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South Dakota's monkey wrench (William F. Buckley)
Townhall.com ^ | 3/7/06 | William F. Buckley

Posted on 03/08/2006 6:19:34 AM PST by blitzgig

There is furtive glee in the eyes of such as Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. The reason for it is that she calculates that the effrontery of South Dakota's legislature will bring on massive retaliation by the Supreme Court.

Chinese vigilantes rejoiced a few weeks ago when a group of dissenters published a call for diminished censorship. They were confident about what would happen, and it did: Beijing brought on reinvigorated party-line censorship. Ms. Keenan and some of her followers in NARAL Pro-Choice America figure that what South Dakota has done will compel the Supreme Court to act -- and perhaps in such a way as to smash the little signs of life in the pro-life moment which, in South Dakota, gave rise to regicidal inclinations.

The governor of South Dakota, Michael Rounds, signed a bill that would outlaw the practice of abortion except in certain extreme cases. In signing, he said things which, a generation ago, would have been thought too routine to notice, let alone pause over, but today are fighting words. "The true test of a civilization," he said, "is how well people treat the most vulnerable and most helpless in their society. The sponsors and supporters of this bill believe that abortion is wrong because unborn children are the most vulnerable and most helpless persons in our society. I agree with them."

Jumping Jupiter!

Here in three sentences the governor of South Dakota tramples on the neck of cherished modern icons. To begin with, he refers to a fetus as a "child." He refers to "unborn children" as "helpless." Again, they are "persons." And he invokes the heart of civilized society to give them succor.

Mike Rounds was a college student on the sacred holy day of the abortionists in 1973 when Roe v. Wade was pronounced by the Supreme Court. He was the oldest child in his family; 10 siblings would come along. The bill outlawing abortion restores to South Dakota a ban that until 1973 had been the law in almost every state of the union. Rounds was only 18 years old when the Supreme Court excogitated the proposition that the Constitution conferred on everybody the right to eliminate an unborn child.

In the years since then, various states and various jurisdictions have sought to refine the right to abort. The South Dakota law could be the springboard to the direct reversal of Roe. But it is thought by many abortion supporters that this totalist challenge, posed by South Dakota, will necessarily be met by a totalist re-endorsement of Roe by the Supreme Court.

Now everybody concedes that all this will take a few years. Nobody managing an abortion clinic in South Dakota is about to shut it down. There will be injunctions sought against the new law's enforcement. Both sides have promised to bring money, as required, to mobilize every legal thought, afterthought and presumptive thought, arguing in conflicting directions.

The choicers count five members of the Supreme Court who are publicly committed in favor of Roe v. Wade. They have this fear, that a sitting member of the court will retire in the period immediately ahead, when the incumbent president is still there to nominate a successor. That would mean five votes, counting Roberts and Alito as dormant dissenters from Roe v. Wade, who would, in the nightmare scenario, renounce the 1973 decision as forcefully as the court, in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, renounced the segregation authorized by Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896.

But assume that before the Supreme Court acts, injunctions against the new law fail. Assume, then, that there would be a period in which, in South Dakota, women could not get an abortion. What would they do? Well, of course, there is the alternative that they could bear the child whose life they had brought on. But if that alternative were excluded, what then?

Someone seeking relief could go north to North Dakota, or south to Nebraska. Or east to Minnesota, or west to Wyoming. We are talking about bus rides.

And of course so would it be if Roe were reversed. It is inconceivable that all the states of the union would imitate South Dakota. To demonstrate just how progressive is its vision, the state of Connecticut voted contingently some years ago, that if ever abortion were proscribed elsewhere, pilgrims would be welcome in Connecticut, where abortion rights would be faithfully observed.

We are very much driven, in modern days, by the democratic imperative. Well, the people of South Dakota have expressed themselves on a political question, resolving that unborn life is life notwithstanding. And they hold high what they deem, in their governor's words, their dedication to stand by "the most vulnerable and most helpless persons in our society."


TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: abortion; prolife; southdakota; williamfbuckley

1 posted on 03/08/2006 6:19:35 AM PST by blitzgig
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To: blitzgig

"Now everybody concedes that all this will take a few years."





If the Supreme Court liberals are smart, they will take this case on now, before Bush has another opportunity to change the Court.


2 posted on 03/08/2006 6:22:37 AM PST by Brilliant
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To: blitzgig
Amazing how succinctly Buckley makes SD's case.
3 posted on 03/08/2006 6:27:07 AM PST by harpu ( "...it's better to be hated for who you are than loved for someone you're not!")
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To: Brilliant

mobilize every legal thought, afterthought and presumptive thought


4 posted on 03/08/2006 6:28:00 AM PST by ClaireSolt (.)
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To: blitzgig
Every one believes in democracy... except liberals. They haven't winning too many elections lately.

