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Law Prof Compares 'Person' in Roe v. Wade With Older Ruling That a Negro Isn't a 'Person'
Mass News ^ | February 13, 2003 | By Ed Oliver

Posted on 04/15/2003 12:29:48 AM PDT by miltonim

Tells Harvard Students that Supreme Court Rulings Make Partial Birth Abortion Ban Pointless Speaking to Harvard students recently on the topic of "Thirty Years of Roe vs. Wade," Professor of Constitutional Law Dwight Duncan said that a key question at the oral argument of the case was whether the fetus is a person. If it is, its Constitutional rights would be protected.

However, the court said a fetus was not a person within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment, which says a person shall not be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

There was no evidence, said the court, that the framers had unborn children in mind as Constitutional persons.

Prof. Duncan said the court opined that the only "persons" they could consider were women who were interested in getting abortions. It was their liberty that was at issue.

The Supreme Court used this reasoning at least once before, said Duncan, and that was in the 1857 Dred Scott decision that challenged the federal law prohibiting slavery in the territories.

In that case, the Court held that Dred Scott, a slave who sued for his freedom after entering free territory, was not a "person" in the meaning of the Fifth Amendment. Since he was not a person, he could not be heard.

The only party that could be heard was Mr. Sanford, his slave owner. Sanford's rights of private property in Mr. Scott were ruled to be protected by the Constitution. Both Congress and state governments were powerless to prohibit or limit slavery.

"It makes cases easy to resolve if you can decide that one side in a case is not a person," said Duncan.

Should Have Considered if Abortion Is Included in 'Liberty'

It would have been interesting if the Supreme Court in Roe vs. Wade had considered if abortion was included within the meaning of "liberty" within the Fourteenth Amendment, said Duncan.

That's because when the Fourteenth Amendment was enacted in 1868, almost all the states had laws prohibiting abortion.

"The contemporary understanding was, obviously, that liberty did not include the right to kill your unborn child," said Duncan. The Supreme Court would have ruled the opposite way in Roe vs. Wade if they had approached the Fourteenth Amendment from that perspective," he said.

Arbitrary And Deceptive

There are a lot of other arbitrary and deceptive things about Roe vs. Wade, said Duncan. For example, the Court said that philosophers and theologians and scientists and doctors couldn't agree when life begins, so far be it for the Court to speculate as to an answer. After staking out an agnostic position, the Court then proceeded to lay out their ruling as though there was an understanding that a child becomes a person, under Constitutional law, only after birth.

Revisionist History

In Roe vs. Wade, Justice Blackmun wrote at length about the history of abortion regulation in his majority opinion and said that the common law did not punish abortion centuries ago.

Prof. Duncan said that is misleading because back then abortion was considered a morals offense like sodomy and was handled in canon law and by church courts. Wills were even handled under church jurisdiction.

Health Exception Loophole

Prof. Duncan explained that Roe vs. Wade divided pregnancy into three trimesters:

In the first trimester, no regulation of abortion was allowed. It was basically a free, abortion pass.

In the second trimester, regulation was only allowed in the interest of a woman's health, such as state requirements that only licensed clinics or physicians could perform abortions.

In the third trimester, a time when a fetus is viable, the court said the state could regulate or prohibit abortion in the interest of protecting the potential life of the fetus. However, there was a qualification, which said, "provided a woman's life or health is not adversely affected."

This exception didn't seem to be unreasonable, said Duncan. The big problem is the 'health' exception and how that is understood.

The companion case of Doe vs. Bolton contained a life and health exception, but the health exception was limited to physical health. In Roe vs. Wade, however, the court said that was inadequate. They said the health exception had to encompass physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the woman's age.

"Once you understand health so broadly, " said Duncan, "that basically means any woman who wants an abortion gets an abortion. She can always claim she'll be emotionally troubled if she doesn't get what she wants, and she finds a doctor to go along with it."

The health exception is understood so broadly, said Duncan, that the claim that states can prohibit abortion in the third trimester is farcical. "It's false, it's deceptive advertising on the part of the Supreme Court," he said.

