If this clump of cells has achieved “personhood” the legal implications are endless.

by Jim McCarthy

As time passes, it seems a safe bet to conclude that the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v Jackson will be deemed an upheaval to American culture and politics greater than that of Brown v Board of Education. 

Dobbs may have unleashed a kraken-worthy pandemic of civic monsters to rival that of Greek mythology. The decision is drawing embryonic and heated demands for a national absolute ban on abortions based upon a theory of “life at conception,” or fetal personhood, that augurs to redefine and upend well-settled related public policy and laws. The tumult emerging from Dobbs will make the half-century precedent of Roe seem peaceful.

Thirteen states have already adopted laws to ban all or most abortions, with eight protecting the fetus from the moment of conception without conferring personhood. However, Louisiana is presently considering legislation requiring the state to “fully recognize the human personhood of an unborn child at all stages of development prior to birth from the moment of fertilization.” Life at conception is sufficiently close – theologically and legally – to fetal personhood as to be only finely distinguishable.

The Commonwealth’s political leadership, for the moment, appears not to be poised to mimic Louisiana, but Old Dominion advocates are not hiding their aspirations for a “no compromise” ban on abortion as the state’s rule.

At a rally in Richmond, U.S.  Rep. Bob Good, VA-5th, a proud self-proclaimed biblical conservative, along with Del Marie March, R-Floyd, who has announced plans to introduce “life at conception” into the General Assembly, have urged adoption of a total ban on abortion in Virginia. Governor Glenn Younkin, seeking to become an erstwhile governor, publicly declared his pro-life belief and adherence to life at conception in a TV appearance on Face the Nation while reiterating his political preference for a 15-week ban. That compromise provides some cover as he explores his national ambition.

To be clear, abortion limits or outright bans are not the exact equivalent of life-at-conception demands but come close. Neither precept can be validated scientifically, as each relies upon notions such as ensoulment or personality making it more theological than secular. At the same time, life at conception, like abortion, does not appear in the U.S. Constitution, but is seen by its advocates to pose no barrier to the theological principle since the nation is, according to some, Judeo-Christian.

For the moment, we can leave aside the dispute concerning the religious beliefs of Jews and Christians on abortion limits to consider other possible consequences of amending the nation’s cultural and legal values to the principle of life at conception.

Recently, in Texas (naturally) a pregnant woman cited for traveling in an HOV lane countered the offense by claiming her unborn fetus qualified as a person for purposes of the state’s traffic regulations. Virginia has several posted HOV +2 and +3 interstates offering targets for challenge to police monitors. Federal and state tax provisions – dependent deductions – are certain to be affected with respect to the inclusion of unborn persons. But these likely signal only the most nascent conundrums to challenge existing law, jurisprudence, criminal justice, cultural, and moral precepts.

Article I, Sec. 2 of the Constitution provides that the census shall count the “whole number of persons” in each state. The Fourteenth Amendment reiterates that command and further requires that no state may “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” In the scheme of government, census data is crucial in light of the fact that the US experiences some 3.6 million births per year. Theology and jurisprudence are on a collision course without clear assistance from science on the issue.

A GOP Delegate has called upon Gov. Youngkin to use the power of the state’s purse to restrict abortion services at public universities. It should not be long before Virginia’s religious intellectual centers (e.g., Liberty and Regent universities) weigh in on the topic. Former Congresswoman (R-MN), Michele Bachmann, now dean of Regent’s School of Government, declared recently on Steve Bannon’s podcast that abortion was the cause of the nation’s immigration problem at its southern border (readers must riddle this observation for themselves).

Estimates of Virginia’s Catholic population range from 9-12%, but a recent Pew poll indicated that 67% of the laity believed the Roe precedent should remain. That opinion clearly differs from that of the church’s hierarchy. In the absence of credible and acceptable  scientific information, citizens will be left to elect among competing moral and ethical beliefs to inform political choices.

It may be that in vitro fertilization (IVF) probably presents the most serious and knottiest of difficulty for lawmakers and individuals desiring to experience parenthood, and physicians, to reconcile. Like the Texas woman challenging a traffic regulation, IVF, involving multiple embryos, divorce proceedings about embryo possession, among a few, are even more complex and nuanced. Disposal of frozen embryos is unsettled under Virginia law and decisions in several foreign state courts have not contributed to any common resolution even in the absence of fetal personhood. The Commonwealth hosts several such clinics and laboratories.

The national and state criminal justice systems could be burdened with a somewhat different set of conflicts with respect to life at conception in law enforcement, jurisprudence, and imprisonment. The Thirteenth Amendment proclaimed that “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” Pregnant women, from arrest, to trial, to sentencing present complicated personhood considerations, not to mention practical physical care procedures along the spectrum from arrest to incarceration. What is the response to the pregnant woman refusing to testify under Fifth Amendment privilege to protect the person in utero?

Amusement parks (Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion) with thrill rides must review current liability warnings to consider new restrictions for pregnant women; public transportation fares may be upgraded to accommodate fetal personhood passengers. Youngkin and his allies may be comfortable with a 15-week abortion limit compromise against the ultra-pro-lifers as progress, while it also offers deniability from extremism for acceptance on a national stage.

Commercial bargain offers of twofers in commercial aircraft may become threefers or more. Although women constitute at least one half of the U.S. population, their representation in the seats of power and decision making are far less. Males dominate legislatures and judiciaries passing laws and rendering judicial findings about a most intimate experience. The actual political and cultural fallout from Dobbs remains to be identified.

SCOTUS will face a myriad of legal conflicts emerging from the certain differences among 51 state jurisdictions which legislate on life at conception.  The present tenured justices at SCOTUS will be long-gone while their successors struggle to cope with the manifold cases and controversies spawned by fetal personhood. History may judge that this SCOTUS exercised a lack of judicial restraint in overturning Roe. Instead, Dobbs proffers an uncompromising prospect laden with unnecessary pain.

Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World s appears within sight.

Jim McCarthy is a former New York attorney who now lives in Virginia.


Share this article



ADVERTISEMENT

(comments below)



ADVERTISEMENT

(comments below)


Comments

185 responses to “Twofers, Threefers”

  1. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    It’s amazing just how much work our legislators do. Consider how from year to year laws are revised, initiated, and removed to keep pace with progress in fields like energy, medicine, finance, etc.

    In one hour, the SCOTUS threw a dozen States back 50, 80 years, and one or two to the 1800s with laws and Constitutional amendments not touched or used in 50 years, and the confusion that ensued has been downright amuzing. “IUD? Rape? Incest? Plan-B? Are they contraceptives, or abortion? Is any of this covered by the Abortion Amendment of 1910?”

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      Yep. Move out 100 years and the history and law school lesson of the Dobbs case will be an old one: “Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it.” But silly to compare to Brown…

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        They compare… inversely.

      2. James McCarthy Avatar
        James McCarthy

        If Dobbs is what you asked for, you got it.

    2. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      Yep. Move out 100 years and the history and law school lesson of the Dobbs case will be an old one: “Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it.” But silly to compare to Brown…

  2. LesGabriel Avatar
    LesGabriel

    The author brings up some practical issues that need to be addressed along with any “life at conception” bills. Defining a pre-born persons as a person does not mean that they are necessarily deemed to have all of the rights as a born person. We have all kinds of laws that allow certain rights based on a person’s age. We could restrict HOV laws to born persons as well as other statutes regarding census counts, inheritance, etc.

    As for the suggestion that science has nothing to say about when life begins, in fact biologists have found no point other than fertilization at which they can distinguish a distinct human being from something else. It is a scientific question, but it is also a legal one. We have passed laws that define the end of life, laws that have evolved as our understanding of biology has grown, and there is no reason that we should not make laws that define when life begins and what are the legal consequences of each stage of life.

    1. James McCarthy Avatar
      James McCarthy

      I did not say science has nothing to say on the subject, only that it is not settled. As with brain death, some suggest that brain life which has some evidence supporting that development at six months, there may be an acceptable legal and ethical standard. The key issue is when might personhood begin.

      1. LesGabriel Avatar
        LesGabriel

        You say that it is unsettled whether life begins at conception. Even if that were true, in other areas of life where it is uncertain whether or not a human being is alive or not, the presumption is always on the side of life. If there are miners trapped in a mine, we do not allow the mine owner to seal it up until every effort is made to either rescue any survivors or to continue efforts to do so until no hope remains. We would not allow a farmer to burn down his own barn if there were children missing in the area without first making a search. I don’t think anyone has ever tried to prove that an unborn person was not a human life, let alone succeeded in doing so. Until then, the presumption should be on the side of life.

