral argument in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health this morning. Upon reflection, I have the following comments—

Justice Thomas posed two important questions which I don’t believe were properly answered. First, where is a right to an abortion found in the Constitution? Second, could a women who uses illegal drugs before her baby is viable and thereby causes injury to the child be charged with child abuse?

Justice Sotomayor’s comparison of a child in utero with a brain dead person was bizarre. And ghastly.

It seems clear how Justices Thomas, Alito, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor will vote.

Based on what I heard, I suspect the remaining four justices will vote with Thomas and Alito to put an end to Roe v. Wade, but I’m not sure.

I suppose we’ll see in late June.


The Xiden administration announced today that it will sue Texas over the SB8 abortion law, and His Fraudulency himself announce a package of patently illegal and unconstitutional Wuhan-Virus-related mandates and rules to promulgated.

This evening multiple state governors have announced their intentions to sue the federal government to protect their states’ citizens from Joe Xiden’s lawlessness.

UPDATE—The list as of 9 pm ET:
South Dakota
South Carolina

UPDATE 2—More States:
North Dakota

West Virginia

Today’s Text Is From The Book of Second Opinions

UPI has a story up titled New Texas abortion law spurs churches to espouse ‘reproductive freedom’ which reads in part—

Leaders of Just Texas: Faith Voices for Reproductive Justice announced at an Aug. 25 news conference at First Unitarian Church of Dallas that 25 churches have earned the designation of Reproductive Freedom Congregations since 2016 and about 70 more are in the process of getting it.

The program teaches clergy about reproductive healthcare and encourages them to talk about the subject, including abortion, from the pulpit and individually with members of their congregations.

There is no indication that the Reproductive Freedom Congregations will be using Exodus 20:13 as a basis for their teaching.

Today’s Talking Point

The Alabama Legislature has passed a bill that would put significant restrictions on abortion if it becomes law. The bill contains, get ready for today’s talking point, “no exceptions for rape or incest.” That phrase appears in the headlines in stories about the bill from the Washington Post and CBS News; the lack of such exceptions figures in stories from the AP, Reuters, and other sources. The real problem that Progressives have with the bill is that it outlaws abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detectable. It seems that they’re trying to use the lack of exceptions for the rare instance of rape and incest as a way painting the bill’s supports as out-of-the-mainstream extremists. We’re also beginning to see stories about Rowe v. Wade being in danger of reversal by the Supreme Court.  I expect to hear the tip jars rattling at various presidential campaigns quite soon.

I’m not in favor of rape or incest but I believe it’s a good thing that we no longer treat rape as a capital crime and hang the perpetrators. I also believe that we shouldn’t kill either of the victims of a rape, so I’ve never understood why it makes sense to allow killing a child because he or she was conceived during a rape. I feel the same way about killing a child conceived incestuously.

Well, He is a Virginia Democrat

The Washington Free Beacon reports that Senator Tim Kaine has hinted that he may oppose a bill that would require proper medical care for a baby that survived an abortion. When asked by a constituent if he supported the pending Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, Kaine, who has claimed personal pro-life beliefs rooted in his Catholic faith, dodged the question while acknowledging that the bill would only apply to abortion survivors.

“This bill would establish new requirements for health care practitioners in the case of a fetus who survives an abortion,” he replied in a Feb. 12 letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. “I support the right of women to make their own health and reproductive decisions. For that reason, I oppose efforts to weaken the basic holding of Roe v. Wade.”

The Senate will hold a roll-call vote on the bill in an effort to force pro-choice politicians to take a stand on the radical abortion positions taken by states such as New York. Denying care to survivors is far beyond the beliefs of most voters who see denying care to a live child as a form of infanticide.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on Monday.

A Proposed Abortion Regulation

Ann Althouse reviews the Supreme Court’s decisions on abortion and proposes the following:

Here’s an idea for an abortion regulation that I’ve never heard anyone else discuss, but which occurred to me as I’ve read and reread the Supreme Court cases. A woman seeking an abortion must sign a statement: I have reflected on the nature of the procedure I am about to undergo, and I attest to my sincere belief that it will not kill a human being.