(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")

5 posted on 03/08/2006 6:30:21 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: blitzgig
I have to re-read this. Buckley is always so erudite. There's alaso always a word I'd NEVER heard of before: excogitated. I get the meaning but I am going to have to look it up in my mother's 1914 Webster dictionary.
Ya gotta love the guy. There are WAY too few like him.

I also happen to agree with him 100% on this.

6 posted on 03/08/2006 6:31:13 AM PST by starfish923 (Socrates: It's never right to do wrong.)
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To: goldstategop

Do you think that the folks in the Bush administration believes in democracy in Hamastan? If so, they need their heads examined.


7 posted on 03/08/2006 6:33:24 AM PST by Austin Willard Wright
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To: blitzgig
regicidal

There's another one.

8 posted on 03/08/2006 6:33:56 AM PST by starfish923 (Socrates: It's never right to do wrong.)
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To: Brilliant

The Supreme Court can't just "take it on" until it works its way there through various other courts. The challenge for the pro-abortion people is that if they let this stand, all they've lost is South Dakota where I understand there is only one small killing center, but if they push it through the courts, they stand to lose a lot more. And the fact that they can't predict the composition of the Court by the time the case gets there makes it even more of a gamble.


9 posted on 03/08/2006 6:34:01 AM PST by Emmett McCarthy
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To: blitzgig

I can't figure this...even though it is the right thing to do and would increase the number of potential taxpayers...the pro-death crowd is upset, ya think they may be hooked up with Islam?


10 posted on 03/08/2006 6:34:57 AM PST by bro.Ray
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To: blitzgig

South Dakota only has 1 abortion clinic anyway. But this will be interesting to watch.


11 posted on 03/08/2006 6:36:37 AM PST by loreldan (Lincoln, Reagan, & G. W. Bush - the cure for Democrat lunacy.)
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To: blitzgig

Scalia made some interesting remarks recently on abortion before a think tank. The topic was the use and relevancy of foreign law in interpreting and applying the Constitution. He said that he would believe the sincerety of those who do when they start using foreign law on abortion cases. The US is in the distinct minority when it comes to allowing abortion on demand with no restrictions. Even the UK, Italy, and many other Western countries have restrictions. The US is among the 50+ countries that don't have any.


12 posted on 03/08/2006 6:36:51 AM PST by kabar
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To: starfish923
My favorite is The Winston Simplified Dictionary... circa 1927.
13 posted on 03/08/2006 6:40:50 AM PST by johnny7 (“Iuventus stultorum magister”)
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To: Emmett McCarthy

I think you're right, to an extent. I can't see the pro-aborts taking it past the state courts if they lose. But what if they win in the State Supreme Court? Is South Dakota willing to take this all the way, knowing the risks?


14 posted on 03/08/2006 6:42:58 AM PST by Ace of Spades (Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: Emmett McCarthy

If Bush gets another pick, he may nominate a flaming liberal as payback to his liberal friends.


15 posted on 03/08/2006 6:46:31 AM PST by Flavius Josephus (The only good muslim is a bad muslim)
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To: blitzgig

Ping for later.


16 posted on 03/08/2006 6:48:18 AM PST by bcsco ("He who is wedded to the spirit of the age is soon a widower" - Anonymous)
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To: starfish923
There's alaso always a word I'd NEVER heard of before: excogitated.

I missed that one. I've never seen this one either: regicidal

17 posted on 03/08/2006 6:55:52 AM PST by Tuscaloosa Goldfinch
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To: Emmett McCarthy

How long is that going to take, though? It should not take but a few days for a district court to throw it out, and clearly it will because as noted, abortion is not going to end in SD anytime soon, so that implies that the district court will very shortly make some kind of a ruling. That leaves the question of how long it will take the appellate court to deal with the case. I'd say less than a year.


18 posted on 03/08/2006 6:56:08 AM PST by Brilliant
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To: Flavius Josephus
"If Bush gets another pick, he may nominate a flaming liberal as payback to his liberal friends."

Unbelieveable...a statement to ignorant for words!

19 posted on 03/08/2006 7:04:10 AM PST by harpu ( "...it's better to be hated for who you are than loved for someone you're not!")
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To: All

Oops,speaking of ignorant..."Unbelieveable" - duhhhh, coulda/shoulda been "Unbelievable"


20 posted on 03/08/2006 7:06:10 AM PST by harpu ( "...it's better to be hated for who you are than loved for someone you're not!")
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.


21 posted on 03/08/2006 7:13:17 AM PST by firewalk
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To: harpu

I could have put it less bluntly, but he already tried to cram Miers down our throats, I have no confidence he will appoint another conservative. He doesn't make it easy for us, the great unwashed base.


