Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Looking Down From the Hill: Roe v Wade revisited before the Supreme Court

The purpose of courts is to resolve disputes in order to allow the Public Peace to remain. Those resolutions do not need to be to the liking of both parties-- or necessarily of either-- but they must be such that society can live with them. In a fallen world with imperfect and perennially messy human beings, that is often the best we can do. It is the sworn duty of justices to carry out this task, not for their own sake or their ambitions or political preferences, but for the maintenance of the Public Peace under Public Law within the limits of the federal ("of equals") Constitution on top of the framework provided by our great Declaration which itself bows to the laws of "nature and nature's God".

Roe v Wade transparently, empirically, objectively, undeniably accomplished none of this. Rather than resolving a dispute under the Constitutuon, the majority simply made its own law in the guise of a compromise over "viability" that the court never kept and seemingly never intended to keep. Rather than resolve or dampen conflict, it has become the incessant flash point for strife and violence for decades.

<<Even pro-abortion advocates do not defend Roe on its merits. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg publicly criticized the decision for its invented doctrine and judicial overreach. Pro-abortion advocates have drafted an entire book of faux-Roe opinions that aim to replace Roe’s reasoning with something more defensible (it’s called “What Roe v. Wade Should Have Said”). Indeed, the only justice ever to defend Roe’s original reasoning in writing is Justice Harry Blackmun —  Roe’s author.  >> ( )

The initial-- "victorious"-- plaintiff, Norma McCorvey neƩ Jane Roe, has expressed intense regret over the outcome and had begged the court to reopen the case by filing a (failed) "motion for relief from judgement" in 2003. ( )

Roe was a bad decision. It needs to go. It threatens the legitimacy of the court and the survival of our nation like a cancerous ulcer, open and fetid.

What we replace it with is a much bigger and tougher question. As a society, we need to come to grips-- well, that bare phrase, "come to grips" would cover such a multitude of societal ills right now, but specifically-- with both the horror of abortion and the rights of bodily autonomy in some way. Of course, it is plain that we have done neither under the framework of the abortion that was the Roe decision. We today honor neither "life" nor "choice", neither unborn children nor medical autonomy (to say nothing of children who survive to be born). Ironically, it is often the same political elites who advocate the denial of both of these things.

Like many of these questions, it comes down to fundamentals. "All human activity is aimed at +some+ good..." But which good, how "good" a good? Do we have the foggiest idea, the most tenuous consensus, of what law is for? Of what it is supposed to accomplish? That is where we ought start, ought begin every public act and deliberation.

People are concerned that overturning Roe v Wade will lead to civil strife; they shouldn't be. We do not have peace now, we won't and we cannot as long as that opinion stands in the way. Overturning it is not a guarantee of success, but letting it stand does guarantee failure. If this experiment in self government is indeed destined  to "perish from the earth", then, on-demand abortion, like chattel slavery, is a fit instrument for its demise.

I would rather we come through this crisis as a people, bruised and chastened but better for it. If we cannot, if we do not have the will and fortitude-- not to magically fix this persistent evil but-- to even start on the long and difficult road to a better, higher good, then perhaps we deserve to fail here, on this hill. At some point, one hill may be as good as another...

--Written on this First Day of Advent, in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand Twenty-Two.