Skip to comments.Fred Thompson and the NRLC (Washington Times Editorial(11/15/07))
Posted on 11/16/2007 9:07:47 AM PST by dschapin
Fred Thompson and the NRLC
It is interesting that the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) has chosen to endorse Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson, a man who once offered legal advice to a pro-choice group, voted against key pro-life issues in the Senate and now espouses convoluted reasons for rejecting constitutional protection of the unborn.
Recently, Mr. Thompson refused to support a constitutional amendment that would protect innocent life by restricting the availability of abortions. The sanctity-of-life amendment was a core plank in the Republican Party's 2004 election platform, and yet Mr. Thompson said he could not support it, saying his objection stems from his federalist views.
However, in 1995 he voted for a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning. If he were concerned about states rights he would have let them issue their own laws on the matter. Also, if Mr. Thompson were concerned about cluttering the constitution with superfluous amendments, he would not have supported a 1997 constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
Ouch, bad reading on my part. Thanks.
Not saying that I agree with this... However, unfortunately, the Supreme Court has interpreted the Republican Form of Government Clause inherantly involving political questions and therefore nonjusticiable. In other words- they have for all intents and purposes written it out of the Constitution.
No problem - that sort of stuff happens to me all the time
>>>>>Our basic unalienable rights are not defined by the constitution. The founders clearly understood that.
And so I:
.... Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
>>>>>I have ALWAYS believed in the personhood of the fetus, from the time of conception.
I believe that life begins at conception and that abortion is the taking of a human life. Problem. Nowhere in the Constitution does it mention anything about the fetus being a person, or about abortion, the unborn human or life beginning at conception. And I seriously doubt the SCOTUS will ever grant personhood to the fetus based on an interpretation of the 14th amendment that no justice holds.
However, when "We the people" are ready to give our consent to our elected officials and through majority rule, demand a HLA be added to the Constitution. Then and only then, will we have true protection for the unborn.
>>>>>As to your argument, The 10th amendment clearly reserves rights both to the states and the people, so not everything that isnt a federal responsibility is a state responsibility.
When it comes to the issue of abortion, the 10th Amendment is crystal clear. There is no ambiguity whatsoever.
>>>>>I think I understand the basis for the disagreement here. You and I have opposing views on the unalienable, God-given right of a pre-born to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Wrong. The basis for our disagreement is simple. I understand and respect the Constitution. You do not.
Then again, about a week or so ago, I thought you did understand and respect the Constitution. In an article thread I posted by John Hawkins, you agreed with Fred Thompson --- and by default many others, myself included --- on his federalist viewpoint concerning abortion and RvW.
Remember, in Fred Thompson, Tim Russert, Federalism, and Abortion, you said, "I agree with this analysis. That analysis was in support of Fred`s federalist approach.
I don’t know why you keep confusing the constitution and rights. But since you do, I don’t see how a rational discussion is possible.
...Republicans can't ban abortion outright because of Roe v. Wade. We could try for a constitutional amendment to get around that, but it would be futile, because they couldn't get enough support for it. Until Roe v. Wade is overturned (and we'd need to replace at least one more judge after Alito gets on the court to do it), we're stuck.
In other words, that whether Fred was right or not made no real difference at this time, because HLA can't be passed.
I was not (and should have made it clearer, although then I would have typed more words and been "bloviating") that I was agreeing that Fred's position should not be a danger to the pro-life cause.
Of course, now I'm confused as to what Fred's position is. Some still claim he is opposed to HLA on federalist grounds, while other supporters claim he is NOT opposed to HLA but simply understood it had no chance of passing.
I haven't seen any pro-fred person try to discuss with another pro-fred person the differences in these two interpretations, so I don't know what the consensus opinion of the supporters are.
So I've taken to noting whenever I discuss this that I don't know what Fred's position is, lest I be attacked by one side or another for "misrepresenting" it.
That is incorrect. I understand and respect the Constitution. Our disagreement is on whether the preborn is a person.
You want to argue about whether the constitution explicitly defines pre-born as human. That isn't the point. Humans do not get their inalienable rights ONLY if the Constitution grants them.
The Slaves had the unalienable God-given right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, even when the constitution explicitly took it from them.
