Carol Platt Liebau: A Few Observations

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A Few Observations

(1) Senator Durbin engaged in a colloquy with Judge Alito about whether Roe v. Wade is "settled law." The inquiry about "settled law" is a little bit like the famous "do you love me?" question, i.e., if you have to ask, you've already got a pretty good suspicion about what the answer is.

It's natural that Durbin would want Alito to sign on to the "Roe=settled" law equation (as, in fairness, Chief Justice Roberts did). But the fact that Durbin wants the admission so badly indicates that, in fact, Roe isn't "settled law," at least in the sense of being effectively immune from reexamination in the way that Brown v. Board of Education or some similar precedent is.

(2) What is Senator Coburn thinking? He has succumbed to the deplorable Dianne Feinstein-style "machisma" (a term coined by David Gelertner in a now-unavailable LA Times column) -- asking Judge Alito about his "heart." One would expect better from a Republican, both on common sense grounds (we're not about "emotion-driven" judging, which implies a results-orientation, and hence the question is irrelevant) and for practical reasons (very few nominees could answer such a question without either sounding like heartless automatons, on the one hand, or simpering emotional idiots on the other).

(3) In an entertaining display of senatorial ego, how amusing was Senator Specter's obvious pique at the Supreme Court's alleged penchant for treating the Congress like "schoolchildren"? Perhaps he understands now how normal Americans feel when courts (state or federal) overturn initiatives that have won majority support from the voters weighing in on them.


Blogger Greg said...

I haven't watched more than a minute or two of the hearing. I must say it feels rather refreshing.

9:53 AM  
Blogger Dan M said...

Exactly, if it were so settled, why the anxiety, why the panic, why the readiness to convene the inquisition?

Their hysteria reveals the reality, which is that Roe, {and its progeny} are many things, "settled" it is not.

Roe is the ill-gotten bridgehead established by the permissive society, and it must be defended, and it must be extended. So say the champions of radically individualist, and ultimately nihlistic "pro-choice" society. But in the final analysis, valuation that derives solely from self, is not a valuation at all. What a society that they desire to create has to offer, can be found in the souless eyes of a Paris Hilton, {otherwise so lovely, but in her eyes is the reflection of death} Nicole Ritchie, et al.

And it's a pretty empty, miserable existence.


6:47 PM  

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