        1. James McCarthy Avatar
          James McCarthy

          We can hypothesize or adopt an assumption that life initiates at conception. The miners trapped are distinctly persons. Life and person are not equivalents. Law based upon assumptions is a contradiction in terms. At what point May the mine owner abandon rescue efforts? Or police call off the search for missing children? Brain death has become an acceptable legal and ethical criterion for cessation of life saving measures. Perhaps, society can agree upon brain life as the point of personhood.

          1. LesGabriel Avatar
            LesGabriel

            I agree that life and personhood are different concepts. There are certain areas of law where it would make no sense to treat an unborn child the same as an adult or even a born child. We have mentioned HOV and the Census and there are dozens, maybe hundreds of others. But when it comes to the question of merely maintaining that life, then the differences become much less clear.

          2. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            An example of the difficulty is the ten-year old, pregnant Ohio woman/child. The extremists for life at inception cannot escape the no-compromise results.

          3. LarrytheG Avatar
            LarrytheG

            exactly. Yes. There is no standard, legal or constitutional for when the mine owner (or regulators) can call off rescue.

            Even now, the “definition” of when someone can be taken off life support is – not a standard law or even an articulated Constitutional right.

            This is another example of where the Founding Fathers could not forsee advances in medicine or other technologies. Their words are based on what they knew at the time.

    2. LarrytheG Avatar
      LarrytheG

      beyond legal and scientific – religion and morality also drive the issue.

      And what most laws does is force a compromise that is not agreed to by everyone.

      1. James McCarthy Avatar
        James McCarthy

        Few keep in mind that laws are essentially and functionally expressions of standards of behavior. Courts, in turn, operate to mediate deviations from those standards. The Dobbs decision ignored that evaluative concept in favor of a radical reversal intellectually rationalized as “wrongly decided.”

  3. Eric the half a troll Avatar
    Eric the half a troll

    “A GOP Delegate has called upon Gov. Youngkin to use the power of the state’s purse to restrict abortion services at public universities.”

    That would be my non-representative Representative LaRock. In addition to this advice from WTOP: “LaRock told WTOP that he’s urging Youngkin to sign an executive order directing state government agencies to not sign any contracts with businesses that support abortion rights.”

    Imagine if it were the opposite position… denying state contracts to any company which supports restricting abortions? Oh how the Conservatives would howl about 1st Amendment Rights!! But who, at this point, is surprised by Conservative hypocrisy…??

    1. LarrytheG Avatar
      LarrytheG

      Conservatives will take whatever position is needed to get to the next step of their desires… they don’t see it as hypocrisy but fighting the good fight to get what is right.

      1. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
        James Wyatt Whitehead

        1. LarrytheG Avatar
          LarrytheG

          If he were alive today, would he say we have reached the goal? What would he think of BLM and CRT?

          Most Conservatives would quickly disown him if he sided with BLM.

          right?

          1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Most Conservatives disowned him then…. actually condemned him…

          2. LarrytheG Avatar
            LarrytheG

            and today, the hypocrisy of their supposed attachment to him and his supposed “conservatism” just reeks to high heaven.

          3. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Most Conservatives disowned him then…. actually condemned him…

      2. Eric the half a troll Avatar
        Eric the half a troll

        “..,fighting the good fight to get what is right….”

        No this is what they say out loud is what they are doing… but every once and a while one slips and admits that they are fighting the fight to regain their position of power over the “weaker sex” and they know it is not right.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar
          LarrytheG

          well no… unfortunately some of them do think it’s “right” – in the bible… male dominancy, white supremacy, manifest destiny.

  4. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    We’ve been living in a drug-addled, brain-inhibited, sexually inebriated Brave New World for a long time now. With major elements of 1984. The Dobbs case has nothing to do with that. The original Roe was more in line with that argument, eliminating the most dread consequence of rampant sexual activity.

    Keep in mind that the extreme statements promoting absolute abortion bans are mainly being aimed at the many Republican voters and office holders who have no intention of doing anything of the sort. But the political damage, the wedge being driven in Republican ranks, is going to be real. The impact of this issue on Republican primary races will be the first sign. There the “begins at conception” push will have the biggest impact, and those seeking to set some compromise in place will be ripped to pieces.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Oh Bull Dirt! Of course they intend on doing it. I suppose the Indiana and Ohio AGs are just aberrations?

      Quit drinking your bathwater, Steve. These are people making laws based entirely on the Evangelical religious belief.

    2. James McCarthy Avatar
      James McCarthy

      OMG! Roe as impetus for rampant, drug addled, brain-inhibited sexual promiscuity? Which gender was guilty of those behaviors? The extreme statements are not being aimed, they are voluntarily emanating from the mouths and minds of elected and campaigning individuals. Listen to the right to life expert testify that abortion is not abortion. Or Indiana’s AG, hot to be on TV, threatening an OBGYN doctor who followed the law in providing an abortion to the Ohio ten-year old rape victim.

      1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
        Eric the half a troll

        Haner is another Conservative now emboldened to speak the quiet parts out loud…

      2. Stephen Haner Avatar
        Stephen Haner

        “Which gender was guilty of…” It has always taken both genders (the real genders) to create a pregnancy. 🙂

        1. James McCarthy Avatar
          James McCarthy

          In modern society, it takes only one to tango to a pregnancy. Sexual relations are not necessary to procreate or create a pregnancy, addled with or without drugs or inhibitions. When male decision-makers legislate for vasectomies and/or castration, the moral aspects of abortion to which you allude may even out. You may even arrive at the conclusion that Todd Aiken’s “science” about rape and pregnancy was mistaken.

          1. vicnicholls Avatar
            vicnicholls

            Steve indicated both genders, he is correct. You mentioned the physical act, which is not necessary but still requires TWO elements: one from the male, one from the female, to create a new human life.

          2. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            I think you missed his earlier comment equating abortion accessibility with a list of adjectives about sexual abandon. Two elements do not a person make. Initially, it is an embryo. If created by IVF, the embryo may be the subject of a property dispute in a divorce or breakup. Prior to Dobbs, few claimed frozen embryos are alive.

    3. Teddy007 Avatar
      Teddy007

      Once again, one cannot interact with a pro-lifers without the misogyny coming out. Banning abortion has nothing to do with protecting babies but has a lot to do with punishing women for having sex with the wrong man.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar
        LarrytheG

        or having sex, period, if not for procreation…

        1. Teddy007 Avatar
          Teddy007

          To pro-lifers, women are all irresponsible sluts who need to be controlled and punished. The tell is more excited about bounty hunter laws than about healthcare and financial security for newborn children.

          1. Andrea Epps Avatar
            Andrea Epps

            I wonder why we havent seen a proposal to make sex out of wedlock a felony…maybe that would limit the number of unplanned pregnancies…
            (I jest, sort of)

          2. Teddy007 Avatar
            Teddy007

            Under the uniform code of military justice, adultery used to be a crime. It was only acted upon when the wife and girlfriend ganged up on the husband.

          3. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            Under UCMJ adultery is still a punishable offense. Conduct unbecoming. It’s enforcement is what’s not often to occur.

          4. Teddy007 Avatar
            Teddy007

            According to army.mil, the UCMJ still has adultry as its own crime. From the website: Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice makes criminal the act of adultery when certain legal criteria, known as “elements,” have all been met

          5. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            To avoid having to prove all the elements they use conduct unbecoming for Officers and NCO’s. The real travesty is the Joe’s don’t get anything when they are Jody victims.

      2. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        A lot? Everything. Wait’ll they overturn Loving v. Virginia.

        1. Teddy007 Avatar
          Teddy007

          Lawrence, Obergefell, Griswold, and the Voting Rights act will be overturned before Loving.

      3. vicnicholls Avatar
        vicnicholls

        So men are not capable of saying no? Of using protection? Of staying away from women completely before anything goes to that level (Amber Heard?). Or staying away from trafficking women and supporting getting women out of it?

    4. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Oh Bull Dirt! Of course they intend on doing it. I suppose the Indiana and Ohio AGs are just aberrations?

      Quit drinking your bathwater, Steve. These are people making laws based entirely on the Evangelical religious belief.

      And GOOD! Made your bed on a fire ant mound, enjoy the night.

      1. Stephen Haner Avatar
        Stephen Haner

        Not just evangelicals. Catholics (starting with the Pope), Hispanics (mostly Catholics of course), and plenty of non-religious folks like me who still recognize a that a child is fully human at some point before birth. But with full GOP control a while back, Virginia never passed a “Roe Trigger Bill.” Why not? Sit back and watch, Nancy, you will probably enjoy the coming bloodbath.

