Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is sworn in to testify at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on March 20, 2017. Photo courtesy of Reuters/James Lawler Duggan

Is Trump’s Supreme Court nominee an abortion foe’s dream – or nightmare?

(RNS) Religious conservatives whose support propelled Donald Trump to the White House often justified misgivings about the Republican’s character flaws by arguing that Trump’s potential picks for the Supreme Court overrode all other factors because the justices’ rulings would determine the course of the nation’s future far beyond any president’s term.

Chief among the victories expected from a court led by GOP picks was a decision to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. In Trump’s first nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, abortion foes were convinced they had the jurist who would fulfill Trump’s campaign promise to appoint justices who would deliver the reversal they have worked decades to achieve.

But now, after last week’s hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, some are voicing concern that Gorsuch might not be such a reliable anti-Roe vote after all.

Their hesitation stems largely from Gorsuch’s unexpectedly strong suggestions that he would not overturn long-standing precedents such as Roe, or even the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling that legalized gay marriage.

“All the conservative fawning over Gorsuch in the world doesn't change the fact he called Roe and Obergefell settled law under oath today,” tweeted Steve Deace, a nationally syndicated radio host and prominent Christian conservative.

Travis Weber, who attended the hearings as director of the Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty, said he appreciated Gorsuch’s endorsement of an “originalist” view of the Constitution – a view that says justices should limit their rulings to conform to the original intent of the Founding Fathers.

But as far as the nominee’s comments on precedent, Weber said, “If you draw them out to the nth degree, you’re kind of left wondering, ‘Is he going to overturn Roe?’

“On the one hand we do have a lot of confidence in his judicial philosophy of originalism and trust he is going to apply that,” said Weber, who, like other conservatives, believes an originalist would find no “right to an abortion” in the Constitution.

“On the other hand, because he did not give any indication to anyone of how he would rule, we do have concerns that he may not ultimately vote to overturn Roe.”

Neil Gorsuch, left, and President Trump smile as Trump nominates Gorsuch to be an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court at the White House on Jan. 31, 2017. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Kevin Lamarque


 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

To be sure, confirmation hearings can be exercises in obfuscation, with nominees delivering well-rehearsed nonanswers designed to avoid committing them to a verdict on a future ruling – and to avoid giving senators a reason to oppose them.

Indeed, as Gorsuch told senators pressing him on whether Trump asked him whether he would overturn Roe v. Wade: “No ... I would have walked out the door.”

Moreover, justices can, and do, rule as they see fit once they are safely ensconced on the high court. They have a lifetime appointment and the freedom that comes with it.

“I have long been a critic of confirmation hearings which take on a kabuki-type character of stilted, pre-ordained movements,” Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor and USA Today columnist who testified at the hearings in favor of Gorsuch’s confirmation, wrote in an email. “We often seem to know less about nominees after these hearings than we thought we knew before.”

In addition, Gorsuch, 49, a federal appellate judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, was something of a blank slate on the issue of abortion coming into the hearings.

He has written against euthanasia and in support of the “intrinsic” value of all human life, and he studied under the well-known Catholic legal professor John Finnis, a proponent of “natural law” theory. But Gorsuch has never issued a direct ruling on an abortion-related case.

Yet so much is at stake for abortion foes that for many, anything less than a sure bet against Roe -- and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision that bolstered Roe’s reasoning -- is unnerving.

If a high court with Gorsuch as the swing vote were to refuse to overturn Roe, then it is hard to see how any Supreme Court would ever do so. And if abortion opponents were stuck with both Roe and Trump, their political credibility could take a major hit and the movement could be forced to rethink its entire strategy.

That’s why there was consternation when Gorsuch testified at several points that he saw Roe as “settled” law and a clear precedent set by the court.

“Part of the value of precedent — and it has lots of value, it has value in and of itself, because it is our history and our history has value intrinsically. But it also has an instrumental value in this sense: It adds to the determinacy of law,” he said when pressed on his view of Roe.

“Once a case is settled, that adds to the determinacy of the law,” Gorsuch added. “What was once a hotly contested issue is no longer a hotly contested issue. We move forward.”

Some liberal commentators who feared the worst from a Trump appointee still argue that despite his testimony, Gorsuch – who is expected to be confirmed by the GOP-dominated Senate next month despite Democratic opposition – would undermine the right to abortion.

