Sunday, July 03, 2005

Brief Thoughts on Justice O'Connor's Retirement

After 24 years on the Court, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is retiring. The most fun to come in the upcoming nomination battles will be watching various liberal and conservative groups work themselves into a tizzy over just who this nominee will be. The key issue, of course, is abortion.At times, it will probably seem like the only issue in this debate.

Professor Randy Barnett has a great post about how we should look to Constitutional methods, not results in judging potential nominees.

Not that such logical considerations will ring true for the vast majority of the anti-choice and pro-death crowds. The silly part is, perhaps the best thing that could happen for abortion supporters would be the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Abortion would immediately become a political issue rather than a legal one, an issue that those on both sides could feel as though they have a voice once again. In addition, the millions of dollars spent by groups like NOW on fighting for abortion rights, could be refocused on helping woman in states that may outlaw abortions obtain legal abortions in other states. Unlike in 1973, when the vast majority of states actually had outlawed abortion, the vast majority of states in the 21st century would not criminalize abortion.

Additionally, to the benefit of the of the pro-death crowd, abortion would no longer be the political rallying point it has become for conservative Republicans. It could actually help Democrats. And to the paranoids out there, Congress has no authority to ban abortion outright. That would require a Constitutional Amendment.

Loyal, lonely libertarian readers stay tuned, as the lonely libertarian has been a bit busy with his torn ACL. There still are a number of Supreme Court decisions to be weighed in on, however, along with thoughts on this anniversary of our independence.


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