Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Alito and Roe

On a couple of my favorite blog sites I witnessed a bit of apprehension on the part of conservatives who were wondering if Alito's testimony at the hearing might suggest that he would NOT vote to overturn Roe vs Wade.

I won't try to analyze Alito's words or try to divine his motivations for speaking the way he did because that is anyone's guess. But here I would like to suggest what would happen if Sam Alito, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, and one other strict constructionist judge, that was confirmed later, decided to overturn Roe... and what would happen if they didn't.

If 5 justices decided to scrap Roe:
In most states the legislatures would transform the abortion laws into a form which would reflect the majority views of the citizens of that particular state. For instance in New York the laws would remain much the same. In a conservative state from the Bible-Belt, such as Mississippi, abortion might be practically outlawed except under special circumstances. The use of RU486 in that state would naturally increase.

If Alito and four other strict constructionists decided NOT to overturn Roe:
In most states the state legislatures could transform the abortion laws to better reflect the majority views of its citizens without fear of the Supreme Court striking down its legislation, because with a majority of strict constructionist judges the Court would rule that the states had the right to make such laws.

Only the outright ban of abortion in one or maybe two states is the difference in the two scenarios.

I would personally like to see Roe overturned, but it would still leave us who are pro-life with much work to do, and I believe our successes would be measured much as they are now... one mother's heart at a time.

Abortion aside, there are so many issues coming down the pike that a strict constructionist such as Alito will help decide wisely... Prayer and other forms of public religious expression... gay marriage... matters of our security, and many more. I believe there is cause for a great deal of optimism.

1 comment:

Larry Head said...

Great Post. Although I am not a supporter of abortion on demand, I do think that the decision reached in Roe was correct. However, the reasoning used to justify that decision was a little intellectually dishonest and showed to me poor scholarship. Roe is unlikely to be overturned even with Judge Alito on the court. The precendents established already have all but reached a standard which would require extreme Circumstances to overturn or even get past Stare Decisis. Thanks and I will read more.