They found unlikely allies among some conservative activists and pundits who sought to calm jangled nerves on the right.

National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru acknowledged that “pro-lifers have been burned often enough by Republican appointees to the Supreme Court to be nervous when watching confirmation testimony.” But, he wrote in a column, abortion foes “shouldn't panic about Gorsuch's comments on Roe” because the nominee was being deliberately opaque.

The Rev. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, leads a prayer during the March for Life anti-abortion rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building on Jan. 22, 2009. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Jonathan Ernst


 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

The Rev. Frank Pavone, leader of Priests for Life and a prominent Trump supporter, took a similar approach. Referring to Gorsuch’s statements on precedent, Pavone wrote in an email that “while it can sound like this means (Gorsuch) would uphold Roe, it doesn't.”

The nominee was simply refusing to be pinned down, Pavone wrote, and his originalist philosophy still stands: “If in fact the Court is not supposed to make law, that means that decisions like Roe will be invalidated, and the people will again be empowered to protect their unborn children.”

But the debate about what Gorsuch would do, or not do, as a justice may also serve to highlight the increasingly prevalent argument among some abortion foes who say that overturning Roe is not necessarily the determining factor in the success or failure of the anti-abortion movement.

“It is possible to make significant progress on the pro-life front, and to give legislatures significant leeway to reasonably regulate abortion, without formally ‘overruling’ Roe and Casey,” said Richard Garnett, a law and political science professor at the University of Notre Dame.

“This is why the common complaint that Republican presidents and judicial nominees haven't made any difference when it comes to the pro-life cause is misguided,” Garnett wrote in an email.

“In fact, there is significantly more reasonable regulation of abortion than there used to be and this is, in part, because Republican-appointees have been more willing, even under Casey, to uphold such regulations.”

There is great confidence among abortion opponents – and anxiety among abortion rights supporters – that Gorsuch would back many of the growing number of efforts in some states to limit access to abortion, or to pass laws on fetal pain and mandatory ultrasounds that would curtail legal abortions.

Gorsuch’s record also indicates he would most certainly support broad exemptions for religious believers and institutions that disagree with abortion.

That's a big reason why Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List and a prominent anti-abortion activist who led Trump’s Pro-Life Coalition during the campaign, said she is not concerned by Gorsuch’s testimony or how he might rule on Roe.

“I think that Roe can be, and already has been, beaten back in a variety of ways,” said Dannenfelser, who was converted from a Trump critic to a campaigner last summer by the candidate’s pledges on abortion. “It is more of a slow erosion (of abortion rights) than one nuclear blast on one day.”

If Gorsuch were to vote against restrictions such as proposed laws that would prohibit abortion after scientists determine that a fetus can feel pain – a sharply debated measure that proponents say would effectively end abortions after 20 weeks gestation – “we would be truly devastated,” she said.

But she doesn’t expect that to happen because Gorsuch is the type of jurist conservatives are looking for. However Gorsuch rules, Dannenfelser said she would be at peace with backing Trump over Hillary Clinton.

“Given the two, I would still make the same decision,” she said. “He (Gorsuch) is light-years more likely to vote in a way that would please us than a Hillary nominee.”

Comments

  1. Republican politicians clearly are more interested in the idea of overturning Roe v. Wade, Obergfell and the ACA than the reality of doing so. By keeping those bugbears around they can rally cretinous working class and poor voters around candidates who actively attack their economic interests.

    Overturning the existing law means actually having to govern and deal with the consequences of one’s actions. Something conservatives right now have shown an aversion to doing.

  2. Of course he made promises favorable to Christian conservatives and is working toward them – which is why get got 80% or so support.

    What is the New Testament way? The American and democratic way is to elect representatives who will champion your causes. Anything else is liable to be treasonous.

  3. Ah, now **that** is a question you may want to explore further, Jim. I’m sure you’ll discover that, (although it IS extremely subversive and very capable of destroying the status quo, see Acts 17:6), the New Testament way is absolutely **not** treasonous at all.

    For example, would you consider the Catholic anti-aborton group Birthright to be treasonous? Providing help and tangible assistance so that pregnant young women don’t feel all trapped, and therefore might spare the baby?

    How about Restored Hope Network? Destroying Obergefell one person at a time. Doing jailbreaks on all the gay activists’ prisoners, while nobody’s looking. Is that treason?