One demonstration that the health exception was deceptive advertising, said Duncan, was when Chief Justice Burger signed on to the majority opinion. He wrote a concurrence saying that it was his understanding that the Court was not endorsing abortion on demand. Before he resigned, however, Burger found himself in dissent on abortion cases because he found that, in fact, Roe vs. Wade did mean abortion on demand.

Challenged in 1992

In 1992 there was a major challenge to Roe vs. Wade in a case called Planned Parenthood vs. Casey. The Court, in a 6 to 3 vote, reaffirmed what it called the "essential holding of Roe," which was that states could regulate abortion, as long as the regulation did not unduly burden a woman's choice to get an abortion.

Duncan said that case got rid of the rigid trimester scheme of Roe vs. Wade, but basically articulated the same rule as Roe as far as the third trimester is concerned. That is, states could regulate or prohibit abortion except when a woman's life or health are in danger.

The court upheld in Casey an informed consent, 24-hour waiting requirement and parental consent provisions, as long as there is a judicial bypass, as well as certain reporting provisions.

The Court in Casey held as unconstitutional, however, a provision that required spousal notification. "This was a notification provision, not a consent provision," said Duncan, "It is not as if she had to get the husband's okay."

Partial Birth Abortion

Nebraska was one of about thirty states that prohibited a particular type of late term abortion procedure called D & X, or partial birth abortion. In a challenge to Nebraska's law, the Supreme Court declared this ban on partial birth abortion to be unconstitutional on two grounds:

One was it didn't contain an exception for the woman's health in spite of the fact that briefs by the AMA, etc. said there is never a medical reason for a partial birth abortion.

The second reason was since the ban on the partial birth procedure arguably could be interpreted to also ban the Constitutionally protected D&E procedure (dismemberment), the ban constituted an undue burden on a woman getting a D&E abortion.

One of the issues brought up in the Nebraska case over partial birth abortion a few years ago was the personhood of the fetus. The Court basically said they did not want to reopen that issue, said Duncan.

There was an attempt to ban partial birth abortion in Massachusetts, which got nowhere politically, said Duncan.

No Point In Banning Partial Birth Abortion

Even though there is hopeful talk of getting the president's signature on a partial birth abortion ban, Prof. Duncan said he does not see a point in such legislation. "It would have to have a health exception so broad that it would, in effect, eviscerate the law. Furthermore it would be a kind of farce. It would allow politicians to say how opposed they are to partial birth abortion, while at the same time having in place a law that really does not ban anything."

Duncan reiterated, "There is this incredibly broad third trimester health exception that you can drive a truck through, which means anyone who wants an abortion up until the moment of live birth, gets one. That's what that health exception means in practice, and the partial birth abortion case shows quite clearly that is the case."

With the Born Alive Protection Act, said Duncan, at least when the child's head emerges or if it survives a botched abortion, it has a federally protected right to life.

State Funding

The U.S. Supreme Court was faced with a couple cases over the years that claimed a Constitutional right to funding by the state for abortions for indigent women. The Court in general rejected those claims, said Duncan.

Here in Massachusetts, the SJC ruled just the opposite, he says. That is, in Massachusetts indigent women can get an abortion at taxpayer's expense as a matter of a state Constitutional right.

Woman's Right To Know?

We do have an informed consent, 24-hour waiting period provision in the law here in Massachusetts, said Duncan, but the federal court in the late 1980's declared it unconstitutional before the Casey case came up. After Casey came out, the Massachusetts consent law is clearly okay under the U.S. Constitution, but the Attorney General refuses to enforce it and refuses to go to federal court to get them to vacate the judgment even though it is clearly an obsolete judgment.

As a result, Mass. Citizens for Life has proposed a 'Woman's Right to Know' Bill, which aims to reenact an informed consent provision in state law.

Weak Parental Consent Law

On parental consent, our Massachusetts statute as written requires two-parent consent. But one of the early things the Court required in consent laws is a thing called judicial bypass. That means there is always a way for a minor girl to go into court on an anonymous basis to petition for an abortion said Duncan.

Here in Massachusetts, such petitions are called Mary Moe Petitions, where a girl basically gets a lawyer from Planned Parenthood to accompany her into court to get judicial permission for an abortion.