This is an argument about what is right, not about what the constitution says. I COULD argue your constitutional position, as it seems clear that when they wanted to restrict personhood to born humans they were able to do so explicitly. But I don't need to get into that argument, because this was not a discussion about the constitution.
The HLA is a way to fix what is either a correct or incorrect interpretation of the constitution as it relates to personhood. As such, arguments about whether HLA is right or wrong are NOT constitutional arguments, as the goal is to CHANGE the constitution.
I know I said I wouldn't discuss further, but I really do think you understand this stuff enough that if you stop trying to filter everything through your pro-fred glasses you will at least be able to respond to my actual argument, and if not at least others who are reading can benefit.
It is interesting that the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) has chosen to endorse Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson, a man who once offered legal advice to a pro-choice group, voted against key pro-life issues in the Senate and now espouses convoluted reasons for rejecting constitutional protection of the unborn. ...
Recently, Mr. Thompson refused to support a constitutional amendment that would protect innocent life by restricting the availability of abortions. The sanctity-of-life amendment was a core plank in the Republican Party's 2004 election platform, and yet Mr. Thompson said he could not support it, saying his objection stems from his federalist views.
However, in 1995 he voted for a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning. If he were concerned about states rights he would have let them issue their own laws on the matter.
Also, if Mr. Thompson were concerned about cluttering the constitution with superfluous amendments, he would not have supported a 1997 constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.
As for me, personally I have NOT made up my mind but I do again state that there ARE consistent pro-life conservatives who haven't waffled on those issues.
Search them out yourself, please.
“Which raises a different question, do people have the RIGHT to have their rights vindicated by government?”
Much of the law is aimed at the vindication of individual rights. That’s why we have laws against murder, theft, fraud, etc. In fact, libertarians (I’m not one) would say that’s one of the few legitimate areas of action of government - protecting folks’ rights through the enforcement of laws against the violation of and interference with rights.
What conservatives, at least, don’t generally believe though is that the government is required to pay for folks to utilize their rights. So, the government will arrest the fella who burns down your printing press, but the government won’t buy you a printing press to express your First Amendment rights.
“The HLA would not make law.”
No, but it’s unlikely that a 2/3 majority of each House of Congress would pass such an amendment and then not pass enforcing legislation.
“Some suggest it would REQUIRE states to then make laws, but can any action really REQUIRE a body to pass a law?”
I think that all the states would pass laws implementing the Human Life Amendment.
“What if we eliminate all laws that say abortion is legal, but dont pass any laws that define criminal penalties for it?”
Many states have no laws making abortion legal. In fact, in many states, the only laws on the books concerning abortion are those that make abortion ILLEGAL. But Roe vitiated these laws, making them unenforceable (or so goes the cant). Thus, in the absence of any positive law concerning abortion, abortion is legal.
“I know the constitution ALLOWS government to pass such laws, but does it REQUIRE it?”
Well, if a Human Life Amendment were passed essentially marking unborn human beings as persons whose rights are protected under the Fourteenth Amendment, and states didn’t pass laws to enforce it, I imagine that courts would interpret laws against killing persons as covering unborn persons. Thus, the intentional killing of such a person, with premeditation, would be prosecuted as first degree murder. Women who procured abortions could be prosecuted under laws concerning murder for hire. Husbands, fathers, mothers who assist a woman in procuring an abortion could be charged as accessories to murder.
This is why I think that all the states would pass separate laws to implement the Human Life Amendment. States have a significant amount of leeway in how to treat homicide.
As I posted previously, in some states, if someone breaks into your house and looks threatening, and you shoot that person dead, that’s justifiable homicide. Conversely, in my own state, if you don’t first attempt to flee if you have the opportunity to flee, you can be charged with murder.
Thus, I can see that states might consider a woman who procures or attempts to procure an abortion as someone who is suffering from diminished mental capacity, and might pass laws that specifically exclude these women from prosecution for murder for hire. As well, mothers, husbands, fathers who assist a woman in this crime could be treated differently by law, as well.
If a Human Life Amendment were passed recognizing the personhood of unborn human beings, statutes against murder and other forms of homicide would apply in the absence of special laws concerning homicide by abortion. It is likely that every state would then pass special statutes to deal with the question of homicide by abortion.