Read the whole thing.

I’m Not Making This Up, You Know

The Weekly Standard has a piece up in which Nancy Pelosi is quoted, and she seems to be saying that she saying that she supports abortion because she’s a Catholic. (H/T, Evi L. Blogger Lady at Batshit Crazy News). I am not a Catholic, but from what I know of that church’s doctrine, I find this mind-bogglingly weird.

Pope Francis was unavailable for comment.

Which Choice Are You Pro?

All of us are pro-choice to the extent that we believe that we should be free to choose the way we wish. The anarchists among us would agree with that point of view wholeheartedly. Libertarians might moderate that to the extent of limiting choices that affect another person. At the other end of the spectrum, nanny-statists and Progressives would say that choice must be limited by their understanding of what is good for us, by which they really mean the choices they choose.

At the silly end of things, nanny-statists such as Mayor Bloomberg want to take away your right to choose a Big Gulp. They argue that it’s bad for your health and that you’ll be a burden on the healthcare system, yada, yada, yada. At the serious end of things, they want to take away your right to choose to defend yourself with a modern sporting rifle loaded with a normal capacity magazine. They argue that … umm … well, actually they don’t have a logical argument; they just don’t like the idea that you might have a gun. They have to make a stretch to bring some other party’s interest to limit your choices.

OTOH, most Progressives favor a right for a mother to end the life of her child in utero. For those of us who look at the DNA of a child and see a member of our species from conception, it’s clear that an abortion affects an innocent party. Others may disagree about when that child deserves protection, but essentially no one advocates the killing of viable children born alive. The question of when to protect a child’s life is one of those inconvenient questions that many would rather not wrestle with.

That, I think, is the reason for the main stream media’s avoidance of the Gosnell murder cases. It brings that question into focus.

If It Just Saves One Child …

A reader from Western Maryland writes:

A thought occurred to me while catching up on my daily reading. With all the rhetoric over gun control being spewed out and the constant claim that “if it saves just one life”, then why not throw it back in their face with abortion. If it will save just one life, shouldn’t abortion be overturned. Fifty-five million lives have been murdered in 40 years vs how many from guns. We can even treat Planned Parenthood like high capacity clips, or better yet, like McDonald’s use to advertise on their signs, “Over 50 million served.”

I can hear the argument from the left stating that it’s just tissue matter and doesn’t really count, but why is it considered as such when in the animal kingdom it’s not? How many babies have been aborted during the third trimester and didn’t Obama support such procedures. Again, if just one life is saved? Just saying …

It Isn’t the Baby That Needs Killing

I was going to write a post about my reaction to the foolishness of Todd Akin. Rebecca Hamilton has an essay at Patheos that covers almost all my points, and she does a better job than I would have.

Go read her post, but before you do, let me just make one point. Rape is no longer a capital crime, and, even when it was, we hanged the rapist not the baby. The baby is one of the victims. Punishing the victim compounds the crime, so, no, I don’t support allowing abortions in the case of rape.

And In Other News Related to Births …

In an agreement reached during a hearing in a federal court in New Jersey UMNJ has acknowledged that nurses cannot be forced to assist in abortions. (H/T, Hot Air)

Federal law prohibits hospitals that receive certain federal funds from requiring employees to participate in abortions. UMDNJ receives such funds. Also, a New Jersey law states, “No person shall be required to perform or assist in the performance of an abortion or sterilization.”

The nurse claim that they had been pressured to assist in abortions or be fired.

Asimov Meets Jobs

Isaac Asimov propounded the Three Laws of Robotics in his short story collection I, Robot.

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

It seem that the Siri function in the new iPhone 4S obeys these laws, and that is causing consternation for some feminists. In apparent obedience to the First Law, Siri doesn’t seem to be able to find abortion clinics.

Is this more of Apple’s pro-family attitude showing? They don’t let porn into their iTunes/iPod/iPad/iPhone ecosystem.

Allahpundit suggest that it might be something deeper. Steve Jobs was adopted. As an adult, he sought out his birth mother to thank her for not having an abortion. It could be that Siri’s pro-life attitudes are one more dent that Jobs has made in the Universe.