Whither Roe?

Whither Roe?

For many months, we PUMAs heard that the main reason people were voting for Obama was the Supreme Court. NOW and NARAL endorsed him without qualifications, so Obama must be pro-choice, right? Hey, ladies, what’s yer problem? Barack Obama will preserve Roe v. Wade forever, won’t be too mean when you’re periodically down, and will even give you a kiss, sweetie!

Well, now that a majority of women believed this Supreme Court Roe-Hopenol and voted for Obama, let’s see how realistic that whole relentless campaign was, shall we?

For example, who among the four “liberal” justices is planning to retire? Justice Stevens seems to be the most likely, since he is already 88 years old.

Or, maybe not.

GAINESVILLE, Fla., Nov. 18 (UPI) — U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, at 88, isn’t showing any signs he’s considering retiring from the bench, observers say.

Stevens, who leads the high court’s aging liberal wing, remains vigorous, still plays tennis, swims in the ocean and says he doesn’t consider the Supreme Court’s workload to be overly taxing, The Washington Post (NYSE:WPO) reported Tuesday.

A prime motivation for some voters in backing the campaign of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama was to ensure a Democratic president would be in a position to replace Stevens and fellow Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 75, and David Souter, 69, with other liberals. But none of them, especially Stevens, has indicated any plans to retire soon, the newspaper said.

Huh. Stevens, Ginsburg and Souter are not planning to retire anytime soon. Ooooops!

Well, what about Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is not a liberal, but who is often a key swing vote for the liberal wing of the Court? Kennedy is 72, but despite repeated searches on Teh Google, I cannot find any stories that quote him about his intentions to retire before 2012. The most I’ve seen is a lot of wishful thinking from Obama supporters based on his age and health. Oooooops!

Okay, but what about Stevens standing before The Ultimate Judge in the next four years? It’s entirely possible that the 88-year-old (Gawd forbid) could pass away anytime. (Of course, so could any of the Justices, so I’m a bit dubious regarding the wisdom of basing one’s electoral strategy on when the Grim Reaper will strike). Assuming this sad event does in fact occur, who, oh who, will Barack Obama place in his stead?

If you read through the list linked in this Salon article (Salon being an extremely Obama-friendly press outlet), you will see a diverse mixture of men, women, moderates, liberals and nods to various ethnicities. Sounds great at first.

But do you notice anything about the summaries next to the candidates’ names? Not one of them mentions Roe v. Wade.


Are we now supposed to pretend that Obama has no responsibility to live up to the expectations of his female voters? Are we women, and the men who support us, supposed to forget that his campaign scared us for months about McCain and Palin and their extreme anti-choice views leading to the overturn of Roe v. Wade? Now, we don’t even merit a mention, as if Obama does not even have to consider Roe v. Wade in his possible judicial appointments?

I see the Obamedia is still covering for Obama and his complete lack of regard for womens’ issues. But that’s okay – we can do our own research on the Internets. Thanks, Al Gore!

Many of the names on Salon’s list strike me as purely speculative. The name I have heard over and over is Cass Sunstein, newly married to fellow Obama crony Samantha “Hillary is a monster” Power. Surely he must be fully committed to Roe v. Wade, given Obama’s ever-so-strong pro-choice credentials.

INTERVIEWER: The Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion has probably been one of the most controversial rulings from that era. Do you feel that, given how divisive the issue of abortion continues to be, Roe v. Wade was a mistake in any way?

SUNSTEIN: Roe v. Wade itself was probably a horrible moment for liberal politics and almost certainly created the Moral Majority. Roe simultaneously demobilized the pro-choice movement in politics and fired up the pro-life movement everywhere. There probably would’ve been an Equal Rights Amendment without [Roe v. Wade], less agitation with the process, and stronger legal commitments to sex equality in general. It’s absolutely true that if the court goes in the teeth of the public, it can hurt the cause that you’re trying to promote.

So, in Sunstein’s view, the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision gave rise to the Moral Majority and prevented the ERA from being ratified.