“Fred is absolutely correct to turn away from the HLA. It cant pass, and even if it could it shouldnt. The HLA would only reinforce the great cultural divide that Roe v. Wade opened up.”
I disagree strongly.
A Human Life Amendment couldn’t pass with a two-thirds majority in both Houses of Congress and in three-quarters of the state legislatures if it were going to reinforce “the great cultural divide that Roe v. Wade opened up.”
Rather, passage of a Human Life Amendment will represent a final confirmation in American society that a consensus has been achieved in American society that unborn human beings are persons with inalienable rights worthy of protection in law.
Consenus must precede constitutional amendment. It’s tough to pass one without that consensus.
But clearly, that consensus doesn't currently exist, and it doesn't appear to be taking shape anytime soon. Thus, pro-lifers should never lose sight of the eventual goal - protection of ALL human persons in law - but should focus on what can be achieved now. And electing a pro-life president who will appoint justices who understand that there is no constitutional "right" to procure the killing of one's baby is something that we can currently achieve.
>>>>>Of course, now I'm confused as to what Fred's position is.
You always seem somewhat confused. And you're perpetual rants lead me to believe, you're out to confuse the world. LOL
>>>>>That is incorrect. I understand and respect the Constitution. Our disagreement is on whether the preborn is a person.
Sorry. You haven't convinced me yet. Like you said. The Founders did not have the knowledge we have today. You can't read something into the Constitution that isn't there. That is called Constitutional activism and the reason why we have Roe v Wade today. In the days of the Founders, a fetus didn't have any rights and with few exceptions, the fetus still has little protection under law. The unborn fetus definitely doesn't have the rights accorded a born person.
Thats why like Reagan, I support a HLA added to the Constitution that would protect the unborn. Even though it remains a long shot.
>>>>>This is an argument about what is right, not about what the constitution says.
In your mind. That is why the Constitution has such little meaning to you. You don't have enough respect to even capitalize it. Freudian slip?
That's not what Ronald Reagan thought.
"Protecting the rights of even the least individual among us is basically the only excuse the government has for even existing."
"We have the duty to protect the life of an unborn child."
"Simple morality dictates that unless and until someone can prove the unborn human is not alive, we must give it the benefit of the doubt and assume it is (alive). And, thus, it should be entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
But, the question is, do you support the other important part of the Reagan pro-life platform, which remains in force to this day, which recognizes the personhood of the unborn, and calls for their protection therefore under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Its not what I think either. What's your point?
>>>>>"We have the duty to protect the life of an unborn child."
Thats why we need a HLA.
Sadly, there is nothing in the 14th amendment that protects the unborn as a person. One more time, that is why we need a HLA added to the Constitution!
That’s why everyone we elect to any office should first recognize the personhood of the babe in the womb, and understand that the first and foremost purpose of our government is to protect innocent human life. To even have any hope of keeping their sworn oath, they must understand what the Preamble and the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendments demand from them.
So, you agree with Justice Blackmun, the author of Roe, that a child in the womb is not a person.
Make the Left do a constitutional amendment to excise the Preamble and the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.
“I disagree somewhat on the flag burning, in that the flag is a federal responsibility, and if there ARE going to be rules about it, they should apply equally, not be decided by states.
But since I also think abortion is a violation of a basic inalienable right of all people to life, I think that a federal prohibition would not violate what the founding fathers considered states perogatives.”
No, Murder is part of the State’s porfolio of powers, there is no federal law against murder. When the Supreme court ruled in the Roe vs. Wade case, it snatched what is clearly a State perogative and made it Federal, they violated their constitutional power.
Thompson hasn't waffled on the life issue. He has always been pro-life and anti-Roe. Thompson remains the only conservative in this race polling at over 1% of the vote. However, your attempted character assasination of the man is going to result in the nomination of someone who opposed the partial birth abortion ban and wants to uphold Roe.
Thompson recognizes that promoting a human life amendment at this time will do nothing other inflame the opposition and delay the downfall of Roe, resulting in more lives lost. It is no less of a nonstarter than touting the gold standard or the elimination of the income tax - great ideas that are completely irrelevant because they will happen. I recommend you spash some cold water on your face and give yourself a reality check before it is too late.
