Thursday, June 05, 2003

The A-Word: We rarely have anything to say about this hot-button issue here, but now that the House has again passed a "partial-birth abortion" ban, it's news again. But what can one say about it? The federalists, I think, are on the strongest legal ground, as you can see in this article by Dave Kopel and some other dude. The crux, for the Republicans pushing the ban, is consistency:
But generally speaking, it is hardly consistent for legislators to proclaim their affection for the doctrine of enumerated powers in general, and Lopez in particular, and then to turn around and push legislation which violates the spirit and the letter of both. Such behavior certainly undermines Republicans' claim that they are serious about restoring the federal government to its constitutional role ... In Conan Doyle's famous story, it was the fact that the dog didn't bark that allowed Sherlock Holmes to solve the mystery. The dog that hasn't barked in the debate over the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act is the limited power of the federal government to pass legislation based primarily on one group's moral views. What mystery does this silence solve? Alas, in our case it is no mystery at all. The dog has not barked because the political classes, on both the left and the right, have no interest in limiting the power of the federal government when limitations might constrain their own actions.
I think partial-birth is barbaric, but I also think this law, if it passes the Senate, will and should be struck down.

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