I’ll let that simmer for a while.

Sunstein goes on to give the Chief Justice Roberts-like disclaimer that Roe v. Wade is now settled law and shouldn’t be overturned. (Um, yay?) But in his ideal “minimalist” judicial world, this is how the Supreme Court should have proceeded:

INTERVIEWER: So let’s say the Roe v. Wade ruling was approached from a minimalist perspective, where would we be then regarding abortion rights?

SUNSTEIN: The court might’ve gradually built up to something pretty close to Roe v. Wade without anything like the intense public backlash that Roe itself yielded. We would’ve eventually gotten there through the slow process of case-by-case decisions. Another possibility is that the court would permit some restrictions on abortion rights — more restrictions than it now does — and we would see some variability across the states. Some states would basically ban abortion, with exceptions for rape and incest, but most states would allow abortion, probably quite freely. We wouldn’t have the intense political tangles we now do, and things would be much more congenial between pro-choice and pro-life people.

This is quite possibly the most ignorant bunch of crap I’ve ever heard.

He thinks that curtailing abortion rights and outright bans of abortion in some states would have been a better road for women. Moreover, such a restrictive and narrow ruling in Roe v. Wade would have helped prevent friction between the pro-life and pro-choice movements. Indeed, the ERA would have been passed faster if womens’ rights had only been abridged and completely taken away in some states! Had we followed this brilliant path, why, a virtual paradise of equality would have arisen, where fundamentalists who believe abortion is murder and radical feminists who believe they should have absolute control of their own bodies would skip hand-in-hand down green swards littered with roses and rainbows!

The tortured, Orwellian thought process demonstrated by Sunstein in this interview is a sure hallmark of a member of Obama’s inner circle.  It reminds me of Pippin’s assertion in the movie The Two Towers: “The closer we are to Isengard, the further we are from danger.”

But what really gets my goat here is Sunstein’s enormous sexism and elitism. His “ideal” scenario would have caused millions of poor and middle-class women enormous pain and suffering, and he admits it might never have granted women the same level of protection as Roe v. Wade; but he would have preferred it to the real ruling. And for what reason? It might have upset the Moral Majority a little less. There would have been more “unity.” At least, so he believes, without understanding why the Moral Majority is against abortion, or even considering the women who would have to live in those anti-abortion states he so casually dismissed. As for his claims about the ERA, they are beyond ludicrous, since a restrictive ruling by the Supreme Court would have led to the opponents of the ERA (and abortion) being STRENGTHENED, not weakened. They could just point to the fact that “even the Supreme Court thinks” women do not deserve to have control over their own bodies.

This man, unfortunately, is the PERFECT Obama Supreme Court nominee. He pretends to be so thoughtful and uninterested in the politics of division; to be solidly in the center of all issues; to practice judicial “minimalism” – a meaningless term similar to “hope and change” – but puts a fantastical vision of “unity” between pro-life and pro-choice believers above the reality of the suffering that vision would cause to women all over America.

I do not trust his throwaway assertion that he will regard Roe v. Wade as settled law. Clearly, he has put a lot more thought into why Roe v. Wade is wrong than why Roe v. Wade is right. Would he vote to overturn the decision? Who knows? But how would he rule on related issues, like birth control? Let’s just say his commitment to pro-choice women on reproductive issues seems, um, rather weak.

I feel very sorry for the women and men who voted for this fraud, thinking he would protect womens’ rights. It’s not their fault; they had a very tough choice to make this year. And besides, they were dosed with Roe-Hopenol.


One response to “Roe-Hopenol

  1. garychapelhill

    we can only hope that Obama does not get to replace liberal stalwarts like Stevens or Ginsburg. He certainly would appoint someone more conservative than them. As for the deathwatch, the obaman are all too familiar with that strategy given their non-stop wailing about McCain dying and leaving that palin monster in charge. And please, Roe v. Wade was a horrible moment? I guess that’s easy for a man to say.