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          Well, there was good reason why the Protestants and Catholics killed each other in bloodbaths for 500 years. Shiite and Sunni? Ha! Small potatoes. When 75% of American “Christians” (a minority BTW) find themselves being ruled from Rome by proxy, it will be glorious! Remember, the Klan didn’t like blacks, Jews or Catholics… or just about anyone else.

          Abortion is self-regulating. It always has been. Women don’t carry for 20+ weeks and suddenly say, “Hey! I need to fit in that dress for the wedding!” The time of the “quickening” was always the line in the sand. Until then, only her hairdresser knew for sure. Wait, no. That was something else.

          BTW, is not birth an abortion? It terminates the pregnancy. Will labor inducing drugs be banned? Don’t worry, some of the GOP someplace will say so. Remember Aiken and “legitimate rape cannot cause a pregnancy”? That’s what you get for denying SexEd.

        2. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          Virginia — the hand-punched hole in the Bible Belt. BTW, the States with the most draconian abortion laws are easy to predict. They are the States with the greatest number of Televangelists within 100 miles of the capital.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar
            LarrytheG

            Truth!

  5. sherlockj Avatar
    sherlockj

    The author wrote “Citizens will be left to elect among competing moral and ethical beliefs to inform political choices”. Exactly.

    The author suggests that some of those political choices will prove Kafkaesque. “Dobbs may have unleashed a kraken-worthy pandemic of civic monsters to rival that of Greek mythology.” The political decisions of the states as “civic monsters”.

    Certainly one way to view it.

    The other is as the choices of the people of those states and their “competing moral and ethical beliefs”. The republican form of government as opposed to judicial fiat. I’ll take the choices of the people every time on issues not addressed in the constitution.

    The early progressive movement in America trusted “experts” (as defined by Progressives) over the people. That continues today.

    The result has been the decline of Congress and state legislatures and the rise of the administrative state. The same Court that decided Dobbs put a spike in the rails of the administrative state in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, telling the legislative branch to do its job on a federal matter.

    This Court is, in short, insisting that the Congress and state legislatures resume their constitutional roles.

    I offer context for this discussion from the syllabus of the Dobbs ruling below. For the entire syllabus, See https://www.nationalreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Dobbs_Opinion.pdf of Dobbs

    The majority opinion :

    “Held: The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.”

    Our republican form of government provides the arena for subjects not addressed in the federal Constitution.

    Further in the opinion, the majority found:

    “the people of the various States may evaluate those interests differently. The Nation’s historical understanding of ordered liberty does not prevent the people’s elected representatives from deciding how abortion should be regulated.”

    Further:

    “What sharply distinguishes the abortion right from the rights recognized in the cases on which Roe and Casey rely is something that both those decisions acknowledged: Abortion is different because it destroys what Roe termed “potential life” and what the law challenged in this case calls an “unborn human being.” None of the other decisions cited by Roe and Casey involved the critical moral question posed by abortion. Accordingly, those cases do not support the right to obtain an abortion, and the Court’s conclusion that the Constitution does not confer such a right does not undermine them in any way.”

    Further:
    “stare decisis is not an inexorable command, Pearson v. Callahan, 555 U. S. 223, 233, and “is at its weakest when [the Court] interpret[s] the Constitution,” Agostini v. Felton, 521 U. S. 203, 235. Some of the Court’s most important constitutional decisions have overruled prior precedents. See, e.g., Brown v. Board of Educa- tion, 347 U. S. 483, 491 (overruling the infamous decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U. S. 537, and its progeny)”

    Further:
    “When Casey revisited Roe almost 20 years later, it reaffirmed Roe’s central holding, but pointedly refrained from endorsing most of its reasoning. The Court abandoned any reliance on a privacy right and instead grounded the abortion right entirely on the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. 505 U. S., at 846. The controlling opinion criticized and rejected Roe’s trimester scheme, 505 U. S., at 872, and substituted a new and obscure “undue burden” test. Casey, in short, either refused to reaffirm or rejected important aspects of Roe’s analysis, failed to remedy glaring deficiencies in Roe’s reasoning, endorsed what it termed Roe’s central holding while suggesting that a majority might not have thought it was correct, provided no new support for the abortion right other than Roe’s status as precedent, and imposed a new test with no firm grounding in constitutional text, history, or precedent.”

    Then:
    “Workability. Deciding whether a precedent should be over- ruled depends in part on whether the rule it imposes is workable—that is, whether it can be understood and applied in a consistent and pre- dictable manner. Casey’s “undue burden” test has scored poorly on the workability scale. The Casey plurality tried to put meaning into the “undue burden” test by setting out three subsidiary rules, but these rules created their own problems. And the difficulty of applying Casey’s new rules surfaced in that very case. Compare 505 U. S., at 881– 887, with id., at 920–922 (Stevens, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part). The experience of the Courts of Appeals provides further evidence that Casey’s “line between” permissible and unconstitutional restrictions “has proved to be impossible to draw with precision.” Ja- nus, 585 U. S., at ___. Casey has generated a long list of Circuit conflicts. Continued adherence to Casey’s unworkable “undue burden” test would undermine, not advance, the “evenhanded, predictable, and consistent development of legal principles.” Payne, 501 U. S., at 827.”

    Then:
    Reliance interests. Overruling Roe and Casey will not upend concrete reliance interests like those that develop in “cases involving property and contract rights.” Payne, 501 U. S., at 828. In Casey, the controlling opinion conceded that traditional reliance interests were not implicated because getting an abortion is generally “unplanned ac- tivity,” and “reproductive planning could take virtually immediate ac- count of any sudden restoration of state authority to ban abortions.” 505 U. S., at 856. Instead, the opinion perceived a more intangible form of reliance, namely, that “people [had] organized intimate rela- tionships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society . . . in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail” and that “[t]he ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Na- tion has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.” Ibid. The contending sides in this case make impassioned and conflicting arguments about the effects of the abortion right on the lives of women as well as the status of the fetus. The Casey plurality’s speculative attempt to weigh the relative importance of the interests of the fetus and the mother represent a departure from the “original constitutional proposition” that “courts do not substitute their social and economic beliefs for the judgment of legislative bodies.” Ferguson v. Skrupa, 372 U. S. 726, 729–730.”

    Finally for purposes of background for this article:

    “The Solicitor General suggests that overruling Roe and Casey would threaten the protection of other rights under the Due Process Clause. The Court emphasizes that this decision concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other right. Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.”

  6. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead

    “Instead, Dobbs proffers an uncompromising prospect laden with unnecessary pain.”

    Much like the Dred Scott decision. The storm is just beginning.

    1. James McCarthy Avatar
      James McCarthy

      Dred Scott did not radically displace the interests of millions. Rather, it merely corroborated extant racial practices. Brown, OTOH, did displace accepted customs, laws, and practices for decades into the future. Dobbs and Scott are not comparable in their effects upon social and legal systems. Brown and Dobbs share very similar origins and prospects.

      1. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
        James Wyatt Whitehead

        Counselor you totally missed the point of Dred Scott.

        1. James McCarthy Avatar
          James McCarthy

          Not in its historical context.

          1. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
            James Wyatt Whitehead

            Mr. McCarthy. I will give you a salute. Not the middle finger either. 145 comments and rolling. Thank you. This has been a good back and forth.

          2. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            Thanx. The issues are monumental and will recur in any number of forms and circumstances.

  7. James C. Sherlock Avatar
    James C. Sherlock

    Mr. McCarthy certainly has taken us on a wild ride.

    He attacks political compromise, the heart of a republican form of government, as “cover” for politicians.

    Back to basics.

    This court both in Dobbs and in West Virginia vs. EPA ruled that the legislatures, state legislatures in Dobbs and the Congress in West Virginia vs. EPA must play their constitutional roles.

    That the constitution itself does not protect abortion or the administrative state.

    The author here sees Dobbs as delivering Kafkaesque laws “a kraken-worthy pandemic of civic monsters to rival that of Greek mythology”.

    It reminds of the origins of progressivism. Progressives do not trust our republican form of government, and from the beginning of the movement have wanted to substitute “experts”, as defined by progressives, to make decisions. Laws as “a kraken-worthy pandemic of civic monsters” captures the theme with elan.

    From that has come 100 years of the decline of the legislative branches and the rise of the administrative state. The judiciary, when in the hands of progressives, has accelerated the trend to diminish legislative authority with such rulings as Roe and Casey.