  4. You said not relying on any elected official – that is our government. The groups you mention are using legal means to influence the government. If you are saying the NT way is to convince individuals not to get abortions or convince gays not to get married, then that is an alternative to legislation. Is that what you meant?

  5. Replacing Scalia with another Scalia is not going to overturn Roe v Wade. The longer it stands the harder it will become. It had withstood over 40 years.

  6. Very interesting. How exactly would HRC have “plowed under” the right-wing? Not to say, that would be impossible, but still – not very likely as long as the First Amendment isn’t repealed.
    Without the force of the state’s power, the advent of human progress cannot be defeated.
    Trump harvested votes where they were available. He is likely to do little to check social change, even with minions like DeVos and Price in the cabinet. That is why, despite all the negatives about Trump, he was nowhere near as horrible as Cruz, Jundahl, Perry, Huckabee, Santorum or even Jeb Bush (given his willingness to thrust himself in the Terry Schiavo mess), would have been.

  7. They are not treasonous per se under the present reality. But they are evil without being treasonous.

  8. Actually they want to have their cake and eat it too by claiming to favor overturning Roe without ever doing it. This allows them to harvest votes, votes they’d lose if for instance “Reagan Democrat” Catholics moved on to other issues where the Republican form of governing is contrary to their interests.

  9. It’s not the votes they want. It’s the money. No one ever went broke underestimating the venality of religious grifters, or the willingness of the flocks to be fleeced, errr, shorn, errrrrr shepherded.
    That’s the word I wanted. shepherded.

  10. Irrespective of the present nominee and what the future holds, at the moment I’m more interested in something he framed philosophically in his comments about “precedent,” that is, at no point did he appear to acknowledge that there is such a thing as a bad precedent. This I find problematic regardless of the particular context of any case before the court.

  11. He really said the perfect thing — which was, not very much. And all the Dems at the hearings know it and are as opposed as they ever were, for they are mostly lawyers. Of course Roe is “settled” law. So was Plessy, for sixty years. So was Bowers, for seventeen years. Any ruling is “settled” until overturned. That some precedent is bad goes without saying. If Hillary had won, her nominee would be saying all the same things about precedent — while fully intending to vote to overturn Citizens United (which was one of Hillary’s campaign promises).

  12. I think that additional conservative justices could further gut Roe. (Planned Parenthood v. Casey did that in 1992.) But I doubt that it will get overturned entirely, even though it should be.

  13. I appreciate your point about precedent with one caveat, the way the author characterized Mr. Gorsuch and framed the text of the narrative, “bad” precedent was not a concept under consideration. A subtle bit of textual umpiring. I wanted to point that out. To you and I, bad precedent is an obvious point of history, but as you note, it depends on whose ox is being gored.

  14. Overturning Roe v Wade would be spitting in the face of every woman in America, giving the middle finger to freedom of conscience, religious liberty and church-state separation. Campbell can’t get pregnant, but he wants the law to impose his primitive theology on all women.

  15. Trump and the other GOP trolls are equally bad.

  16. But sheep with money. SWM? Sounds like a great abbreviation for a personals ad.

  17. Republicans would never be able to get elected if abortion was banned.

    Abortion and pretty much all pointless social conservative agendas are out there to get poor and working class people to vote against their economic interests. Without that diversion, people will realize they are voting for the people who want voters’ water poisoned, jobs outsourced, tax burdens increased, infrastructure falling apart, and education reserved only for the wealthy.

    Besides abortion bans don’t work. But you know what does reduce abortion rates?
    Easy access to effective contraception and real sex education.
    https://www.guttmacher.org/news-release/2017/us-abortion-rate-continues-decline-hits-historic-low

  18. I don’t believe Neil Gorsuch is bent on overturning Roe vs. Wade because it is settled law in this country. Democrats are too sensitive about the abortion issue; we are not replacing a liberal or moderate member of the Supreme Courth with a pro-life jurist. Gorsuch is a thoughtful conservative like John Roberts, and just slightly more conservative than the Chief Justice!