22 posted on 03/08/2006 7:13:22 AM PST by Flavius Josephus (The only good muslim is a bad muslim)
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To: Ace of Spades
Governor Rounds is rather popular here in SD. The only announced Democrat challenger to him recently dropped out of the race citing an inability to raise money.

I believe it was only last year when Governor Rounds caught heat when he vetoed a similar bill because he was concerned about some of the language and defensibility. I think that he is confident in this one and that he expects it to survive legal challenge.

I've never before given money to a specifically Pro-Life organization but that may be changing. I've already recieved two different organizations solicitations (one pre-signing stressing the need to prepare for the "impending court costs", the other post-signing for "campaign support"). There is some speculation that the Pro-Aborts will try to make this a ballot initiative. I don't know how successful they would be with it but can safely assume that considerable out-of-state money will flow in to promote it.
23 posted on 03/08/2006 7:41:51 AM PST by philled
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To: blitzgig
The real issue is that the Founders intended that states would compete with each other in order to attract people who would move to the area.

Thus you could have a hippy-dippy San Freakcisco and a very conservative SD or VA, and people would move according to where they wanted to be.

The over-reaching, one-size-fits-all Federal "solutions" that we see imposed by the SCOTUS and Congress have largely taken away this competition.

24 posted on 03/08/2006 7:45:45 AM PST by ikka
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To: Brilliant

I know that the immediate outcome of this particular statute is unpredictable, but I still see that it's a start in the right direction. I think that those who support the protection of innocent life have not only the moral high ground, but also current science, on our side. The push to overturn Roe will not end if this law is struck down because as the Court is returned to the "original intent" of the Founders, other states' legislatures will likely introduce and pass similar laws.

Personally, I also have a respect and affection for those who are willing to do the right thing, even if the conventional wisdom is that they will not succeed.


25 posted on 03/08/2006 7:48:04 AM PST by Emmett McCarthy
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To: Flavius Josephus
"...but he already tried to cram Miers down our throats,"

Candidly, believing-in Bush & his handlers [Rove & Hughes], I think DC got major dose of "rope 'a dope"...Bush doesn't do much without 'purpose'!

26 posted on 03/08/2006 7:54:39 AM PST by harpu ( "...it's better to be hated for who you are than loved for someone you're not!")
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To: blitzgig
It is inconceivable that all the states of the union would imitate South Dakota.

True. California, New York, Massachusetts et al will never, ever, outlaw abortion.

Women in those states (or women who travel to them) will continue to be able to kill an unborn child for any reason, at any stage of pregnancy, as they do now legally.

Yet I heard a NARAL witch on the radio yesterday claim that "If South Dakota can outlaw abortion, then all the states will."

At least the Left is having to come up with new lies to replace the old.

27 posted on 03/08/2006 7:54:40 AM PST by shhrubbery! (Max Boot: Joe Wilson has sold more whoppers than Burger King)
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To: blitzgig

What's the deal with an injunction? Anyone know the likely scenario?


28 posted on 03/08/2006 7:56:16 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: starfish923
No need to wait. See excogitate online.
29 posted on 03/08/2006 8:03:33 AM PST by AustinBill (consequence is what makes our choices real)
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: blitzgig

The elites at National Review ought to get in touch with their mentor. Seems he's not in tune with their latest "wisdom" on the front page.

For my part I don't care how tthis plays out at the Supremes in the short term. What I care about is that legislatures are forcing pressure on the Courts, and attempting to take back their Constitutional roles. As is proper.

Eventually R v W is going to fall, the only question is how many more times the Supremes will stand as a roadblock before accepting that reality...and will the legislatures and Governor eventually just tell the Court to try to enforce R v W....with their non-existant standing army.


31 posted on 03/08/2006 8:18:18 AM PST by Soul Seeker (Rush on the MSM: drive-by shooters)
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To: bobbdobbs
Since the state law clearly violates the current Supreme Court position on the matter, this law will never be enforced. It will be struck down in the appeals court and it will not be accepted in the Supreme Court, which will let the appeals court decision stand, since it covers no new ground that hasn't already been decided.

Well, I hope not, anyway. Of course, the governor and legislature have the moral duty, if not the duty under the state constitution, to enforce the law. May the appeals process drag on so that lives may be saved.

32 posted on 03/08/2006 8:45:09 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Soul Seeker
For my part I don't care how tthis plays out at the Supremes in the short term. What I care about is that legislatures are forcing pressure on the Courts, and attempting to take back their Constitutional roles. As is proper.

Yes. Let's take a page from the tactics of the Left, such as the pushing of homosexual "marriage" at the state level. Incrementalism in the effort to protect innnocent life is no vice.

