January 23, 2009

Roe v. Wade and Judicial Activism

Yesterday was the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and Ed Whelan at National Review quotes from his 2005 testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  An excerpt from that testimony:
"Like few other Supreme Court cases in our nation’s history, Roe is not merely patently wrong but also fundamentally hostile to core precepts of American government and citizenship. Roe is a lawless power grab by the Supreme Court, an unconstitutional act of aggression by the Court against the political branches and the American people. Roe prevents all Americans from working together, through an ongoing process of peaceful and vigorous persuasion, to establish and revise the policies on abortion governing our respective states."
With Obama taking office and Democratic majorities in both houses federalism will take another blow with the likely passage of the Freedom of Choice Act.  This bill federalizes the issue of abortion by making Congress the sole decider of abortion restrictions.  FOCA, following the lead of Roe, will undermine the notion expressed by Whelen that,
"Reasonable people of good will with differing values or with varying prudential assessments of the practical effect of protective abortion laws may come to a variety of conclusions on what abortion policy ought to be in the many diverse states of this great nation."
So much for Justice Brandeis' notion that the "States are the laboratories of democracy" I guess.