    I’m still singing my same tune: ALL Christians, whether liberal or conservative, need to get themselves entirely out of politics, and instead, concentrate on fulfilling Christ’s admonitions to love and serve those in need–using their own time and money, instead of campaigning for government to take over those responsibilities. If evangelical Christians want to reduce the number of abortions in the US, they should:

    {1.) have the courage to put forth an effective sex education program that brings the topic out of the closet and honestly examines sexuality in light of the times in which we live. “Just Say No, carries no weight with savvy teenagers today!

    (2.) Instead of just opposing sbortion convincing pregnant women to keep their babies, then abandoning them when “the victory has been won,” pro-life Christians need to dedicate themselves to supporting these often-very-young mothers for several years after delivery, to make certain they have all the resources they need to suceed as single mothers. I’m pro-life, but to me that means providing all the elements that uphold life–emotionally, spirituall, and particularly–FINANCIALLY!

  19. Not every woman in America believes abortion should be legal. In fact, the pro-life movement is filled with women. And the primary concern for me is that Roe v. Wade was a bad decision from a legal standpoint, and I think bad law should be corrected.

  20. If you are advocating a total withdrawal of Christians from all political involvement and advocacy, then please question your own position, as it would have eliminated all the efforts made by Dr. MLK Jr in the Sixties. and for me that’s a pretty serious elimination.

    Christians can’t rely on government officials, nor the politicians, nor their usual election-cycle “promises.” Period. But that’s not the same as withdrawing from the democratic process and the public marketplace of ideas.

    Jesus told us to be salt and light to the surrounding culture, and you can’t be all that if you’re busy hiding underground.

  21. Roe v Wade was a correct 7-2 ruling that liberated women from oppressive misogyny, paternalism and clericalism. Fully 1/3 of all American women will have a voluntary abortion at some time in their lives. Each and every woman must have the right to decide if, when and with whom to have children. Worldwide, there are over 50 million abortions per year, far too many of them illegal and unsafe. We need universal access to contraception and safe legal abortion. Trump and Pence seem to want to emulate the Nazis, who outlawed abortion. It was a Republican president, Gerald Ford, who signed the National Security Study Memorandum 200 report in 1975 that recommended universal access to contraception and abortion.

  22. It was bad law because it over-shot federal authority. Nowhere does the constitution enumerate to the feds any authority in these matters. Therefore the SCOTUS had no business making a pronouncement about it. It is an issue which properly belongs to the individual states.

  23. It would have eliminated virtually the entire abolitionist movement, as well.

  24. I have to say I am duly impressed by your post here. That was extremely sensible.

    “If evangelical Christians want to reduce the number of abortions in the US, they should:”

    If you threw in something about access to effective contraception to avoid unwanted pregnancies in the first place I would say you covered everything here. But I would not hold the omission against you.

  25. The problem anti-abortion people have with Roe v. Wade is that they can’t really approach its reasoning from a legal perspective. It highlights some of the glaring defects with arguments for banning abortion:
    1. Explicit attack on the autonomy of women.
    2. Implied and counterfactual equating the existence of a fetus with a born child.
    3. Implicit misogyny. That women are incapable of making personal decisions concerning their bodies without government intervention. s1utshaming is integral to the arguments.

  26. Gorsuch comment on ‘complicity’ scared me. If a justice rules on a case that permits what they determine as a ‘sin’ then the justice/senator/congressman is complicit in that sin and will go to hell. Our laws are being colored by this archaic BS. Like parents birthing a child they know will never be able to feed itself or walk and will suffer and die early, and they birth it to save THEMSELVES from hell. Complicity in abortion will send them to eternal hellfire, so they make the child suffer instead. Not about compassion or life, it’s about selfishness and ego.

    A dozen congressmen were going to vote yes on allowing gays to be a protected class until they called a meeting in a basement room and read their bibles and decided they didn’t want to be complicit in allowing gays to be equal citizens. So they went back upstairs and changed their vote to NO to keep themselves out of hell.

  27. there were two birth control cases before roe that created the privacy from other rights we have to not let govt into our lives and property. so it goes back before roe.

  28. I agree. And he talks about “sincerity of belief” as well. How do you measure “sincerity”? Sounds like Linus in the Pumpkin Patch.

  29. Why should a woman’s rights be determined by her zip code?

  30. Thanks for concurring about 90% with me, Spuddle!

    I’ve always seen the contraceptives issue as not a very important consideration, since $12.00 will purchase a month’s supply of birth control pills at WalMart!