    This Court is returning to the people and their representatives the right to make core decisions about core political questions unaddressed in the Constitution. It is about time.

    See the entire syllabus of the Dobbs ruling at https://www.nationalreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Dobbs_Opinion.pdf

    1. James McCarthy Avatar
      James McCarthy

      Nice try! The diminishment, it would seem according to your view, commenced when the Court wrote Marbury v Madison clipping Congress’s wings. That decision is not based upon any specific words in the Constitution. At the same time, Congress in its legislative wisdom enacted laws granting administrative authority to agencies involving “core political questions unaddressed in the Constitution.” All accomplished by “progressives” intent upon destroying the Republican form of government? Made a perfect circle by progressive courts!! Your pride and confidence in a radical Court augurs exactly the contemporary fault in conservative logic and theory. It ain’t about “basics” but loss of control. Steve Bannon, the iconic deconstructionist of the administrative state, begins trial on July 18. I’m sure there’s a defense fund to which you can contribute.

      1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
        James C. Sherlock

        You are not nearly the only lawyer who:

        – Prefers regulation to legislation. No compromises necessary in regulation. The administrate state publishes a draft rule, takes a million comments objecting, incorporates those that fit the agency-desired outcome, and adopts it.

        – Prefers the courts to the legislatures until it doesn’t work out for him.
        —Progressive judges: good. Get to the right Court of Appeals: good. Get to the right state Supreme Court: good. Get to the current United States Supreme Court: bad
        —Conservative and moderate judges: bad. Same with juries.
        —Progressive attorneys can’t venue shop with legislatures. Bad.

        I don’t object to that progressive strategy. It is unfortunately increasingly common. I just don’t share it. If it gets common enough, it will shape the laws.

        So hang in there.

        1. James McCarthy Avatar
          James McCarthy

          You are not the only conservative who mistakes and attributes opinions by education. I’m saddened that you outline so many bullet points reflecting your feelings of rejection and lack of impact upon the public policies of jurisdictions. So, you hang in there! Dobbs is a victory for you. BTW, some attorneys like those on the Court think as you do. Have at it!

          1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
            James C. Sherlock

            Did not mean to sadden.

          2. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            No problem. Like continuing to mask in public, I have respect for my fellow human beings. Not sad. Just concerned.

          3. YellowstoneBound1948 Avatar
            YellowstoneBound1948

            Good grief, Captain. Why are you still communicating with this guy?

          4. LarrytheG Avatar
            LarrytheG

            boy , your threat to leave was fake, eh?

          5. James C. Sherlock Avatar
            James C. Sherlock

            Jim,
            I think my “bullet points” describe an analytical process that any lawyer with a client seeking a progressive outcome would go through to create a strategy to best serve his client’s interests.

            Nothing there is illegal. Indeed, that lawyers’ role in the judicial system would compel him to create such a strategy if it could be funded either by the client or pro bono.

            That is why I don’t object to it.

            Yes, Dobbs is a victory for people whose political principles tend towards a republican form of government.

          6. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            Your interpretation of republican government is Republican. Your “analysis” is your interpretation of your lack of insight to legal reasoning. Your personal rectitude serves you but cannot function as a dispassionate analyst. Rest assured that there are those who are neither persuaded by your volubility nor afraid to question your rectitude.

          7. James C. Sherlock Avatar
            James C. Sherlock

            If progressives now admit they consider representative government a “Republican” value, which they clearly do, I hope the Democrats adopt that as a strategy. I am actually begging them to do so.

      2. YellowstoneBound1948 Avatar
        YellowstoneBound1948

        You should have stuck with your opening salvo. You’ve done nothing but diminish its power (the “diminishment,” if you will) since then.

    2. LarrytheG Avatar
      LarrytheG

      trying to think how things like social security, Medicare, clean air, clean water, food and drug safety, NASA, NOAA, etc, etc, “work” if they are not articulated in the Constitution and therefore must go to the states to do.

      So if the Founding Fathers did not foresee an issue or a technology – it can’t be a national law?

      This is where the loons will take us…

      1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
        James C. Sherlock

        Constitutional justifications for those as federal matters are not lacking.

        1. James McCarthy Avatar
          James McCarthy

          Precisely!! And surely you would say the same about Marbury. If Constitutional justifications exist, Roe was one of them. The absence of specific words in the Constitution does not nullify justification. BTW, not all law is legislative as Marbury proves. Court interpretations are law.

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            But, it apparently justifies nullification.

          2. James C. Sherlock Avatar
            James C. Sherlock

            Of course, the Supreme Court in Dobbs found the Roe and Casey were wrongly decided. That is where we are. At the legislatures.

          3. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            Slip, slide, soft shoe deflect. Again, your opinion on wrongly decided will not surely lead you to betray Marbury by the same legal theory. Why not? Because you agree with the outcome. Men will be men when power is at stake.

          4. YellowstoneBound1948 Avatar
            YellowstoneBound1948

            My god, McCarthy, you are a hypocrite. Having it both ways is everything to you.

        2. LarrytheG Avatar
          LarrytheG

          constitutional textualist

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Don’t worry, they all carry a “Get out of Text free” card.

        3. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          You should take up sailboat racing. The rule book is some 50 pages. The appeals are 5 binders 4″ thick. Every appeal carries the weight of a rule.

        4. YellowstoneBound1948 Avatar
          YellowstoneBound1948

          Commerce Clause is the Big Kahuna, methinks. Wrong again, Lawrence the G.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar
            LarrytheG

            tally up all the laws and Govt agencies that are “Un-constitutional” and get back.

            It’s just plain idiotic and ignorant to believe that the founding fathers actually intended that things they could not foresee in the future would all be “un-constitutional”.

            And we have the additional ODD thing that because the Founding Fathers could not foresee the future , living folks in the states can “correct” it – so we can have 50 different state laws that do what one Federal law would.

            Dumb.

      2. YellowstoneBound1948 Avatar
        YellowstoneBound1948

        This is not even worthy of a first semester discussion in a Con Law class.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar
          LarrytheG

          “Constitutional Law” as believed by Conservatives is loon city…. it presumes that the Founding Fathers would knowingly be prevented from not creating NASA or Medicare or dozens/hundreds of others things not articulated in the original “text”.

          It would be the same today for loons who cannot envision how drones or TikToc or interstellar science will impact society and they surely are and will.

          It’s the quintessential problem of Conservatism that refuses to deal with issues that they did not conceive as happening.

    3. Yeah definitely good the states can make the decision now instead of the…actual people making the decision whether or not to get an abortion.

      That argument needs to be dropped, it’s absurd on its face. If you cared about giving the power back to the “people” you’d back an expansion of abortion rights. You desire a federal ban, and it’s bizarre seeing you all tapdance around that fact.

      I guess we’ll see what happens after mid-terms, and especially after 2024.

      1. YellowstoneBound1948 Avatar
        YellowstoneBound1948

        Roseanne, if the states aren’t “people,” what are they? Who’s supporting a federal ban? I hear the pro-life states saying “go elsewhere.” That’s all. You’ve let the know-it-all’s here confuse you They’ve done it intentionally, Your confusion, however, is probably not intentional.

        1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
          Eric the half a troll

          “I hear the pro-life states saying “go elsewhere.””

          “… as long as you aren’t pregnant… then we will tell you when you can go elsewhere…”

        2. James McCarthy Avatar
          James McCarthy

          Be assured states are actually not people any more than the US itself. Characterizing another commenter as confused is a confusing misnomer on an opinion blog.

    4. YellowstoneBound1948 Avatar
      YellowstoneBound1948

      McCarthy, who can’t seem to understand that many reject his take on the slaughter of ex-utero humans, has taken us on a wild ride, as you say, and then has spent the balance of his time clicking on “up” and “down” arrows to assure us that he agrees with himself. He’s the most dishonest pseudo-intellect writing here.

      1. James McCarthy Avatar
        James McCarthy

        Thanx for your insight. And yes, the sissy practice of legislators and judges voting yea or nay should cease.

    5. dave schutz Avatar
      dave schutz

      “Youngkin and his allies may be comfortable with a 15-week abortion limit compromise against the ultra-pro-lifers as progress, while it also offers deniability from extremism for acceptance on a national stage.” My own best bet on ‘deniability from extremism’ is kind of analogous to North Carolina’s discovery that it was losing investment / convention business over its anti-LGBT stance: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/north-carolina/articles/2021-11-07/north-carolina-leaders-remain-divided-about-lgbt-protections; Texas’ effort to poach businesses from California is already reeling. So my guess is that the grownups in states which are looking to restrict will try to push back.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar
        LarrytheG

        It’s a world that Conservatives want though and they’ll get it wherever they can – and yes – to the harm of places that allow Conservative wants.