Judicial permission is granted either because the girl is judged to be a mature minor capable of making medical decisions for herself, or, because it is in her 'best interests.'

Prof. Duncan said it is quite clear that in Massachusetts, Mary Moe petitions are rubber stamped by judges. Only a handful have been denied and all those were reversed on appeal within hours, he said.

Planned Parenthood challenged the two-parent consent law, as weak as it is, to get it declared unconstitutional. The SJC basically rewrote the consent law by reducing the number of required consenting parents to one or else with court approval of the abortion.

Prof. Duncan mentioned that Planned Parenthood is running a "Roe at Thirty" poster contest. One of the requirements listed on their website. is that children under 18 must have a parent or guardian's permission to submit their designs, and for it to get published along with their name.

"She needs parental permission to submit a poster, but she doesn't need permission to get an abortion," marveled Prof. Duncan. The Weekly Standard parodied the situation, he said, by writing, "Get your laws off my crayons."

Buffer Zones

Prof. Duncan said there are a plethora of laws and injunctions that regulate demonstrating or protesting in front of abortion clinics, including a buffer zone law that he is involved in challenges in the U. S District Court in Boston.

The buffer zone here was modeled after the one that the Supreme court upheld a couple years ago out of Colorado, said Duncan. Basically what the buffer zone provides is that within an 18-foot radius of entrances and exits to abortion facilities, you cannot approach within six feet of a person for purposes of leafleting, protest, education or counseling.

"Basically you have to keep your distance and can't approach someone for communicative purposes," said Duncan.

"We challenge this under the First Amendment, and the reason that we think we have a fair chance of prevailing is that even though our law was modeled on the Colorado law, which the Supreme Court upheld under the First Amendment, nevertheless, our law has a couple exemptions."

One exemption is for abortion clinic agents and employees. Employees can approach the potential client for their own brand of counseling or to swoop down and escort the person without their permission and rip any pro-life literature out of their hands.

Another exemption is for people entering and exiting the abortion clinic, which covers boyfriends, etc. This means boyfriends can approach and intimidate the little old ladies who pray outside clinics and they can get in the face of other pro-lifers, etc.

The law is not viewpoint and content neutral the way First Amendment says regulations of a public forum on the streets and sidewalks has to be, said Duncan.

It's Why Appointing Judges Has Become a War

Prof. Duncan does not foresee Roe being overturned for at least a decade at the earliest. In 1992 the Supreme Court thoroughly examined the question of whether or not they should overturn it, said Duncan, and stupidly committed its institutional integrity to sticking by Roe vs. Wade, more or less saying, "If we were to back down now, we'd lose all credibility even if it was incorrectly decided."

This is why the whole issue of judicial confirmation becomes so important, said Duncan. Everybody realizes it all depends on one or two votes at the Supreme court. That immediately makes every nomination like World War III.

Three justices are sensible on the abortion issue, said Duncan. They are Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas. All the rest are lousy, he said. Kennedy voted on the right side on partial birth abortion as a bit of a surprise, but Kennedy, O'Connor and Souter, who are sort of the middle, signed on to Casey, upholding Roe vs. Wade. They are not open at all to any reconsideration of Roe vs. Wade, he said.

The real solid pro-aborts are Stevens, Ginsburg and Bryer, said Duncan. . Some avenues that may be effective as far as chipping away at abortion is the push for informed consent laws, with the whole tie-in to breast cancer and other complications.

Pursuing malpractice suits against abortionists can be another effective avenue. Other than the legal approach, the soft-sell pro-life ads such as the Caring Foundation puts out are very effective, said Duncan.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: abortion; constitution; personhood; prolife; roevswade; supremecourt