You'll end up killing more unborn by demanding a human life amendment before you have the required support. It will only delay the overturning of Roe by solidifying pro-choice opposition. But regardless of the consequences, at least you and Dobson and the rest can feel good about yourself right?
You nailed it.
Try hard not to be an ass.
I’m not turning anything over to the states. I didn’t design the constitutional order. That job was before my time and above my pay grade.
The framers gave us a federal system, in large part, for the purpose of defusing bitter disputes by diffusing them. The bitterest dispute in our politics for a generation has had to do with abortion. All I am suggesting is that state and local politics should be allowed to defuse the abortion dispute by giving people a chance to debate, compromise and find common ground.
I know that compromise in this area seems like an outrage. But keep in mind that the goal of the pro-life movement is not merely to change the law. The goal is to change the culture. You can’t move toward that goal by pressing for a constitutional amendment that would make abortion a crime nationwide in nearly every case. Crusading for the HLA only hardens the forces of death and wins them sympathy from people the pro-life movement needs to reach. Passing an HLA would only provoke them to civil disobedience.
A diffuse process in fifty states has the potential to move the culture substantially. When you can’t move an object all at once, you may have success moving it a bit at a time. If pro-life politicians can tailor their arguments to local conditions and pick their fights wisely they may make substantial progress. That’s as good as it gets. Law and politics can’t do more for the pro-life movement than that.
The idea that all we have to do is pass a magic amendment and the universe will once again unfold as it should is juvenile nonsense. Law doesn’t have that kind of power. Fred knows that, and so does NRTL.
WTF are you talking about?
While I favor a HLA, my first goal is to overturn Roe v Wade and end abortion on demand. Why? Because there isn’t enough support for passing a HLA and hasn’t been for the last 35 years!
Before you run off at the mouth, you should get your facts straight. Dobson opposes Fred. I support Fred.
Yeah, I’ve heard these arguments before. They’re phony.
If you promote the idea that states have the right to decide if unalienable rights are alienable, you’re removing every legal, moral and intellectual argument for overturning Roe in the first place, and for ending it in the states in the second place.
The only true method for ending abortion in this country is for every single citizen who reveres God, and respects the value of those made in His image, to withdraw all political support from every single politician who will not understand and act upon the simple truth that a babe in the womb is a person, and is therefore protected by our Constitution.
That’s the only way to move politicians. Hit ‘em where it hurts.
The people who have been leading the conservative movement for the last couple decades, pulling down huge salaries, talk just like you do. They’ll end abortion someday, over the rainbow. And meanwhile, they continue to make deals with the devil that assure that the daily slaughter of thousands of babies will never end.
When are you going to learn that when you deal with the devil, he always picks your pocket and leaves you with nothing?
What good is the presidency--Teddy Roosevelt's "bully pulpit"--if, as president, you're unwilling to take a strong leadership position on the sanctity of life? Even if you think the odds are against you, you STILL take a firm and unwavering leadership position for what's right.
Taking a federalism stance is just another way of saying, "It's too hard. I don't want to work that hard."
Fred has a defeatist attitude, as do you. The enemy revels in such displays of weakness.
You’re certifiably loopy, EV. You are an embarrassment to your hero, Alan Keyes, whom I’ve met (at a Mormon sponsored meeting) and chatted with.
Considering the source, I won’t lose any sleep over your opinion of me. After all, you’re supporting the most liberal Governor this country’s ever seen.
He thinks it would be dandy for the states to decide if God-given rights can be done away with if they want. You know, Utah babies have rights greater than Massachusetts babies.
Ive always been personally pro-life. But the question for me was what role government should play in the matter of abortion. (Sacramento Bee, 3-15-2007)
“My own view is that abortion is not right,” said Romney, who said the procedure is only appropriate in cases of rape, incest or to protect a mother’s life. “But states should be able to make their own decisions rather than have a single pronouncement by the federal government.” (Sacramento Bee, 3-15-2007)
“I believe that each state should be able to make their own choice as to whether they are pro-life or pro-choice.” (Hardball with Chris Matthews, 12-12-2005)
My preference would have been and would be today for the court to say each state could be able to adopt its own policy with regards to abortion and choice. We would have been better off had each state been able to develop their own policy. That way a state like mine, Massachusetts, would be overwhelmingly pro-choice and I as governor would do exactly as I have committed. Im not going to change the laws. Youve chosen pro-choice, its a democratic society, youve chosen it, Ill keep it in place. (Knight Ridder Newspapers, 01-26-2006)
The important thing is building a consensus and agitating for an HLA contributes nothing to that process. It is, in fact, counterproductive. To the extent law and politics can help the pro-life movement shape the culture, they are going to be state law and state politics.
