Lawler on Roe
Over at TAE Online, Peter Lawler and I are on the same page. He works his way through a comparison of Roe, Brown, and Dred Scott, concluding as follows:
Roe settled nothing because its result finds so little resonance in our nation’s political and philosophical currents (speculating on whether Washington or Jefferson or Lincoln would be pro-choice or pro-life just doesn’t get us very far). Roe remains controversial because abortion is genuinely and fundamentally controversial for us in a way that no Court decision could resolve. And the only way to keep the Court from becoming overly politicized by that controversy, from continuing to lose the legitimacy that comes from appearing merely to interpret the Constitution, as Scalia writes, is for it to get out of the abortion business.
But the American people and their elected representatives should, as result of Roe’s reversal, be politicized by our controversy over abortion. They, under our Constitution, have no choice but to decide for themselves whether and to what extent the life of an unborn baby (or fetus, to remain impartial) trumps the women’s right to choose an abortion. For the other branches of government, the state legislatures, and the people themselves to let the Court get away with Roe would be a massive evasion of moral and political responsibility. It’s a tribute to our people that they elected a President whom they knew would appoint justices who would vote to return that responsibility to them.
Read the whole thing.
6:58 AM / January 25, 2006