  8. walter smith Avatar
    walter smith

    Dobbs was not the problem. Roe was.
    Roe corrupted our politics and judiciary for 50 years.
    It is not dissimilar to the Civil War/War Between the States/War of Northern Aggression. If war could have been avoided and the moral suasion/political/ federalism process had been allowed to work out, I think slavery would have ended within 20 years and with a lot better outcomes for the freed slaves than “Good luck.”
    The problem for the abortion advocates is that they did not come to a political settlement years ago because they got what they wanted (an evil thing ultimately) by judicial fiat, and then refused to recognize any limits and chose to hide behind euphemisms and obfuscations.
    People will get “convenience” abortions even if and when totally outlawed. Medical necessity (not mental state, real medical necessity) will always be allowed. Rape and incest are the exceptions, and there is a strong argument against those. Besides the obvious answer of don’t have sex at certain times without precautions/ keep it to marriage/ use birth control, there really aren’t that many good reasons for abortion as birth control.
    If I were you people who love criminals but hate what is clearly a nascent human being, I would bid against Gov Youngkin and go for lower – 12 weeks, 10 weeks, 6 weeks, get a bill and move on and hope the issue of life at conception isn’t pressed further…

    1. James McCarthy Avatar
      James McCarthy

      The beginnings of medical necessity have begun to be announced by politicos: never. Conflating abortion and birth control is nonsense. But that will not prevent the extremists from seeking to ban birth control measures on the same rationale as life at conception. Keeping sex to marriage is pure moral fantasy.

      1. walter smith Avatar
        walter smith

        Of course, not addressing the issue presented and changing the subject to something not said.
        How the “clump of cells” happens is no mystery. Maybe the extremists are the people who are OK with killing a human for sexually libertine behavior (arguably killing an innocent human for convenience, while at the same time mandating that others take an ineffective experimental vaccine they didn’t want. You guys really blew it as to my body my choice there).

        1. James McCarthy Avatar
          James McCarthy

          It would be entertaining if your comments were merely cantankerous. Your linking of vaccine mandates and the topical discussion thread defies rationality. The spaghetti simply does not stick to the wall. While you and your allies desire to link abortion to “sexually libertine behavior”, most others are not convinced of your antediluvian morality preferring to engage with reason.

          1. YellowstoneBound1948 Avatar
            YellowstoneBound1948

            It would be entertaining if your comments were merely narcissistic.

          2. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            Working on it. First is to look up the definition.

    2. Eric the half a troll Avatar
      Eric the half a troll

      “Besides the obvious answer of don’t have sex at certain times without precautions/ keep it to marriage/ use birth control, there really aren’t that many good reasons for abortion as birth control.”

      Even if birth control is used perfectly each and every time (which won’t happen in Conservative controlled educational environments to be sure) there will still likely be more than 1 million unplanned pregnancies each year in the US.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Now, the penalty of an unplanned pregnancy will be poverty, sterility, or death.

        1. walter smith Avatar
          walter smith

          Wow. Must have been great to be your kid. Maybe the unplanned child would be a blessing. Have you asked any parents who had the surprise baby what they thought? Maybe somebody who can’t have a baby would happily adopt the baby. But, again, Biology 101 – a guy puts his sperm in a woman and a baby is a possibility. The baby didn’t do anything wrong…
          At some point you people who seem to worship Molech need to admit that the clump of cells is a human being, and then look for a political compromise. But, having forced pro-lifers to have to fight for 50 years, while you hid behind obfuscations, you shouldn’t be surprised if pro-lifers want to keep pushing the issue (because it is a human being)

          1. LarrytheG Avatar
            LarrytheG

            yep. And about 3 million kids (produced sexually) die a year from starvation/malnutrition.

            what would you do about that?

          2. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            What would you do Larry? Wanna just kill a few billion to avoid starvation? You and Robespierre…
            Where are the 3 million dying? So…African starvation justifies killing babies for convenience in America?
            Seriously, the worship of baby killing by people like Fauxcahontas is evil.
            Dr. Gosnell was evil. Partial birth abortion is evil. Reselling the parts is evil. Where is your line? If the clump of cells isn’t human, why did Planned Parenthood resell the parts?

          3. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            No one is killing babies and it is not a mere “convenience” decision. Dr. Gosnell was actually a murderer and was convicted as such. So-called “partial birth abortion” is banned in the US with very few exceptions. Your arguments are false and show the weakness of your position.

          4. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Oh…ok…your Trollness.
            What is your so strong position?
            And where is partial birth abortion banned, pre-Dobbs?
            There are no abortions occurring for convenience? Really?
            The number where there is no possibility of rape or incest or life of the mother is somewhere around 93%, and if you remove “mental” from the life of the mother calculation, you end up around 98%. It is a barbaric practice.

          5. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            See Gonzales v. Carhart…

            So to you if it is not rape, incest, life or health of mother it is a “convenience” decision. No wonder you old white guys don’t trust women to make important decisions if that is the way you think… smh…

          6. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Why do I need to see Gonzales v Carhart?
            Usually, when you guys cite something, it doesn’t say what you want it to say – it is a headline, and when you read the details, it isn’t what was implied by the headline.
            So, if you don’t want to have the baby because you didn’t “plan” it, that isn’t for convenience – to avoid taking care of the life created? Sounds like convenience to me…

          7. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            This time it is.

            Again, it is very curious (but now unsurprising) that you think the factors a woman faces when deciding to terminate her pregnancy are either “I am going to die” or “Meh, I just find the prospect too much of an inconvenience”…but I guess if your worldview is that a woman’s place is in the home and her entire function in life is to pop out and raise the kids (except for the occasional whooping by Dad) then it is to be expected…

          8. LarrytheG Avatar
            LarrytheG

            I’m pointing out what does actually happen if birth control is not used and people have sex – more to just have sex rather than have kids.

            Kids get born to people who cannot feed them, and they die.

            How would you address this issue? Birth Control?

            just stand back and let it continue to happen?

            If you say you care about babies and life in this country – do you also care about the issue in general for people around the world that engage in sex, and have kids, they cannot feed?

          9. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            That some clump of cells is a human being and a person argues a theology to which not all are believers. Those who are hiding behind obfuscations are the moralists who advocate life at conception. Try to appreciate that others do not agree with you.

          10. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            To say that the clump of cells is theology is another bogus argument. So, because murder, stealing, lying are frowned upon in the Bible, it would be establishing religion to not permit it? Not even a serious argument. Is murder wrong? Do you need to be a Christian or a Jew to believe murder is wrong? Or is murder wrong because innately everyone knows it is wrong?
            You guys can deny it all you want, but the clump of cells is a human. You would be smart to quit denying it and reach a political ending with sane restrictions quickly.

          11. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            The clump of cells is no more a human than my fingernail is a human.

          12. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Keep believing that…
            Yeah, my fingernails have hearts and eyes and can live…
            Sophistry, Troll.

          13. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            And there you go… “can live”…. eventually and under very specific conditions… it is not yet live. Thanks for acknowledging this fact.

          14. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            And there you go… “can live”…. eventually and under very specific conditions… it is not yet live. Thanks for acknowledging this fact.

          15. YellowstoneBound1948 Avatar
            YellowstoneBound1948

            Sure.

          16. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Glad you agree…

          17. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            What is bogus is your simple assertions of morality as law and universality. Indeed, yours is a theological prescription and little else. Like some of your comrade conservatives, it is your wokery. Asserting a clump of cells is human is but an assertion.

          18. YellowstoneBound1948 Avatar
            YellowstoneBound1948

            Not everyone agrees with you. I bet you didn’t think of that.

          19. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            See what happens when you publish an article on this blog.

          20. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Unless it a “legitimate rape”, in which case according to GOP lawmakers, a woman’s body will prevent pregnancy.

          21. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Nice diversion, as usual.
            How many of the evil, “unplanned” pregnancies result from rape? Rape rape, as Whoopi would say?
            And some mothers, not clump of cell carriers, choose to give birth – probably those evil Christian types…
            I don’t have a uterus so I don’t know what I would do in that situation.
            But that is so far the exception, that far and away most people would be able to accept it as an exception.
            You zealots need to get your heads out of your rectums and come to some political limit, quickly.

          22. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            Good grief!! It does not require a uterus to exercise common sense or empathy. This discussion is not limited to accepting the political limits your gang offers.