It’s hard for me to see why you attach any importance to the HLA. You argue that states could, under the HLA pass special abortion laws treating abortion differently from other homicides. This would be a clear violation of the Equal Protection Clause, but if the courts permitted it, and they just might, they would effectively gut the HLA. If the HLA didn’t require that the criminal law treat abortion like any other homicide it wouldn’t require anything at all. If the HLA were adopted and your view of it prevailed, most of the blue states would allow abortion on demand through 9 months of pregnancy despite the HLA. The situation would be no different from the post-Roe free-for-all that Fred envisions.
In the mean time, most people don’t share your eccentric view that the HLA would leave states free to regulate abortion in any way they choose. Most people with any knowledge of the abortion dispute understand that the purpose of the HLA is to criminalize abortion nationwide. That means that supporting the HLA commits you to an extreme position with virtually no public support.
Why would you want to paint yourself into an extremist corner for the sake of lending rhetorical support to an amendment that you yourself don’t think likely to accomplish anything more than overturning Roe would? This question is particularly puzzling when the amendment at issue has not the slightest chance of passing any time in the 21st Century.
"To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects."
There are still people in my party who believe in consensus politics. I regard them as Quislings, as traitors... I mean it."
You’re fulla bull!
Federalism is the way to go and besides, Fred has no intention of opposing a HLA, should enough support for it comes around. Continuing to push for a HLA without a majority support of the people and their representatives in Congress, is an effort futility.
Mitt Boy supported Roe ve Wade and abortion on demand until about two years ago. NO way I’m about to trust Romney on abortion... or guns, gays and health care.
But have you understood them?
“If you promote the idea that states have the right to decide if unalienable rights are alienable, youre removing every legal, moral and intellectual argument for overturning Roe in the first place, and for ending it in the states in the second place.”
Can you say non sequitur? This is a load of crap. Roe was wrongly decided because it told a lie about the contents of the Constitution. Abortion is wrong and there is no right to do wrong. That doesn’t mean that the states have to prohibit, let alone criminalize abortion. They are under no obligation to prohibit every wrong. The Constitution does not purport to deal with every injustice, not even all the grievous ones. For the most part it leaves state governments free to deal with injustice as they see fit. Failing to deal with an issue at the federal level is entirely irrelevant to the debate over how it should be dealt with at the state level.
“The only true method for ending abortion in this country is for every single citizen who reveres God, and respects the value of those made in His image, to withdraw all political support from every single politician who will not understand and act upon the simple truth that a babe in the womb is a person, and is therefore protected by our Constitution.”
Keep me posted on how you get on with that strategy. I’ve got an appointment back on the planet Earth. “
It does deal, very directly, in the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendments, with the fact that innocent persons MAY NOT have their lives taken from them.
A simple yes or not question: Is a baby a PERSON, before they've passed through the birth canal?
Because Blackmun stated very clearly in Roe vs. Wade that if they were, they were protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.
A. The appellee and certain amici argue that the fetus is a "person" within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. In support of this, they outline at length and in detail the well-known facts of fetal development. If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment.
Do you agree with Blackmun?
If your answer is "no," you can't possibly ascribe to the idea that states have any right to allow abortion under any circumstances.
“Even constitutional amendments can pass without a consensus sufficient to support them in operation. Consider Prohibition.”
It wasn’t that there wasn’t a consensus for Prohibition. There was.
But eventually, that consensus dissolved as folks experienced the reality of Prohibition.
On the other hand, folks lived without abortion on demand for nearly 200 years. The consensus required to pass a Human Life Amendment will last.
“The important thing is building a consensus and agitating for an HLA contributes nothing to that process.”
