I have to confess that when the news broke last night and I read that careful, exhaustive, impressive opinion from Justice Alito, my eye moved to those key points for which I was looking, and there I fell into a mild despair. For the Justice preserved, as one of the defining strands of his opinion, that the human standing of the child in the womb would be left as a matter merely of belief. And as one justice put it a while back, the people in the States may simply be invited to mull over their “value judgment” on when that child in the womb becomes human—and how much they would “value” the protection of that child.
But it became clearer to me last night that any disappointment of mine should be overborne by the vast good that Samuel Alito accomplishes here. Alito has carefully crafted his opinion within a cast moderation, which should diminish the anxieties of people on the other side that a decision overruling Roe would sweep away in a stroke that right to abortion they have come to see as one of the “first freedoms” in their lives.
Samuel Alito showed us here how a demanding moral reasoning on this matter would have to be tempered in what could only be called a consummate act of statecraft. Alito does what I’ve complained for years that White and Rehnquist, the dissenters in Roe. never did: he draws upon the precise facts about the development of that small human being in the womb.
Indeed, he supplied almost all of the substantive arguments that I’d want the Court to make. But he covered them over with the persistent concession that a large portion of opinion in this country did not exactly see things in this way—that the objective, inescapable human standing of the child in the womb was still a matter of “belief,” with no claim to be accepted by anyone who doesn’t share that belief.
And so what was the dominant purpose of writing in this way?: The firestorm of opposition is bound to inflame with the non-truth that this decision will do away with the right to abortion throughout the country. The justice is trying to write strongly to make the point that it does not.
In the meantime, he has provided all of the evidence and most of the reasoning to show why it is utterly untenable to claim that this offspring in the womb is anything other than a human being from its first moments. He leaves us then to draw the conclusion that should be obvious, to those open to seeing: that this child in the womb deserves the protection we would accord to all other human lives under the laws on homicide. We would leave it then to the States to determine just how quickly, or fully, that protection is extended….
The above comes from a May 4 posting by Hadley Arkes in The Catholic Thing.
One of my favorite things President GW Bush was to nominate him. The Iraqi war-not so much. I wonder what GWB’s wife thinks about overturning Roe?
Operation Desert Storm was great!
Desert Storm: Operation Desert Storm was implemented by his father President George Herbert Walker Bush back in 1991.
I generally agree with you (I think). That said, it doesn’t matter what Laura Bush thought. Nancy Reagan apparently didn’t oppose abortion. It’s what office holders do that matters. And, partisanship has proven itself largely irrelevant. Roe v. Wade’s author, Harry Blackmun, was appointed by President Nixon, a Republican. And, one of the most liberal on the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Earl Warren, was appointed by another Republican president, Dwight Eisenhower. (Warren received a recess appointment in October 1953, and the Senate confirmed Warren’s appointment by acclamation in March 1954.) And, now, Justice Jackson does not know what a woman is. Does she know what a Black is or does that take a “biologist” too? Ironic, since Mr. Biden promised to appoint a Black woman during his campaign, in exchange for the support of House Majority Whip (can you believe he still calls himself that?!) Jim Clyburn. Thanks be to God for Mr. Trump’s appointments to the Supreme Court, regardless of what any of us may think of Mr. Trump himself.
Actually, the majority of justices who voted for the Roe decision were appointed by Republicans.
It was, after all, Governor Ronald Reagan who made California the abortion capital of the US.
In fairness to Reagan, after he talked to Pope John Paul II, he changed his mind about abortion. He also had an adopted son.
I should have read your link first, Secretary Clark did have a strong influence on him, along with Pope John Paul. I had the book about Reagan and Clark but gave it away.
You are correct. And, it was a decision that Mr. Reagan came to regret for the rest of his life. He is the only sitting president to have written a book while in office. His book: “Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation.” As Mr. Reagan wrote:
As we continue to work to overturn Roe v. Wade, we must also continue to lay the groundwork for a society in which abortion is not the
accepted answer to unwanted pregnancy. … Make no mistake, abortion-on-demand is not a right granted by the Constitution. No serious scholar, including one disposed to agree with the Court’s result, has argued that the framers of the Constitution intended to create such a right. Nowhere do the plain words of the Constitution even hint at a “right” so sweeping as to permit abortion up to the time the child is
ready to be born. Yet that is what the Court ruled. As an act of “raw judicial power” (to use Justice White’s biting phrase), the decision by the seven-man majority in Roe v. Wade has so far been made to stick. But the Court’s decision has by no means settled the debate. Instead, Roe v. Wade has become a continuing prod to the conscience of the nation. Abortion concerns not just the unborn child, it concerns every one of us. The English poet, John Donne, wrote: “any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”
You don’t have to wonder. You have the Google Machine. Laura Bush supports the rights of same sex couples to marry and of women to have abortions, https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/laura-bush-supports-gay-marriage-abortion/story?id=10629213
She still has time to repent too
I liked it when Alito shouted back at Obama to correct him during a State of the Union speech.
I just noticed the picture from when Cruz clerked for the Chief Justice. That fact alone ought to have put him on a fast track for a judicial appointment. If Cruz were at all as smart as he thinks he is, he ought to have extracted from Trump a SCOTUS nomination, or at least an appointment to the DC circuit, to make amends for his accusation that Cruz’s father helped the JFK assassination and grotesque insults about his wife’s looks. But Cruz is all bluster no muster.
maybe he didn’t want that
of course, although most people who clerk for an elite justice envision themselves oneday in robes, otherwise they wouldn’t have gone through the grueling task of putting themselves up for those clerkships. But it seems he just wants to be obnoxious to those on the right and the left. In case you haven’t noticed, even his republican colleagues hate him. He can’t be trusted when he makes alliances, and he can’t be trusted when he doesn’t. Trump was actually on to him, yet he was not smart enough to realize it and seal a deal that would enshrine him in office for life.
The national leaders of the Episcopal Church, which now has many women clergy, announced tragically, after the Alito draft leak incident, that the Episcopal Church reaffirms its stance, protecting the right of a woman to choose abortion. They view Pro-Life beliefs as “extremist.” They have not been truly a Christian denomination, now, for many years. Their current leader is a Black bishop, Bishop Michael Curry. Wonder what he thinks of the high abortion rates of babies of Black women?