Professor of Constitutional Law Dwight Duncan
1 posted on 04/15/2003 12:29:48 AM PDT by miltonim
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2 posted on 04/15/2003 12:32:44 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: miltonim
Law and truth finding vs. lawlessness and shrugging.
3 posted on 04/15/2003 1:22:40 AM PDT by JudgemAll
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To: Desdemona; Canticle_of_Deborah; NYer; Mr. Silverback; cpforlife.org; Saundra Duffy; ...
ping
4 posted on 04/15/2003 1:30:56 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: miltonim
If I recall correctly, in PP vs. Casey, Kennedy, O'Connor and Souter did not explicitly affirm Roe vs. Wade, rather they upheld it using the pinciple of stare decisis. In other words, they didn't find the law behind Roe vs. Wade sound, but they were unwilling to correct it, because abortion had already been legal for almost 20 years. They basically dodged the issue by relying on the precendent - even if they considered it bad law.
5 posted on 04/15/2003 1:40:01 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: miltonim
bump
6 posted on 04/15/2003 4:08:44 AM PDT by foreverfree
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To: miltonim
Hereis a question. If a fetus is not a person, how can a lawsuit be file is a child is born with a injury that occured before birth?
7 posted on 04/15/2003 5:45:33 AM PDT by FlatLandBeer
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To: miltonim
Wouldn't the laws of common sense apply here either? I mean, can the proponents of abortions on demand find anyone mentally competent and over the age of, say, three years, that will honestly testify that they do not believe that a pregnant woman will in fact eventually give birth to a small human being vs. a dog or a fist etc., barring accident, miscarriage or abortion?

Professsor Duncan has restored my faith in the legal profession, or at least a small part of it.

Mass. is one seriously screwed up state. I don't know if it is still done, but an underage girl could get pregnant here, and the state would give her an apartment, food stamps and all sorts of state aid. What better way to get back at your parents and get a free ride in the process. Of course, they were not required to name the father or anything so "non-progressive" like that. Wouldn't want to taint the system with a concept like responsibility for one's actions or anything.

8 posted on 04/15/2003 6:11:42 AM PDT by SpinyNorman
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To: miltonim
Thanks for posting this. Excellent article.
9 posted on 04/15/2003 9:32:03 AM PDT by William Wallace (I don't brake for Hollywood leftists.)
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To: Luis Gonzalez; MHGinTN; xsmommy; RMDupree; Prodigal Daughter; Ragtime Cowgirl; DeSoto; Jhoffa_; ...
Excellent analysis and overview of the legal travesty and lies surrounding Roe v. Wade and subsequent SCOTUS abortion decisions.

Prof. Duncan said the court opined that the only "persons" they could consider were women who were interested in getting abortions. It was their liberty that was at issue.

The Supreme Court used this reasoning at least once before, said Duncan, and that was in the 1857 Dred Scott decision that challenged the federal law prohibiting slavery in the territories.

In that case, the Court held that Dred Scott, a slave who sued for his freedom after entering free territory, was not a "person" in the meaning of the Fifth Amendment. Since he was not a person, he could not be heard.

The only party that could be heard was Mr. Sanford, his slave owner. Sanford's rights of private property in Mr. Scott were ruled to be protected by the Constitution. Both Congress and state governments were powerless to prohibit or limit slavery.

"It makes cases easy to resolve if you can decide that one side in a case is not a person," said Duncan.

Indeed.

10 posted on 04/15/2003 9:41:27 AM PDT by William Wallace (Stop clubbing baby seals: wear Hollywood leftist pelts -- not fur!)
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To: William Wallace
thanks for the ping WW!
11 posted on 04/15/2003 9:45:31 AM PDT by xsmommy
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To: hobbes1
ping for you.
12 posted on 04/15/2003 9:45:51 AM PDT by xsmommy
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To: xsmommy
Our side does not equate Roe with Dred Scott often enough.


It is a point I make whenever I hear the "Settled Law of the Land" argument.
13 posted on 04/15/2003 9:54:02 AM PDT by hobbes1 ( Hobbes1TheOmniscient® "I know everything so you don't have to" ;)
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To: William Wallace
Thank you for the ping. I've sent it to 'bookmark'. Judicial fiat is the last stronghold of democrat party liberalism, that's why they apply their litmus test to every appointment ot the bench. It is interesting to note that the cha,pions of legalized serial killing refer to the right to kill the babies waiting to be born as a 'constitutional right'. Cannibalism as enlightened medical advancement is their next great frontier ... and the American public is totally in the dark.

If the unborn are not individual human beings, how can preemies be born and survive as individual human beings? The entire specious argument of trimesters is instantly exposed as foolish when one preemie makes it in its struggle to survive, struggles to continue its individual lifetime begun at conception.

