Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Was Gonzales v. Carhart a Catholic decision?

Geoffrey Stone and others call it that. Rick Garnett and others regard this as a bigoted response, one that avoids having to engage in the arguments Kennedy and his colleagues make.

There’s of course a lot more to be said about the decision. Claremont’s Michael Uhlmann offers a good beginning. Richard John Neuhaus is hopeful for the catholicity of the Catholics on the Court:

I expect it is in the minds of many, but so far there has been only marginal public comment on the fact that all five in the Carhart majority are Catholics. What can one say? Know-Nothings of the world unite? It is not a peculiarly Catholic perception, but it is an emphatically Catholic perception, that legitimate law cannot be divorced from morality. And in this constitutional order of representative democracy, the relationship between moral judgment and law is best expressed by the legislature.

Justice Kennedy’s opinion for the majority certainly relies on the commonsensical (and not particularly Catholic) morality of revulsion to show how a legislature might reasonably reject partial-birth abortion (or, if you must, intact D & E). Neuhaus notes:

Quite apart from specific decisions of the Court, the focus on partial-birth abortion has been a great success in educating the public to the reality of unborn life and the horror of abortion. In the dissent, Justice Ginsburg objects that the moral repugnance triggered by partial-birth abortion is true of all abortions. Precisely.

I’ll leave it at that for now.

Discussions - 7 Comments

Naomi Wolfe, formerly a feminist, author of The Beauty Myth, a while ago conceded the whole little game the pro-death crowd long played at. She said that feminists and pro-choicers had to admit that the fetus was human, and yet nonetheless, for various reasons of expediency, they claimed the legal right to kill it in the womb. She said that feminists and Roe defenders had to take that as the starting point for their defense of Roe. And stop hiding behind euphemisms.

They know what they're doing. They know what they're killing. And they know why. Heretofore, the proponents of Roe and its pathological progeny have been able to operate behind a moral veil. BUT NO MORE! For the sonogram graphics are shredding that veil, and leaving them not so much as a fig leaf to hide behind. And Ginsburg doesn't much like it. And she's upset because she sees the writing on the wall. And what's more, she already begins to see the verdict of history on HER, and those like her. History will condemn her, and those like her, as little more than well-educated, well-degreed monsters.

As we speak, the sonograms are accomplishing what decades of legal work by various Conservatives failed to accomplish, and that is throw Roe and its proponents up on the ash heap of history. The sonograms are getting clearer and clearer. And thus more and more Americans are hearing in their very soul the question posed to Cain long before them: "What have you done! The blood of your brother cries out to me from the earth." And Americans are being slowly moved against abortion. And there's no way that Ginsburg and her sad ilk can stop that process, which is inexorable.

History will see the creatures behind Roe as weird, morbid souls, as creatures who failed to learn the lessons administered by the 3d Reich, who failed to learn the lessons that what is human, IS human, formed "in the image and the likeness," and can NEVER be rendered otherwise by legal euphemisms and legal procedures.

I don't want to get started on that topic though, then I really will be sick.

How long will the cultural and moral garbage of the '60s and the '70s stay with us? How long will we have to walk about with that millstone around our necks?

Joe - Thanks for assembling these reactions to the ruling.

Joe, ditto (per Steve Thomas's thanks). Michael Uhlmann is a national treasure, writing with penetrating, sobriety (as appropriate), and wit in this tortured arena and area.

Instead of condemning Catholic (members of SCOTUS), why isn't anyone condemning the lock step posturing in support of infanticide by the members of SCOTUS who are NOT Catholic?

My complete response to this column is at
this LINK.

Reply to this posting.

As the author of the "chill wind blows from Rome" commentary, I have addressed the implication that my blog was "anti-Catholic." It wasn't.

Carhart is Catholic only insofar as it is true. [g,d&r]

I am a Catholic.
In fact, I am not just any Catholic.
My older brother is Arch-Bishop Joseph McFadden of Philadelphia.
And I AGREE with what Mr. Williams wrote in "Catholics -5; The rest of us -
Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
(or you could locate it elsewhere if you prefer)

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