The important thing is to do things in order. First, overturn Roe. Second, let states lead the way, showing that there is life after legalized abortion on demand (pun intended).
And all the while, don’t forget the ultimate goal - protection of the unborn in constitutional law.
“Its hard for me to see why you attach any importance to the HLA.”
Why? I have no desire to see New York and California be perpetually the lands of abortion on demand. It is necessary to protect babies in EVERY state.
“You argue that states could, under the HLA pass special abortion laws treating abortion differently from other homicides.”
To a degree, I think they could. It’s funny that you bring up Prohibition. The Eighteenth Amendment states that upon taking effect, the manufacture and sale of alcohol would be banned in the United States.
Yet, the laws passed by Congress to enforce this ban made for a small number of exceptions. Folks were permitted small amounts of “homebrew,” and churches that used wine for their sacraments were permitted to buy it from the government.
Thus, it seems that in implementing the amendment through law, the legislature has a little wiggle room.
“If the HLA didnt require that the criminal law treat abortion like any other homicide it wouldnt require anything at all. If the HLA were adopted and your view of it prevailed, most of the blue states would allow abortion on demand through 9 months of pregnancy despite the HLA.”
I don’t think that there’s that much wiggle room.
It’s one thing to say in a statute that women who procure abortions will generally be thought to suffer from a diminished mental capacity. It’s another thing to try to offer some excuse for the butcher drowning in the blood of thousands that he’s aborted, for the sheer profitability of it.
“Why would you want to paint yourself into an extremist corner for the sake of lending rhetorical support to an amendment that you yourself dont think likely to accomplish anything more than overturning Roe would?”
I disagree with your premise that a Human Life Amendment wouldn’t accomplish anything anymore than overturning Roe. It seems that legislatures can fudge a little here and there when implementing a constitutional amendment, but I don’t think that they can altogether vitiate them.
I think that a Human Life Amendment will force states to choose between using current laws against homicide against those who commit abortion, or developing restrictive laws to specifically deal with the crime of abortion.
“This question is particularly puzzling when the amendment at issue has not the slightest chance of passing any time in the 21st Century.”
I think that you’re overly pessimistic. I think that a Human Life Amendment might pass this century, even in the first half. But even if you’re right, just because it will take a long time to bring about isn’t a good reason to despair.
So for example, a woman might have to show in court that her life was truly in danger, and thereby be covered under self-preservation statutes.
I agree with you that there would have to be implementing laws, and that those laws should be on a state-by-state basis,and will provide some degree of flexibility to handling the obvious dichotomy of the rights of the baby and it’s dependence on the mother.
As to the issue of the constitution, my argument was about the rights of persons, not what rights are recognized by the constitution. I wasn't arguing about something under existing constitutional law, I was arguing about rights people had before there even was a constitution.
That the founders didn't recognize the application of rights to some people doesn't mean they don't have those rights, as my slavery example shows. In 1830, if you had forcibly removed a slave from it's owner, you would have been violating both the law and the Constitution. But nobody today would argue that it would be the WRONG thing to do.
What is Fred's position? I've heard two, tell me which is right, if either: 1) Fred opposes the HLA amendment and won't run under it, or 2) Fred doesn't think HLA can be implemented but doesn't oppose it on principle.
If neither of those is right, please explain what his position currently is.
Last thing, you said "with few exceptions, the fetus still has little protection under law. The unborn fetus definitely doesn't have the rights accorded a born person".
Here you are mixing law and right. You are absolutely correct that the fetus has little protection uner the law. However, I believe that the unborn baby DOES have the rights accorded a born person. For example in the few days bofore being born, I believe the preborn has EXACTLY THE SAME RIGHTS as a baby that has been born.
That we don't RECOGNIZE those rights don't mean the pre-born doesn't have those rights. The rights of the preborn person are inalienable, not granted by man, but from God. We are arguing over how or whether our constitution should be clarified to recognize the right, but the Constitution does not grant or confer those rights, the rights exist whether we recognize them or not.
There are federal laws against murder. If a state decided not to prosecute someone who hung a black person, the federal government would step in and prosecute under federal civil rights laws.
There are other federal murder laws as well.