          23. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            139,815 rapes reported 2019. Now given it’s unlikely the perpetrators discuss their victim’s cycles, let’s say 1/4 of those occur during the roughly one week of fertility, so potentially 35,000.

            Hey! What a coincidence! Roughly the same number killed by guns! Replacement parts?

        2. YellowstoneBound1948 Avatar
          YellowstoneBound1948

          Opening line of the typical clown show we see here.

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Human behavior is governed by the law. Revert the law to 1950 then expect humans to behave as they did in 1950. In 1950, women resorted to back alley abortions that resulted in sterility and death. Why do you expect differently?

          2. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            Where’s your commentary? Name calling is unhelpful.

      2. walter smith Avatar
        walter smith

        I had an unplanned ticket last month. I was driving the car. I wanted to drive the car. I did not mean to speed, but I did.
        Can I kill the officer for that?
        No one forces you to have sex (excluding rape here). If you eject your sperm into a real woman (you know, eggs, uterus etc), there is a possibility that woman will become pregnant. People living in caves figured this out.
        And many marriages occurred and worked and many people lived, but actions have consequences.

        1. James McCarthy Avatar
          James McCarthy

          You failed to list incest as unforced sex unless you believe it is possible it’s not. In your hypo, suicide not murder is the prescriptive result for speeding. Like the officer, we are mere spectators to your aberrant behavior.

        2. Eric the half a troll Avatar
          Eric the half a troll

          “…actions have consequences…”

          A common opinion among the part of the population that does not have to actually face those consequences.

          You do know in your really pitiful metaphor that first sex is not illegal (well not YET anyway – the right to have sex is not enumerated in the Constitution after all) but the mistake is often a life sentence vs. a $100 fine…🤷‍♂️

          1. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            So killing a human being is ok if the human is inconvenient?

          2. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Terminating a pregnancy is not killing a human being. It is terminating the potential for human life and it is rarely done for “convenience”.

          3. YellowstoneBound1948 Avatar
            YellowstoneBound1948

            It is killing a human being. No civilization will survive burdened by such barbarity.

          4. LarrytheG Avatar
            LarrytheG

            what’s your position on birth control?

          5. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            I’ll accept abortion instead of war in the race for civilization’s survival.

          6. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Sorry it is not. Killing is the taking of a life. An embryo (especially in the first 2 trimesters) only has the potential for life. That is simply a fact.

            Many civilizations have already survived and thrived while accepting and acknowledging this fact.

        3. James McCarthy Avatar
          James McCarthy

          You failed to list incest as unforced sex unless you believe it is possible it’s not. In your hypo, suicide not murder is the prescriptive result for speeding. Like the officer, we are mere spectators to your aberrant behavior.

          1. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Nice try. And the pregnancy just magically happened…Shazam!
            And sex isn’t aberrant behavior (you know – boy/girl and willing), but if you play the game…

          2. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            Google IVF. No magic, merely science.

          3. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            IVF would be people planning to have a baby, so that has what to do with this?
            And the IVF needs sperm and an egg
            And somehow, those materials create life…
            Just admit you are killing a life for whatever reason you believe is warranted.

          4. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            I can only acknowledge what it appears you do not know. IVF does not require the addled sex your comrades deplore. Nor is the procedure limited to married couples. No one has asserted to your red herring that abortion is taking a life for whatever reason. That is your opinion.

          5. YellowstoneBound1948 Avatar
            YellowstoneBound1948

            You are determined to have the last say.

          6. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            I thought you wanted replies, not mere up or down votes.

    3. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Read a condum package lately? 97% effective. If you ever had a 6-month relationship with a woman that didn’t end in a pregnancy you heard about, it was because of one of two reasons; contraceptives or abortion.

  9. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Roe was pre-DNA. No reason now not to establish child support payments to women as prescribed by law in divorce settlements and child custody cases — even if adopted.

    Dobbs — Unwanted babies and more dead beat Dads.

    Hey wait, no! If E-Verify exists, so can E-Baby. As soon as paternity is established, like withholding, child support equal to 20% of a man’s paycheck can be loaded to a woman’s EBT card.

    1. James McCarthy Avatar
      James McCarthy

      Males, especially conservative ones, are unable to adopt, even imagine, such views. Rape victim is simply beyond their conceptions.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar
        LarrytheG

        more than a few… and adapt is another challenge for them.

      2. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        We have the scientific ability to catalogue DNA so that NO CHILD is fatherless, denied, or lacking in the financial resources to which every child is entitled.

      3. YellowstoneBound1948 Avatar
        YellowstoneBound1948

        Evidently you are also a psychologist.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar
          LarrytheG

          Nope. Just an observer. It’s clear as a bell.

  10. Matt Adams Avatar
    Matt Adams

    “History may judge that this SCOTUS exercised a lack of judicial restraint in overturning Roe. Instead, Dobbs proffers an uncompromising prospect laden with unnecessary pain.”

    Dobbs undid 50 years of legal malpractice. Instead of pushing forth with any sort of legislation or amendments as even Justice Ginsburg insisted, nothing was done. Now it’s back to the states where it started and where it should’ve stayed, when the Court should’ve practiced restraint in 1973 and only ruling on the Texas law and its most restrictive measures before it, they rooted a legal argument in a due process clause.

    It was the wrong case, Justice Ginsburg said it was the wrong case. She argued a case in regards to a service member that would’ve been the proper case and using the equal protection clause would’ve assured it had merit.

    The notion that legally Brown or any other case are in jeopardy are illogical, those cases were grounded in sound legal reasoning, not doggy reasoning as Roe.

    Furthermore, if you don’t like your state’s Laws on abortion, vote. If you don’t want to put forth the effort to live under a Federal System, there are any number of countries to which you can emigrant. There you’ll find you can’t express your opinions freely without fear of repercussions nor can you abort your child after 15 weeks.

    Which by the way was the impitus for Dobbs.

    1. James McCarthy Avatar
      James McCarthy

      No suggestion was made that Brown was in jeopardy. The assertion that Roe represented 50 years of legal malpractice is an inane, unsupported opinion. Marbury v Madison was never codified but continues to be observed as precedent absent specific Constitutional language. There was no precedent in 1973 for the Court to observe or rely upon as there existed in 2022. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of cases as precedent rooted in the 14th Amendment’s equal protection of the law. Legal precedents are the first signal in exercising judicial restraint. The absence of judicial restraint is often characterized by conservatives as judicial activism or legislating from the bench. This SCOTUS and the several Justices who appeared in Senate testimony to swear fealty to precedent enabled legislation they knew was to be triggered. You can explain that difference to your colleagues.

      1. Matt Adams Avatar
        Matt Adams

        1)I’ll take Justice Ginsburg opinion on the subject far and above yours. Which is exactly what I stated, but hey you go with your clearly far more “sound” legal reasoning, you’ll excuse me while I laugh.

        2) Marbury v Madison didn’t invent anything whole cloth, it found Judicial review in articles III & IV. You seem to be the only individual who thinks it’s similar to Roe, which is at odds with a good number of legal and historical individuals.

        3)I didn’t say there was a precedent for the 1973 court to rule, as I said and was stated again by Justice Ginsburg they should’ve ruled on the Texas law alone.

        4)Roe wasn’t rooted in the Equal Protection Clause, it was the Due Process Clause. I don’t know why, go dig up some Justice and ask them why they used it.

        5)Roe was judicial activism, period, end of story. It has nothing to do with political ideologies.

        6)I think you need to open up a dictionary and learn what “fealty” is, because you have continued to misuse that word. As was established in Cannon 5, asking a Justice how they would rule is forbidden. This was established when Justice Ginsburg was nominated and it was established by then Senator Joe Biden. Furthermore, they said something was legal precedent, that doesn’t mean it’s untouchable.

        PS:. Your photo is a between 7-8 weeks gestation, that makes it a fetus by all legal and medical definitions. So your continued dehumanization of call it a “clump of cells” is pointless.

        1. James McCarthy Avatar
          James McCarthy

          There is no specific language in the Constitution creating judicial review in Marbury. It is as you acknowledge “found” in unspecific language and inferred as was Roe. “Clump of cells” is not my choice but introduced by one of your comrades. The photo was selected by the Moderator. When Justices testify in public that they think precedent is highly important, the public believes them. If precedent, in their opinion could be discarded, they should have said so – for the public. Your admiration for RBG is well placed but overdrawn as a political opinion. SCOTUS justices are not bound by a code of ethics.

          1. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            Articles III & IV a long with a host of historical and legal professionals disagree with your assessment. Therefore it can be concluded that your assessment is incorrect on the most broad terms.