14 posted on 04/15/2003 10:04:49 AM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote Life Support for others.)
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To: hobbes1
"Our side does not equate Roe with Dred Scott often enough."

Quite true. The Dred Scott decision, and its obvious wrong-headedness, is the comparison that even a liberal atheist (Nat Hentoff) uses for Roe v Wade.

15 posted on 04/15/2003 10:18:09 AM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE.)
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To: okie01
True. However....Nat Hentoff is probably the only HONEST working liberal journalist.
16 posted on 04/15/2003 10:19:48 AM PDT by hobbes1 ( Hobbes1TheOmniscient® "I know everything so you don't have to" ;)
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To: William Wallace
Thanks for the ping.

It is my fervent prayer that this nation will not ultimately have to resolve Roe vs. Wade in the same manner that the Dred Scott decision was settled. In my laymans understanding that Court decision was overturned by Civil War and then the passage of the 14th Amendment.

Is that accurate?

TS

17 posted on 04/15/2003 10:30:56 AM PDT by The Shrew
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To: The Shrew
"In my laymans understanding that Court decision was overturned by Civil War and then the passage of the 14th Amendment."

That's my understanding of how the Dredd Scott decision was rendered moot.

My question is how has the Supreme Court handled the Dredd Scott decision? Have they ever rescinded, vacated or overturned Dredd Scott themselves?

If not, I contend that we don't really have a valid supreme court today.

18 posted on 04/15/2003 10:40:44 AM PDT by nightdriver
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To: nickcarraway
stare decicis - latin for "let the decision stand"

You need to clarify that for people to understnad.
19 posted on 04/15/2003 10:42:06 AM PDT by mabelkitty
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To: William Wallace
Thanks for the ping!

One of the best responses I've read to the "not yet human" argument was presented by Joseph Farah in an argument explaining that the founding fathers must have meant all humans born and unborn when they wrote in the Preamble "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." Who else was there posterity if not those not yet born? Obviously not just themselves and their children or was each generation to renew the document?

Sounds like protection for the unborn to me and also a declaration of personhood.

20 posted on 04/15/2003 10:51:48 AM PDT by Dad was my hero
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To: hobbes1
Definitely. Especially since SCOTUS never actively overturned Dred Scott- they just let the 14th ammendment do the work for them.
21 posted on 04/15/2003 11:04:50 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nightdriver
You raise an interesting insight into the SCOTUS. It is my understanding that the high court never did rescend the Dred Scott decision, but the 14th Am. stands in its stead. Would that such an outcome could be accomplished to protect the individual human life of the babies waiting to be born ... overturning the Roe decision I mean. sadly, though a deeply flawed ruling, the court appears unable to admit and overturn a previous ruling which has resulted in so much carnage.
22 posted on 04/15/2003 12:12:18 PM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote Life Support for others.)
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To: nickcarraway
In other words, they didn't find the law behind Roe vs. Wade sound, but they were unwilling to correct it, because abortion had already been legal for almost 20 years. They basically dodged the issue by relying on the precendent - even if they considered it bad law.

But in 1954 they were willing to reverse themselves on segregation, even thought that had precedents going back 60 years.

23 posted on 04/15/2003 12:15:29 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: hobbes1
Roe is worse than Dred Scott. Dred Scott deprived its victims of liberty. Roe deprives its victims of life itself.
24 posted on 04/15/2003 12:16:43 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: xsmommy
You're welcome xsm!
25 posted on 04/15/2003 12:19:25 PM PDT by William Wallace (Paleo-conservatism: Same Old Brand of Reactionary Anti-Semitic Negativity (SOBRAN))
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To: miltonim
There was no evidence, said the court, that the framers had unborn children in mind as Constitutional persons.

Oh, is that right?! You do an abortion back in the days of the Founding Fathers and they'ed string your a$$ up. Is that proof enough. What a bunch of subjective lefties.

26 posted on 04/15/2003 12:19:35 PM PDT by ThomasMore
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To: aristeides; RJayneJ
I nominate your words for Quote of the Day.
27 posted on 04/15/2003 12:23:03 PM PDT by Fred Mertz
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To: MHGinTN
Thanks for the reminder. Bookmarked as well.