There is a difference between being marginally pro-life and being willing to fight for the rights of the unborn. I was watching the movie Amazing Grace tonight and thinking that what we need is a modern day William Wilberforce. Someone who will dedicate their life to ending abortion no matter the cost to their health, political career, or popularity. When Wilberforce first introduced his bill it was defeated overwhelmingly and even after he launched a dramatic campaign to raise public support he still was not able to get all of the votes for many years. He fought to abolish slavery for 20 years and lost his health in the process but finally he got England to ban the International Slave Trade and shortly thereafter to ban all slavery in her colonies. To do this he was willing to spend his youth, health, popularity, and political career. Thats the sort of committment we need to end abortion. I don’t think Fred has anywhere near that kind of dedication to saving the unborn.
It was through a direct fight for what seemed impossible - getting an antislavery bill through the House of Commons and the House of Lords that the British Antislavery movement was born. I believe that the same thing could happen here if we are firmly dedicated to the cause. I just watched the Movie Amazing Grace about William Wilberforce and found it to be very sobering comparing there level of dedication with the dedication that I so often lack. I think that if we all fully dedicate ourselves to the cause like William Wilberforce who sacrificed his youth, health, reputation, and political career in order to slavery then we will be able to get abortion banned. The question is if we are really willing to pay the same cost.
Most sensible comment I’ve seen this past week or so. Dead-center in the ten-ring!
I apologize for the misunderstanding. I accidentally directed my post to you instead of the EternalVigilance guy. I saw his name in the "To:" column and hit reply in haste. Sorry.
Your logic is flawed. Whether the unborn counts fully as a human being (and I believe it does) has no bearing on whether a murder of one is a state or federal matter.
If I go next door and murder my neighbor, who has jurisdiction? Who will try me, convict me and imprison me? Would it be a federal court?
No. It would be a state court. The laws against and jurisdiction over murder are handled by the states. To claim the unborn should be treated differently is to make it somehow substantively different from any other murder, which undermines your own position.
It is your logic that is flawed.
In the Preamble to the Constitution, which lays out the purposes of the document, the founders made it clear that they considered their posterity to have rights equal to their own.
And, in the document that provides the basis for the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the God-given rights to life and liberty are called “unalienable.” That means they can’t be taken rightfully by any man, or even given away.
The word, and the meaning the founders understood it to have, had to do with land rights in Europe. The land, though it was given as a gift from the sovereign, over which you maintained a great deal of sovereignty, nonetheless could not pass out of your family. Why? Because in the final analysis, it belonged to the supreme sovereign.
Your life, and the life of every other human being who lives, or who has ever lived, belongs to the Supreme Sovereign of the universe. You maintain a great deal of freedom and sovereignty over it, under God. But, no man has the right to take it from you, and you don’t even have the right to take it yourself. You’re not God, and neither is any human government.
Throughout our history, the vast majority of Americans clearly understood this cornerstone principle of American liberty. It’s sad that so many are following leaders who constantly cloud their minds to what Frederick Douglass called these “saving principles.”
No state has a right to legalize murder, any more than they have a right to legalize slavery, or rape, or to take away the rights to free speech, free assembly, freedom of the press, religious liberty, or the right to keep and bear arms.
I understand and respect your objection to federalism as it relates to abortion (although I personally believe the only way to eventually protect life on a federal basis is to send it back to the states and build support from there).
However, your statement that Thompson is using federalism merely as an excuse just isn’t correct. His record on federalism is not perfect, nor is any other candidate’s. However, he was one of the most aggressive champions for federalism the entire time he was in the senate. I’ve listed some pertinent material below — these don’t include the many votes he made on federalist grounds, and the many arguments he made on the senate floor in favor of federalism.
In 2000 the National Conference of State Legislatures honored Sen. Thompson with its “Restoring the Balance” award:
THOMPSON EARNS RESTORING THE BALANCE AWARD FROM NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF STATE LEGISLATURES
Key excerpt: WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, has been selected to receive the 2000 Restoring the Balance Award, presented by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). The award, given annually to national policymakers committed to federalism and its impact on issues involving state legislators, was presented to Thompson last night at the NCSLs Leader to Leader Dinner in Washington.