            The difference in how Roe was determined is beyond that, they invented whole cloth and therefore were an activist court.

            You sure do like to point blame at others for the language you yourself use. You are responsible for your comments, not anyone else.

            Determining if a precedent is highly important isn’t “swearing” any sort of loyalty to it. Legal precedent is important however, cases can change how precedent is viewed and have hundreds of times over the years.

            You’re again going against Canon 5 established by the now sitting POTUS, where it is improper for a Justice to predetermine their opinion before ever hearing a case. That is activism, which I understand you are but that’s not good law.

            There is nothing political in my opinions that have been stated, there is only reason. The one espousing politics is yourself.

            28 USC 455 disagrees with your assessment.

          2. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            Roe and it’s progeny we’re based upon deep precedents argued by legal scholars. Its root existence constitutionally is equivalent to the inferences that created Marbury. You can argue and cite legal history until the twelfth of never. Marbury, in an Alito analysis, is subject to a conclusion as wrongly decided. RBG might conclude the same in the absence of codification.

            The complete sentence noted the appointee Justices “appeared…to swear fealty.” Keep trying!! Sooner or later you’ll make a solid point.

          3. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            That is false, Roe wasn’t built on any deep rooted precedent and its progeny was rooted in Roe.

            There is no equivalency between Marbury and Roe, none at all. The right to privacy has nothing to do with the legality of abortion.

            I can and will argue history in totality because it stands and is valid.

            Nothing in Alito’s decision could bring you to the conclusion he’d disagree with Marbury. That’s just insane.

            Justice Ginsburg was clear in what she thought of Roe, period.

            “The complete sentence noted the appointee Justices “appeared…to swear fealty.” Keep trying!! Sooner or later you’ll make a solid point.”

            I have made several “solid” points, you on your usual fashion just refuse to I accept anyone but your own as an expert. That’s called and appeal to authority and as far as I’ve seen from your words are not an expert.

            Again, fealty is a feudal pledge to a laird / lord. The Justices did no such thing as it would be a violation of Canon 5.

          4. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            You must read more carefully to comprehend. There was no statement that Alito disagreed with Marbury only that the decision did not have specific language in the Constitution upon which to base the conclusion. Conflating a statement concerning faithfulness to precedent with judicial recusal also is a non sequitur. Dobbs Issa valid as Marbury. Indeed, your opinion is as solid as any and surely as non-experts all other comments. You need to realize that your own convictions are yours not necessarily unchallenged. Fealty is simply not limited to its medieval meaning.

          5. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            “noun
            a conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement.”

            If anyone is using non sequitur, it is yourself with ramblings about Marbury and your instance there is relationship with Roe. There is no legally and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who agrees with you on that.

            ” Dobbs Issa valid as Marbury. Indeed, your opinion is as solid as any and surely as non-experts all other comments. ”

            If you’re going to complain about others invoking ad hom attacks, you shouldn’t engage in them yourself. You yourself are not an expert, that is nothing more than an appeal to authority.

            Perhaps it is you who instead of insisting your own interpretation is correct should read more carefully. You spend an inordinate amount of time attacking those whom don’t agree with your assessments. Instead of having a construction conversation, nor even reflecting on other individuals arguments who have merit.

            “You need to realize that your own convictions are yours not necessarily unchallenged.”

            Perhaps you should take your own advice.

            Also, no fealty has no other meaning.

          6. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            So, an assertion that your opinion is as solid as others is an attack? My responses to others are directed at their commentary. The challenges as my responses offer were welcomed tho not agreed to. Sorry, but, as you agreed, fealty is an equivalent to faithfulness. You can assert it is limited to the medieval notion.

          7. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            “directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.”

            Please cite where you directed your comment at my argument and not me or any other commenter who disagrees with you.

            Fealty is a synonym only in the sense of faithfulness you just choose to ignore the context required for it. Which is exactly what I said and contrary to what you just stated, so that’s a strawman. It’s nothing more than an attempt to use a 50 cent word to sound intelligent.

        2. James McCarthy Avatar
          James McCarthy

          I forgot. Fealty in broad terms means faithfulness. In medieval times, it was the pledge of vassals to lords.

          1. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            Fealty in broad terms does not mean faithfulness. They are synonyms but only as far as context without a laird / lord.

            “a feudal tenant’s or vassal’s sworn loyalty to a lord.
            “they owed fealty to the Earl rather than the King”
            formal acknowledgement of loyalty to a lord.
            “a property for which she did fealty””

            It still means a pledge of loyalty to a lord under a feudal system.

            You also ignored Canon 5, as it inconvenient to your argument.

          2. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            Only if you insist. I’m no longer bound by any canons of ethics and am equal in that regard to the Supremes.

          3. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            If you’re no longer a member of any state bar you aren’t bound by any code of ethics. However, Supreme Court Justices are still bound by 28 USC 455.

          4. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            That’s what I said. Again, recusal has not been raised by other commenters.

          5. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            28 USC 455 flies in the face of your statement they aren’t subject to Ethics

          6. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            Your citation relates to recusal by justices on their own where impartiality might be in question. It is decidedly not a code of ethics analogous to the ones pertaining and governing the conduct of attorneys in every state. Those codes and canons of ethics are not only self-administering but subject to the disciplinary authority of the state bar. No authority considers the section a code of ethics. Except you.

          7. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            28 USC 455 is about recusal on the grounds of ethics.

            The Federal Government does, so you’re roundly disproven yet again.

            Supreme Court Justices aren’t not governered by state bars. They are governered by the Constitution and Federal Code.

            https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/why-the-supreme-court-isnt-compelled-to-follow-a-conduct-code/

          8. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            I’m sorry, but once again you misappreciate the comment. No statement was made that SCOTUS is bound by state bar codes. There exists a code of er ethics applicable to federal justices but not the Supreme Court which is overseen by a judicial conference. Your citation relates only to self-recusal not an abiding code of ethics. Take all the time you need to apprehend the differences and distinctions.

          9. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            For insisting other read harder you sure do have a habit to misrepresenting others words, that is what is known as a strawman.

            “It is decidedly not a code of ethics analogous to the ones pertaining and governing the conduct of attorneys in every state.”

            28 USC 455 certainly pertains to ethics in the most basic notion. They mirror what is outlined in ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

            I don’t need anytime to understand what you seem to fail to admit or understand yourself.

          10. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            Last time: it’s a recusal statute not a code of ethics. That duty to recuse is merely self-effacing. The responsibility therein addresses self-recognition upon the possibility of unfairness or affected judicial judgment. Canons or codes of ethics allow for disciplinary proceedings to be initiated by colleagues. The citation is to a single provision in the USC and is clearly not a code or set of ethical canons. Thus, SCOTUS Justices are required to recuse themselves when they believe their judgment is influenced. They are not subject to the “appearance of impropriety” that underlies codes, including public political activities by a spouse.

          11. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            Recusal from a case for conflict of interest would fall into ethics.

            “The citation is to a single provision in the USC and is clearly not a code or set of ethical canons.”

            I didn’t say it did, next strawman.

            SCOTUS Judges are subject to o impeachment, which has a nebulous definition of high crimes and misdemeanors.

            However, I’m don’t with this conversation. You refuse to accept any possibility that someone else’s opinions are valid and therefore there is nothing more too say.

            I’ll give you the last word, as you always seem to require it.

  11. Matt Adams Avatar
    Matt Adams

    “History may judge that this SCOTUS exercised a lack of judicial restraint in overturning Roe. Instead, Dobbs proffers an uncompromising prospect laden with unnecessary pain.”

    Dobbs undid 50 years of legal malpractice. Instead of pushing forth with any sort of legislation or amendments as even Justice Ginsburg insisted, nothing was done. Now it’s back to the states where it started and where it should’ve stayed, when the Court should’ve practiced restraint in 1973 and only ruling on the Texas law and its most restrictive measures before it, they rooted a legal argument in a due process clause.

    It was the wrong case, Justice Ginsburg said it was the wrong case. She argued a case in regards to a service member that would’ve been the proper case and using the equal protection clause would’ve assured it had merit.

    The notion that legally Brown or any other case are in jeopardy are illogical, those cases were grounded in sound legal reasoning, not doggy reasoning as Roe.

    Furthermore, if you don’t like your state’s Laws on abortion, vote. If you don’t want to put forth the effort to live under a Federal System, there are any number of countries to which you can emigrant. There you’ll find you can’t express your opinions freely without fear of repercussions nor can you abort your child after 15 weeks.

    Which by the way was the impitus for Dobbs.