If the unborn are not individual human beings, how can preemies be born and survive as individual human beings? The entire specious argument of trimesters is instantly exposed as foolish when one preemie makes it in its struggle to survive, struggles to continue its individual lifetime begun at conception.

Precisely. Whenever someone argues that the unborn baby is only a potential life, I ask them if what parents hear during an ultrasound is only a potential heartbeat.

28 posted on 04/15/2003 12:26:45 PM PDT by William Wallace (Where were the people who complain about looting in Iraq when the Clintons looted the White House?)
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To: The Shrew
It is my fervent prayer that this nation will not ultimately have to resolve Roe vs. Wade in the same manner that the Dred Scott decision was settled. In my laymans understanding that Court decision was overturned by Civil War and then the passage of the 14th Amendment.

You are absolutely correct. That is a great point which should give everyone pause.

Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."
— Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address

29 posted on 04/15/2003 12:32:40 PM PDT by William Wallace (Michael Moore: fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son!)
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To: The Shrew
Sorry, my bad. It was the 13th Amendment that officially ended the peculiar institution in the United States. The 14th, and 15th amendments were also adopted shortly after the Civil War and dealt with related issues: privileged and immunities, due process, equal protection and voting rights.
30 posted on 04/15/2003 12:42:30 PM PDT by William Wallace (Everyone has a purpose: Michael Moore and Ed Asner could feed a starving village.)
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To: William Wallace
The 13th Amendment ended slavery all right, but Dred Scott had held that black people could not be citizens of the United States, with the right to sue in federal court. It was the 14th Amendment that overruled this holding.
31 posted on 04/15/2003 1:09:00 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: Dad was my hero
I forgot that one. Good catch.

Leftist Constitutional scholars will respond that the preamble does not create substantive rights, even as they rely on the same phrase to justify a welfare state.

Ironies abound, not the least of which is that the so-called Constitutional right to an abortion is derived from a right to privacy, which is also nowhere to be found in the actual text. The Roe court arbitrarily decided that various rights in the Bill of Rights created a twilight zone or penumbra in which this privacy right was suddenly found. The Court then arbitrarily extended this newly-discovered right to include abortion. Thirty years later, this arbitrary extension of a make-believe right has been expanded to include the right to induce labor and rip the baby apart limb by limb, but not quite so far as to permit sticking a tube in the baby's skull and vacuuming out its brain.

As Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up.

32 posted on 04/15/2003 1:12:15 PM PDT by William Wallace (Abortion is to the culture of death what baptism is to the people of God.)
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To: Fred Mertz
Thanks for the nomination! };^D )
33 posted on 04/15/2003 1:38:33 PM PDT by RJayneJ
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To: hobbes1
Nat Hentoff is probably the only HONEST working liberal journalist.

With the death of Michael Kelly, probably so...

34 posted on 04/15/2003 3:03:09 PM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE.)
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To: MHGinTN
"Would that such an outcome could be accomplished to protect the individual human life of the babies waiting to be born ... overturning the Roe decision I mean. sadly, though a deeply flawed ruling, the court appears unable to admit and overturn a previous ruling which has resulted in so much carnage."

Right. So using the same principle of stare decisis, SCOTUS could say, at some time in the future that blacks are not people and therefore perfectly legitimate to be used as slaves.

One litmus test of future SCOTUS nominees should be that they understand perfectly what a person is. Shouldn't be too difficult. Most people know the answer to that by the time they are 8 years old.

35 posted on 04/15/2003 3:09:55 PM PDT by nightdriver
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To: FlatLandBeer
Hereis a question. If a fetus is not a person, how can a lawsuit be file is a child is born with a injury that occured before birth?

An additional follow up question .... if a fetus is not a person then why is there the crime of fetal homicide on the books ?

Personally I am dead set against abortion.

36 posted on 04/15/2003 3:13:28 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (We are crushing our enemies, seeing him driven before us and hearing the lamentations of the liberal)
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To: aristeides
Good point.
37 posted on 04/15/2003 3:38:16 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: aristeides
That is a really good comparison. Justices like O'Connor basically let stand what they consider a bad legal argument because (in their words) people have based their lives around the access to abortion for twenty plus years. Well, people in many states had lived according to segregation, so there is a similar condition.
38 posted on 04/15/2003 3:42:22 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway
What the Professor doesn't touch on is the advances in science and technology since Roe. When Moms see 3d ultrasounds, it's impossible to convince them it's a blob and not a person.