  31. In fact, the pro-life movement is mostly RUN by women. In actual life I have rarely ever met a man who cared very much about abortion — even those theoretically opposed to it consider it a woman’s issue that doesn’t concern them and of course, men tend to like the availability of abortion because it can get them out of a financial bind. Women are the ones who feel strongly about it and donate their time to opposing it.

  32. Why not? There are all kinds of rights determined by zip code — because they do not fall within any enumerated federal power.

  33. “Created” is the operative word. The SCOTUS is not supposed to “create” anything. That is judicial usurpation by definition.

  34. they didn’t ‘create’ privacy, it was already there. privacy in our homes, our property, the need for police to get a search warrant, our right to not have govt quarter in our homes, our privacy of speech and religion. What they did is explain that our bodies are our property as well and we should be safe from govt intrusion into our bodies. our bill of rights also explains that the rights listed are not our only rights and others can be listed, like privacy.

  35. If privacy were a federal matter it would have been spelled out — and then specifying warrants, quartering, etc. would have been redundant. It was simply made up out of thin air.

    The whole point of federalism and enumerated powers, expressed in the 9th and 10th Amendments taken together, is that if it isn’t specifically delegated to the federal government, then the feds have no power. This isn’t a difficult idea — Madison remarked on it quite directly:

    “And these explanatory amendments, proposed by Congress itself, should be good authority along with the debates in the State Conventions; all these renunciations of power proceeded on a rule of construction excluding the latitude now contended for. ..The eleventh [now the 9th] amendment was intended to guard against a latitude of interpretation while the twelfth [now the 10th] would excluding every source of power not within the Constitution itself…. If the power were in the Constitution, Congress could exercise it, but it is not and therefore the exercise of it involves the guilt of usurpation, and establishes a precedent of interpretation that levels all the barriers which limit the powers of the general government and protect those of the state governments. ” — James Madison’s 1800 Report in opposition to a national bank.

  36. I think foes of abortion have to have a reason to get up in the morning believing it will be reversed. ‘Power’ is not in the constitution but there are many examples of privacy. Banks do not have individual rights but people do.

    Madison didn’t think we needed a bill of rights but several states held the constitution hostage for it. He copied them from the english and other bills of rights from other countries in the past. He didn’t work that hard on them. He believed separation, for instance, was already in article 6 and not needed in the BOR. It’s the one amendment that was written from scratch. Abortion was legal and common at that time and not included for that reason. Privacy was already there so they didn’t have to re-invent it.

    I have bobbleheads of madison and jefferson on my fridge that I got while I spent a week at the constitution center in Philly and visiting the places where our govt started. It’s fascinating.

  37. “Banks do not have individual rights but people do.” No matter. If the subject matter is not delegated to the federal government then the feds have no authority to intervene either for or against.

    “‘Power’ is not in the constitution but there are many examples of privacy.” Not sure what you mean here. Power is referred to in the Constitution 92 times.

    “Madison didn’t think we needed a bill of rights but several states held the constitution hostage for it.” Precisely — and the reason WHY he didn’t want a bill of rights is because he feared that it would lead people to believe exactly what most believe today — that the feds can do anything that the BOR doesn’t prohibit. The truth is almost the exact opposite: that what isn’t specifically allowed is presumed prohibited to the feds. Almost everything legitimately belongs to the states.

    “Abortion was legal and common at that time and not included for that reason.”

    Abortion was NOT legal at that time. Supreme Court Justice James Wilson wrote in 1791 (echoing Blackstone): “With consistency, beautiful and undeviating, human life, from its commencement to its close, is protected by the common law. In the contemplation of law, life begins when the infant is first able to stir in the womb. By the law, life is protected not only from immediate destruction, but from every degree of actual violence, and, in some cases, from every degree of danger.”
    –James Wilson, “Of the Natural Rights of Individuals”

    The only difference between then and now is that they didn’t yet possess the necessary scientific knowledge about the “commencement” of life. They, like the ancients, assumed it began at quickening — and since there were no pregnancy tests there was no reliable way to know if a pregnancy even existed before that point. Now, of course, we know the truth about when life begins. In any case, none of this was enumerated to the federal government. It’s properly the state’s business.

  38. This is the same Edd Doerr who wants to give rights to apes and chimpanzees. Then there was pro-abortion Justice William O. Douglas who wrote that trees have standing.