  12. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar
    f/k/a_tmtfairfax

    There is no legal analysis here whatsoever. Do we really want results-oriented judicial decisions? Why have opinions? Let’s just write a paragraph that sets forth the results. Indeed, even civil law opinions explain how the applicable statute drives the results. We could function at the level of editorial writers. Not.

    No other major nation would allow important privacy protections, including abortion and gay marriage, to depend upon a right of privacy that was found in a penumbra that can be traced to an emanation from language in the Constitution. They have legislative debate and have developed a statute or constitutional provision that set forth the appropriate protections and limitations. But the United States cannot do this, even when Democrats in Congress have openly worried about the validity of Griswold, Roe and their progeny. Had certain senators been confident in the constitutional validity of these cases they would not have pressed SCOTUS candidates whether they saw Roe as settled precedent. Justice Bader Ginsburg poked holes in Roe, even though she, as a policy matter, strongly supported the right to choose. Do you think the late Justice was a bit smarter than the typical journalist? So why didn’t other left-leaning justices abandon the fallacies of Roe and work to find some level of compromise around Justice Ginsburg?

    Why didn’t Kagan and Breyer join Roberts’ opinion and see whether they might find some common ground with a couple other justices that would have upheld the Mississippi law while preserving Roe? Better to virtue signal than to achieve a better result.

    And then there is the need to ignore the failures of both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama to press Congress for a reasonable national statute to protect the right to an abortion. But alleged rapist Bill Clinton was and is a folk hero to Democrats. The fact that he had the ability to get the Freedom of Choice Act passed is simply ignored.

    And Barack Obama, quite a cut above Clinton, is bi-racial. No biracial president could be held responsible for failing to protect abortion rights. So what if he made a campaign speech to Planned Parenthood, announcing FOCA was a top priority. It’s easier to believe judges should believe in the birth of a penumbra from an emanation.

    There are lots of ways Democrats could have avoided where we are today.
    Let’s pretend continues on BR.

    1. James McCarthy Avatar
      James McCarthy

      P45, the Federalist Society, and the Judicial Crisis Network catapulted Roe into the fore. If GOP senators did not inquire about Roe, it’s because the Justice selection process was predetermined. That left Dems to ask questions. As your political analysis is faulty, so too is your superficial legal and legislative assertions.

  13. walter smith Avatar
    walter smith

    OK. I’ve drawn the usual criticism from the usual wrong people, so I know I am on the proper side. This issue draws a lot because it is a serious issue. And besides all the usual (conservatives hate sex, you’re imposing religion, you approve of rape and incest, you hate women, you’re imposing a life of sorrow on the woman/baby, “it” is a clump of cells, you have no empathy), the issue which no amount of obfuscation can hide is whether the “clump of cells” is a human life. It is – a palm tree doesn’t come out. Nor a rabbit or a mouse.
    I posted earlier, and I think Jim must have taken it down, a link to a video showing the “products of conception” (as the room at Planned Parenthood is called – a nice euphemism, which the workers called “pieces of children”) – it showed, I believe, 4 weeks, 10 weeks and 24 weeks of aborted “remains.”
    So, stop the denials and the accusations and deal with reality. Yeah, those evil people who think abortion is wrong lack empathy…
    Dobbs restored the decision where it belonged – at the States, to be dealt with politically. You won’t take advice from me, but it is good advice – you should as quickly as possible agree to real limitations – like 6 or 10 weeks. You had 50 years to stop atrocity, but refused to agree to any limits. If you don’t put out the fire, you can only blame yourself when the Supreme Court rules that the conception is a human life entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. By agreeing to real limits, a lot of the fight will go away. And, I’m giving you this good advice so you won’t do it (just kidding, but your intransigence wouldn’t surprise me)

    1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
      Eric the half a troll

      “You won’t take advice from me, but it is good advice – you should as quickly as possible agree to real limitations – like 6 or 10 weeks. You had 50 years to stop atrocity, but refused to agree to any limits. If you don’t put out the fire, you can only blame yourself when the Supreme Court rules that the conception is a human life entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

      So much for the decision belonging “at the States”… more of the quiet part out loud…

      1. walter smith Avatar
        walter smith

        As usual, incapable of reading and processing logic
        The 14th amendment right to life is a federal issue.
        If you zealots had the ability to think logically instead of emoting about your “feelz,” you would agree to real limitations at the State level so that there would not be the burning desire to attack abortion (and the political will from the finger in the wind types (ahem, 98% of all politicians)), and the types of cases that might make it to the Supreme Court over that issue would be drastically lessened, if not never happen.
        So, no, the issue is at the States, where it belongs. If you don’t have a State case to take to the federal level, you don’t end up at the Supreme Court.
        Seriously, get a grip

        1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
          Eric the half a troll

          “So, no, the issue is at the States, where it belongs.”

          The Religious Right do not really see it as a State issue (unless all states ban all abortion, of course). They want federal legislation and, if you are correct, can challenge state law that allows for any abortion post fertilization. What makes you think they (you that is) will be satisfied with anything less than complete ban?… it is their stated goal. So please, for the love of god, stop gaslighting about it being a decision that belongs at the state level. You don’t believe that for one minute and we all know it.

          1. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            It does.
            Cry elsewhere.
            You zealots are the ones wanting federal legislation, because the SC did it for you…except it wasn’t real legislation…hence it was overturned. And the Dem politicians were good with that, because they didn’t need to vote on it. Well…now they do. And if it does become a federal law, then you zealots (who believe abortion is a sacrament) will have screwed up because I think the Supremes will have to hold the “clump of cells” is a human life. So, back to you zealots, if you had brains, you would make the issue go away by agreeing to real limits in every State.

        2. James McCarthy Avatar
          James McCarthy

          Wrong again!! The 14th’s equal protection applies to the states by definition and specific language. That is the federal jurisprudence that causes state conflict issues to federal court. Engaging in misinformation does little to make your screeds any better.

          1. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            And making a State by State case into a federal one doesn’t make yours any better. Are you incapable of understanding political compromise? I guess so. Pro abortionists had 50 years to put limits on an inhumane practice. They didn’t. They essentially cheered for baby killing. Baby killing isn’t in the Constitution. It shouldn’t even be in any sane State law, but, if you want to establish something inhumane as law in your State, at least it is confined to that State. The real problem is that you, and all others who are so zealous for it, know, deep down, as currently practiced in the US, it is wrong. And you have spent 50 years living under the shade of judicial fiat and have not addressed the reality. Baby is killing Mom…baby has to go, unless Mom knows the risks and accepts them (some Moms do). Rape and incest…really tough case…I see exceptions, but again, Mom’s choice. A human being is growing. At 4 weeks, you see hands in the abortion parts. Planned Parenthood sells the parts – parts is parts – if it is a clump of cells, how come those cells are used for human research? Get real. Sorry my “screeds” offend you, but most people don’t like to be told when they are doing wrong.

          2. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            However you believe what you project as the deep down beliefs of others is your first obstacle. That is “wrong!” Most will agree that, as you acknowledge, an abortion is mom’s decision. Not a decision by government. It’s not your screeds that perturb but the hysteria you present.

          3. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            So….murder is OK? It is not a baby? It is a “screed” to contend the “clump of cells” is human? So, maybe when I suggest that you people who want to hide behind the euphemism of “a woman’s choice” (which you forgot when you were OK with mandating vaccinations and hurt your argument – it does tie together) would be wise to come to a political limit, and quickly, you should listen to it, as opposed to calling it a “screed.” Sorry, your priorities are f’ed up – I love criminals and hate unborn babies is not in general a winning ticket.

          4. James McCarthy Avatar
            James McCarthy

            It is truly tiresome to read your argumentative statements especially as they so often infer sentiments not therein contained by the author. That approach may have served you and your purposes elsewhere but it’s useless keyboard pounding in the silence of a blog exchange.

  14. WayneS Avatar

    That column is one of the longest running examples of the reductio ad absurdum fallacy that I have ever read.

    Congratulations, Mr. McCarthy.

    1. James McCarthy Avatar
      James McCarthy

      It was intended to call attention to possible implications and ramifications of Dobbs. When absurd outcomes such as a claim that a fetus qualifies as an exemption from HOV regulations actually occur, the Latin canard begins to crumble. The threat to prosecute the Indiana doctor for performing an abortion for a ten-year old is absurd. Absurd as the Ohio law that has no exception for rape or incest as in the case of the ten-year old. How many absurdities does it take to demonstrate the failure of a public policy writ as law based upon a theological doctrine? Read up on Copernicus.

Leave a Reply