Finally, some common sense from the SCOTUS on this evil, disgusting, and unnecessary procedure that was nothing short of infanticide:
The 5-4 ruling said the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act that Congress passed and President Bush signed into law in 2003 does not violate a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion.
The opponents of the act “have not demonstrated that the Act would be unconstitutional in a large fraction of relevant cases,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion.
The decision pitted the court’s conservatives against its liberals, with President Bush’s two appointees, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, siding with the majority.
Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia also were in the majority.
It was the first time the court banned a specific procedure in a case over how–not whether–to perform an abortion.
Most Americans, even those who are pro-choice, understand how sick this procedure was. If a late term pregnancy was so harmful to the mother’s health, then the mother should just deliver the baby and give the baby a chance to survive. But this procedure wasn’t really about saving the life of the mother. It was about killing an unwanted baby.
Keep in mind, Anthony Kennedy, who regularly voted to in support of Roe v Wade, voted with the majority in this case and wrote the majority opinion. Allahpundit makes a very interesting point about this last fact:
If the Chief Justice is in the majority, as Roberts was here, it falls to him to decide who’s responsible for writing the majority opinion. Kennedy probably got the call for two reasons: one, having an author of the Casey opinion put his name on today’s decision lends it a bit of extra authority, and two, since Kennedy is a fencesitter on this issue, Roberts wants to do what little he can to “lock him in” to anti-abortion precedent by making him as personally invested in it as possible.
Update: You can download the decision from SCOTUSBlog here.
Update II: AJ Strata addresses the complaints from some on the right that Bush is not a conservative:
Partial Birth Abortion Band, Parental Notification. These laws passed because conservatives took what they could get to establish some progress on the right to life issues. This would not have happened if impatient people on the right had ‘sat out’ elections to send a message they were not getting their full satisfaction. When it comes to life, half a loaf is better than no loaf at all. Progress over purity is a dead end. Maybe now all the far right whiners will stop moaning about Bush and perform some long over-do recognition of what President Bush accomplished in his two terms.
Some lefties are angry at Justice Kennedy, claiming that he’s abandoned them, and now they’re lamenting the fact that killing a late term unborn baby by sucking its brains out is no longer legal. Of course, they disguise partial birth abortion as “women’s rights,” which is a bunch of hooey.
Here’s a feminist whose first comment was “We’re f***ed.” Sure, lady, if you mean that you can’t go to an abortionist when you’re 6+ months pregnant and have your unborn baby almost completely delivered except for his head and have his brains sucked out while he’s still alive because you just don’t feel like being pregnant any longer, then yes, I suppose you’re f***ed. Be sure to check out the comments on this feminist’s blog as well. These wacko women are beside themselves about the fact that they can’t kill their babies in this manner any longer. Hat tip: Mary Katharine.
Update III (Lorie): Bulldog Pundit at ABP has an interesting take based on his experience as a lawyer.
What strikes me about this opinion, at my first quick glance, is the minute, and thoroughly gruesome detail, in which Justice Kennedy (who wrote the Opinion) describes the procedure. Some who are against the ruling may think that doing so shows the decision was based on emotion.
But anyone who has done appellate work knows better. My first assignment in the DA’s office was not to try cases, but rather to write appellate briefs and argue them before the courts (I’ve done oral arguments before the PA Superior Court and the PA Supreme Court). Doing so showed me just how important it was for the attorney at the trial level to make a detailed record of the facts, because once a case goes on appeal, the main focus of appellate judges is (or at least should be) on the trial record. Nothing outside of that transcript can be considered.
Thus, as you can see in this case, the trial attorneys (who knew the SCOTUS would eventually decide the issue) did a great job of filling the record with the specific details of the procedure, as those details were necessary to convince the Court that the new law complied with the statute enacted after a prior court struck down the first Partial Birth Abortion ban. Doing so was also important because one of the arguments of the pro-abortion side was that the statute was vague and unspecific. Thus, the trial attorneys had to get as specific as possible about what went on in order to show how the actual act violated the statute.
The leading GOP candidates’ responses to the decision can be found at the links below. Hillary and Barack have nothing on the decision posted at their websites at this time.
Update IV: John Hawkins at Right Wing News notes that the fight to replace Harriet Miers was worth the effort because of the role her replacement, Justice Samuel Alito, played in today’s ruling.
Update V: Mark Levin isn’t as positive on this ruling. He believes Justice Kennedy has signaled to being open to a challenge on a health exception:
I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. The fact is that Anthony Kennedy makes clear that he is open to a case where the litigant asserts a health exception to partial-birth abortion. He makes this clear in several ways, including distinguishing between a “facial” vs. “as-applied” challenge, and all but invites such a challenge. That is, he is soliciting a health-exception challenge. Kennedy also telegraphs how he’ll vote — with the other four activists. In short, he says the federal statute, which excepts partial-birth abortion in cases that threaten the life of the mother (thereby narrowing the health exception), is consistent with past court rulings, but he is prepared to reverse course in a future case involving non-life threatening health exceptions. Maybe today’s decision will temporarily chill doctors from performing partial-birth abortions. But the emphasis here is on word “temporary.”