33 posted on 03/08/2006 8:48:30 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Aquinasfan

Except that in the instance of homosexual marriage, they have forced the issue wrongly through dictate of the courts. Legislatures have every right to take this role.


34 posted on 03/08/2006 8:57:35 AM PST by Soul Seeker (Rush on the MSM: drive-by shooters)
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To: shhrubbery!

I wonder how the future will look if there are states where it's quickly illegal, and states where it never will be.

If it's "reproductive freedom" is it really acceptable that a woman has rights in one state and not in another?

If it's "murder", is it really acceptable that one can step over a state line and commit it with impunity?


35 posted on 03/08/2006 9:00:41 AM PST by linda_22003
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To: Soul Seeker
>>>>>For my part I don't care how tthis plays out at the Supremes in the short term. What I care about is that legislatures are forcing pressure on the Courts, and attempting to take back their Constitutional roles. As is proper.

You are exactly right. Under the proper understanding of the Constitution, states have the right to proscribe abortion, and South Dakota is to be applauded for exercising this right without waiting for approval from the Supreme Court or the Beltway types who favor an incremental strategy that has achieved virtually nothing in 30 years. God Bless South Dakota!

36 posted on 03/08/2006 11:52:48 AM PST by Thorin ("I won't be reconstructed, and I do not give a damn.")
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To: Tuscaloosa Goldfinch
I missed that one. I've never seen this one either: regicidal

I noted that too in post #8.

37 posted on 03/10/2006 7:46:57 AM PST by starfish923 (Socrates: It's never right to do wrong.)
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To: Austin Willard Wright
Do you think that the folks in the Bush administration believes in democracy in Hamastan? If so, they need their heads examined.

There are only two types of people who think the Hamas election idicates a failure of Bush's policy of promoting democracy in the Middle East:

1. People who have a prejudice against the president anyway.

2. People who are dumb enough to think of Fatah as anything more legitimate than Hamas Lite.

Also, none of the proposed tactics to deal with the election results reject the decision; they merely bring the deserved consequences to the mopes who elected Hamas.

38 posted on 03/13/2006 8:12:24 AM PST by Mr. Silverback (GOP Blend Coffee--"Coffee for Conservative Taste!" Go to www.gopetc.com)
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To: Flavius Josephus
If Bush gets another pick, he may nominate a flaming liberal as payback to his liberal friends.

Actually, I'm betting on Priscilla Owens or Janice Rogers Brown.

39 posted on 03/13/2006 9:38:43 AM PST by Mr. Silverback (GOP Blend Coffee--"Coffee for Conservative Taste!" Go to www.gopetc.com)
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To: starfish923

Yes, regicide... killing the king.... the great Warren Zevon even worked it into a song about Elvis Presley (The King):

"Left behind by the latest trends,
Eating fried chicken with his regicidal friends;
That's how the story ends...."


40 posted on 03/13/2006 9:43:21 AM PST by linda_22003
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To: Flavius Josephus
I could have put it less bluntly, but he already tried to cram Miers down our throats, I have no confidence he will appoint another conservative. He doesn't make it easy for us, the great unwashed base.

Liberal and conservative is a different thing from activist and constructionist. Just because he's not as conservative as we'd like doesn't mean he will appoint an activist judge.

41 posted on 03/13/2006 9:48:37 AM PST by Mr. Silverback (GOP Blend Coffee--"Coffee for Conservative Taste!" Go to www.gopetc.com)
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To: linda_22003

I thought Elvis might have been the king of boring, silly, puerile music, but nothing much else.


42 posted on 03/13/2006 5:09:36 PM PST by starfish923 (Socrates: It's never right to do wrong.)
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To: linda_22003
If it's "murder", is it really acceptable that one can step over a state line and commit it with impunity?

There are killings that are, today, considered legal self defense in some states but murder in other states. Besides, the South Dakota statute does not make abortion "murder"-- it punishes the doctor, but explicitly states that the woman cannot be prosecuted.

43 posted on 03/13/2006 5:20:19 PM PST by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: linda_22003
If it's "reproductive freedom" is it really acceptable that a woman has rights in one state and not in another? If it's "murder", is it really acceptable that one can step over a state line and commit it with impunity?

Excellent question. It's unlikely the Court would overturn Roe by deciding abortion is murder. More likely, they wouyld turn the issue back to where it was in '72--a state by state decision. I know you know that, but my point is, the reason it would be a right in one state and a crime in another would be because the states would decide what it is, not the SCOTUS.

44 posted on 03/13/2006 7:40:13 PM PST by Mr. Silverback (GOP Blend Coffee--"Coffee for Conservative Taste!" Go to www.gopetc.com)
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