    I guess the Democrats need more voters.

    Edd, when did your individual rights begin: conception, six months later in the womb, birth, or some point later fixed by the Peter Singers of the world that would permit the killing of disabled and unwanted infants?

    When did you make the transition from blob of tissue or fetus to human being with rights that cannot be taken away without due process?

  39. If you read the Israeli government’s indictment of Afolf Eichmann, Count Four, “Crimes Against the Jewish People,” accused him of using abortion to prevent Jewish women in the Baltic Countries from giving birth.

    If you read “Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Vol. II,” you’ll find a memo by Martin Bormann urging the use of contraceptives and abortion to limit the size of the Slavic population.

    SS records on microfilm at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland–which I have visited numerous times–show the Nazis compelled pregnant Polish women to have abortions so they could work as slave laborers.

    While the Nazis may have opposed abortion for the Aryan races, they had no problem with it for the non-Aryan races. Likewise, neo-Nazis, KKKers, and more recently, Alt Right, have no problem with abortion in the case of non-white babies.

    Pro-lifers (including secular ones) won’t make exceptions if the unborn child is the wrong color, or in the cases of China and India, the wrong sex.

    The Nazis also supported the compulsory sterilization of “mental defectives” (or “feeble-minded”) and eugenics just like…wait for it…Paul Blanshard, Norman Thomas, Beatrice and Sidney Webb, Margaret Sanger, and other progressives.

  40. your second paragraph wonderfully contradicts itself. you write “The whole point…expressed in the 9th…is that if it isn’t specifically delegated…then the feds have no power.”

    yet the 9th amendment itself reads “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

    so there are rights not expressed in the constitution that should not be denied or dismissed by any one. and at times the federal government may be the proper level to protect that right.

  41. Baloney. The 9th reiterates the primary feature of federalism — that whatever isn’t delegated to the feds is disallowed to it and left to the provenance of the states. To the framers, giving the feds power over anything meant denying it to the people.

    The 9th is there to leave no doubt that just because the BOR specifically prohibits the feds from doing certain things does not mean that everything not prohibited therein is fair game. It was for fear of this very erroneous assumption that the framers did not want to include a BOR in the first place. Very prescient, weren’t they? You just proved their point.

  42. baloney? we’ve devolved to grade school?

    the 9th amendment is a new idea in the constitution that enshrines the broad reach of the declaration of independence. that speaks of rights that come simply with being born human. they are not dependent on positive law, rather “they are endowed by their creator” to borrow jefferson’s phrase. they are no more dependent on states or state law than on federal law.

    the irony in your discussion is when you say “…prohibits the fed from doing certain things does not mean that everything not prohibited therein is fair game.” what we have found in the 225 years of the constitution being used is that the states are as ready to trample on the freedom of the people as the federal government.

    what i think is prescient of the writers of the constitution and of the bill of rights is that they don’t make “the states” and “the people” identical. it is not “we, the states” that formed a more perfect union, rather it is “we, the people”. that begins it. the 10th amendment ends with “powers not delegated…are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

    the people are the operative force in molding the governments, state and federal, in the ways that best accomplish what the people want.

  43. “We’ve devolved to grade school?” Evidently we have, for you are displaying about that level of constitutional understanding.

    “the 9th amendment is a new idea in the constitution that enshrines the broad reach of the declaration of independence.” Funny you should say that. Madison stated that it’s purpose was the exact opposite — to “guard against a latitude of interpretation.”

    “it is not “we, the states” that formed a more perfect union, rather it is “we, the people.” The “people” did not ratify and enact the constitution, nor do they ratify amendments, nor do they elect presidents. States do all that. Did no one ever teach you what “federalism” means?

    “what we have found in the 225 years of the constitution being used is that the states are as ready to trample on the freedom of the people as the federal government.” Whether that be true or not, it does not alter the nature of our federal republic. If you do not care for the balance of powers created by the framers of our constitution, get busy crafting some reasonable amendments and present them for ratification by a supermajority of the states.

  44. If the American public is so overwhelmingly pro-abortion (as in opposing all restrictions and supporting public financing), then why does your side need Roe v. Wade for? Why don’t they just elect pro-abortion legislatures all across the board? WF Buckley often noted that if Roe was overturned, many states would pass liberal abortion laws.

    And you accuse the Church of being “undemocratic”?

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