The times are a changing.

39 posted on 04/15/2003 3:49:43 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: jwalsh07
True- the advances make the baby's humanity clear. But I think the science that reveals it's humanity was there by the 1830s.
40 posted on 04/15/2003 3:55:10 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: William Wallace
Indeed, there are very strong parallels between the way Blacks were once viewed as non-entities and the way choicers view unborn children.

It's a disgrace if you ask me and it's compounded by some on the right who wish to forfeit this issue and "move to the center"

Where, I suppose we all share this same, inhuman view of the unborn so we can focus on what's really important..

Like tax cuts for those who weren't aborted.

41 posted on 04/15/2003 4:21:21 PM PDT by Jhoffa_ (It's called "adoption" Perhaps you've heard of it?)
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To: Jhoffa_; MHGinTN
It's a disgrace if you ask me and it's compounded by some on the right who wish to forfeit this issue and "move to the center"

Great point JH.

What is it with these people? Are they genetically pusillanimous or is there NOTHING for them that matters besides winning? I suspect it's a little of both. If you won't fight for what you believe in for fear of losing, then you've already lost. Unless all you believe in is winning.

At the other extreme are those who prefer total defeat to anything less than total victory. I don't understand this attitude either. It strikes me as equally pusillanimous and ineffectual as the forfeit plan.

Incrementalism is not compromise. If we convince one expectant mother that abortion is wrong, if we save just one child out of millions, saving one life is infinitely better than saving zero lives.

If we can get a ban on partial birth abortion today, it seems to me we ought to take it. Does this mean we have compromised our beliefs or settled for a Pyrric victory? By no means. The struggle continues.

If next year we get Roe overturned, the struggle must continue. Because overturning Roe will not end abortion, it will simply restore the status quo ante with the legality decided by the states. If ten or twenty years from now, all 50 states make abortion illegal, the work continues.

The work must continue because the work never really ends. The work never ends because the real battle is not in the courts or the legislatures, but in the human heart. Change a law and some will find a way to circumvent it. Change a person's heart and a change in law is no longer needed.

42 posted on 04/16/2003 8:48:48 AM PDT by William Wallace (Abortion is to the culture of death what baptism is to the people of God.)
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To: nickcarraway
You raise an important ancillary issue, that the validity of individual human life was to be found existing in our past yet there is a force that has obfuscated that validty for expedience and conveneince. The culmination of this force in action has brought us to the point where scientists now hold a duplicitous perspective on individual human life because they wish to exploit that same acknowledge truth. Would an embryonic stem cell exploiter wish to conceive a genetic duplicate of the 'patient' to be treated if as first principle the uniqueness of that genetic individual did not struggle to survive in its uniqueness?... The duplicity lies in the axiomatic acceptance that individual human life is a continuum begun at conception, and because of that reality the scientist wishing to exploit nascent life must arbitrarily reject the continuum truth in order to override the soverign right of early individualty, to exploit it in a designed fashion with impugnity. We are inveigled to reject our founding principles so that the continuum concept may be exploited for expedience and conveneince. THAT flawed concept of duplicity is clearly the modus operendi of the abortion on demand mindset. If that mindset is allowed to stand, we will be embracing cannibalization of nascent life in order to accomplish 'medical marvels'.
43 posted on 04/16/2003 10:36:51 AM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote Life Support for others.)
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To: William Wallace
Bump..
44 posted on 04/16/2003 12:30:46 PM PDT by Jhoffa_ (It's called "adoption" Perhaps you've heard of it?)
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To: William Wallace; MHGinTN; All
Thank you for your posts.

What is it with these people?

I don't think it has anything to do with wanting a political victory. I really think that there is some (under the table) monetary payoff somewhere. If they really cared, preventing even one infanticide would be important to them.

45 posted on 04/17/2003 6:29:44 PM PDT by Prodigal Daughter
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