Bush Court Spectacularly Delivers, Upholds Abortion Ban [Updated]
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This is a day for rejoicing. Thanks to Republicans. This is a day Gamecock anticipated when he had his conservative epiphany and switched from the Democratic Party to the GOP. This is a day that can lead to regaining the majorities in Congress and retaining the White House in 2009.
More importantly, this is a day that will save hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives that otherwise would have been killed.
The law banning partial birth abortions that President Clinton had vetoed, but which President George W. Bush signed into law after its passage by a then majority GOP House and Senate, has been upheld thanks to Bush's own new appointees.
The law might have saved as many as 100,000 lives last year.
Every justice that voted to uphold the law was appointed by a Republican president.
From the Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
Supreme Court Upholds Ban
On Abortion Procedure
April 18, 2007 10:23 a.m.
The Supreme Court upheld the nationwide ban on a disputed abortion procedure Wednesday, handing abortion opponents the long-awaited victory they expected from a more conservative bench.
The 5-4 ruling said the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act that Congress passed and President Bush signed into law in 2003 does not violate a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.
The opponents of the act "have not demonstrated that the Act would be unconstitutional in a large fraction of relevant cases,'' Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion.
The decision pitted the court's conservatives against its liberals, with President Bush's two appointees, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, siding with the majority.
Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia also were in the majority.
It was the first time the court banned a specific procedure in a case over how -- not whether -- to perform an abortion.
Abortion rights groups have said the procedure sometimes is the safest for a woman. They also said that such a ruling could threaten most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy, although government lawyers and others who favor the ban said there are alternate, more widely used procedures that remain legal.
The outcome is likely to spur efforts at the state level to place more restrictions on abortions.
More than 1 million abortions are performed in the U.S. each year, according to recent statistics. Nearly 90% of those occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and are not affected by Tuesday's ruling.
Six federal courts have said the law that was in focus Wednesday is an impermissible restriction on a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.
The law bans a method of ending a pregnancy, rather than limiting when an abortion can be performed.
"Today's decision is alarming," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in dissent. She said the ruling "refuses to take...seriously" previous Supreme Court decisions on abortion.
Justice Ginsburg said the latest decision "tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists."
She was joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, David Souter and John Paul Stevens.
The court rejected the "health" of the mother exception that President Clinton had relied upon to justify his veto.
The court's rejection of that
disingenuous, so-called "mental health, if I have the baby as I won't be able to afford the Ferrari payments and so will be depressed, Mack truck wide exception loophole" also gives us hope that we can further chip away at Roe even with Justice Kennedy on the court.
Issues remain on this health exception, but it didn't persuade Justice Kennedy in this case. This case also bears the marks of Cheif Justice John Roberts' penchant for narrow rulings that can attract a concensus. That usually means getting more than five votes, but in this case we are talking about getting Justice Anthony "betrayed you in Vasey vs. Planned Parenthood" Kennedy to come along.
More later this week after further analysis in The HinzSight Report (see link below) and in this blog later today from GC.
In the meantime, critics that claim Bush hasn't delivered to social conservatives and evangelicals (which claim has never been true in any event) have now been shown to be spectacularly wrong. Bush is, and always has been a member of the Base.
A very high percentage of the problems social conservatives and evangelicals moved to the GOP to solve have been caused by runaway courts. This court can also be counted on to right the wrongs against religious free speech.
Bush is the expert on judges. He is delivering through his appointees. The economy is booming, and his economy has been better than the first 6-8 years of the 1990's which were also spectacular.
Candidates in the Race 4 2008, take note.