-snip of complimentary quote about Fred just for brevitys sake-
Thompsons dedication to the principles of federalism and sound government policy has resulted in the Committees advancement of the Federalism Accountability Act, and Senate passage of the Regulatory Right to Know Act, the Federal Financial Information Assistance Management Improvement Act, the Truth in Regulating Act, and revision of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
-Thompson introduced S.2445 (9/8/98), the Federalism Enforcement Act of 1998: A bill to provide that the formulation and implementation of policies by Federal departments and agencies shall follow the principles of federalism, and for other purposes.
-He sponsored S. 1214, the Federalism Accountability Act of 1999: A bill to ensure the liberties of the people by promoting federalism, to protect the reserved powers of the States, to impose accountability for Federal preemption of State and local laws, and for other purposes.
-As chair of the Governmental Affairs Committee, he led a three-part hearing on the Federalism Accountability Act - the first part was The State of Federalism; the second was Federalism and Crime Control; and the third was on the proposed bill itself. Heres the link: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=106_senate_hearings&docid=f:59454.wais
-He co-sponsored S 1629, the Tenth Amendment Enforcement Act of 1996 (104th CONGRESS, 2d Session): To protect the rights of the States and the people from abuse by the Federal Government; to strengthen the partnership and the intergovernmental relationship between State and Federal Governments; to restrain Federal agencies from exceeding their authority; to enforce the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution; and for other purposes.
-Closely related to federalism, Thompson introduced S.2068 on 5/12/1998, A bill to clarify the application of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, and for other purposes. This bill was intended to enforce the unfunded mandate act passed in 1995.
-Also related to federalism, another major priority of Thompson’s during his time in the senate was regulatory reform — he spent years fighting to stop unelected executive branch bureaucracies from unConstitutionally imposing taxes and other burdens on states and on citizens.
Nice speech. Really. Too bad it didn’t even remotely address anything I said.
Interesting thing that you and I watched Amazing Grace the same night. It is a wonderful and inspiring film. I'm glad that I bought it and sorry that I missed it in the theater.
It also got me to thinking about the same thing you just brought up. I thought about how it would be great if we had a modern-day William Wilberforce for the pro-life movement. And then I realized that we already have one who has been working tirelessly for decades and who has had more of an effect on the issue than anyone else.
Our modern-day William Wilberforce is Dr. John C. Willke, MD. Dr. Willke is a physician, author and lecturer who has devoted his life to ending abortion. He was the founder of the National Right to Life Committee and served as its president for ten years. NRLC is America's premiere organization fighting for the protection of unborn children and educating about the evils of abortion. Dr. Willke founded the International Right to Life Federation which is a worldwide, non-sectarian federation of pro-life organizations from over 170 countries. The organization fights for the protection of innocent human life from conception to natural death throughout the entire world. They have representatives to the United Nations, European Union, etc., and hold pro-life conferences all around the world. As founder of the premiere pro-life organization in American as well as the premiere international pro-life federation, Dr. Willke is known as the father of the pro-life movement, nationally and internationally.
Dr. and Mrs. Willke are authors of many books on the subject of abortion. These books are considered the authoritative primers on the evils of abortion and are the most widely read books in the world presenting the scientific case for the unborn. These books include the forth generation book, Abortion Questions and Answers: Why Can't We Love Them Both, Handbook on Abortion, Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia - Past & Present, and Abortion and Slavery - History Repeats. These works have been translated into 30 languages.
Dr. Willke has appeared on almost every major network and cable news show in the United States. Dr. and Mrs. Willke have lectured in 74 countries.
Dr. Willke also created the Life Issues Institute, a pro-life think tank and America's top organization for distributing educational materials for the pro-life movement. He also serves on the American Academy of Medical Ethics Board of Reference along with other notable physicians such as Dr. C. Everett Koop.
It is important to point out that our modern-day William Wilberforce, just one month ago, endorsed Mitt Romney for President. Dr. Willke said, "Governor Romney is the only candidate who can lead our pro-life and pro-family conservative movement to victory in 2008."
Why? Because it worked so well doing that with human slavery? No, wait. Maybe that didn't work out so well and it had to be done, first by decree (see the Emancipation Proclamation) and then by amending the Constitution.
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