Since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973 legalizing abortion, the issue has been passionately argued by factions both for and against the procedure. The battle for life also made it to the confirmation hearings of Neil Gorsuch when he was questioned by Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois regarding his opinion on the matter.
Neil Gorsuch accepts precedent
Durbin used a statement in Gorsuch’s book regarding euthanasia wherein Gorsuch stated his belief that: “the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.” Durbin continued to press Gorsuch on the issue by asking: “How could you square that statement with legal abortion?” Ironically, in asking the question, Durbin acknowledged his belief that abortion was the taking of human life.
Although Gorsuch did his best to sidestep the issue, his final answer was troubling. Gorsuch replied: “Senator, as the book explains, the Supreme Court of the United States has held in Roe v. Wade that a fetus is not a person for purposes of the 14th Amendment, and the book explains that.”
Durbin then asked: “Do you accept that?”
Gorsuch replied: “That’s the law of the land. I accept the law of the land, Senator, yes.” In his answer, Gorsuch agreed to stand by precedent, which is not the job of a Supreme Court Justice. Their job is to hear arguments with an open mind that challenge past decisions, and to decide each case on its merits, not on precedent. If precedents on their own merit became the law of the land, the Supreme Court would not be needed, and neither would much of Congress. For in so doing, precedents write law, totally replacing constitutional remedies for doing such and the need for lawmakers.
Law of the land v. laws of life
Problems arise when the laws of the land contradict the laws of life pre-ordained by the Creator of life. As it was with the Dred Scott decision, it is apparently above the pay grade of the Supreme Court of the United States to decide personhood. That decision rests solely with the Creator of life and not any ideologue wearing a black robe. In the Dred Scott and Roe v. Wade decisions, the United States Supreme Court gave many the tools to rationalize the taking of life as well as the ownership of life. As slave owners did not have the right to own another human being for their financial convenience, mothers do not have the right to abort the life of the child they conceived for their personal convenience.
In Roe v. Wade, dissenting opinions stated that protecting the potential life of the fetus was equally strong throughout pregnancy. However, the majority ruled that the mother had the right to privacy under the 14th Amendment and therefore had the right to an abortion. In other words, it’s none of our business. Well, isn’t it the court’s business to ensure that our legal right to life is protected – regardless of our age? Our Founders asserted this particular right as being god-given in our Declaration of Independence, which does not mean court- or government-determined.
Harry Blackmun passed the buck
Justice Blackman, writing for the majority in Roe stated: “When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.” Blackman’s attempt to pass the blame to others was bogus at the time and woefully inaccurate today. The disciplines of medicine and theology have always been able to arrive at a consensus.
Medical arguments could have been made even back in 1971-73 that the standards that existed to determine the presence of life in the born – such as heartbeats and brainwaves – could be applied to the unborn. And today, the viability of a child living outside of its mother’s womb exists well before the birthing process begins, which should outlaw the infanticide we call “partial-birth abortion.” Additionally, as it was back in 1973, the theological arguments stand with biblical passages clearly stating that God knew us in the womb (before we were born).
Bad precedent started the War Between the States
When it comes to lawsuits involving personhood, the Court’s history has remained consistent – 100 percent wrong! In Dred Scott, Chief Justice Taney writing for the majority wrote that Scott was not free because he was not considered a person under the Constitution. Therefore, Dred Scott was the property of his owner, and property could not be taken from a person without due process of law. The illogic here is that property could not be taken from a person without due process, but life could be.
In Roe, dissenters agreed that the Court valued the convenience of the mother more than the life she was carrying. The majority declined to specify exactly when life begins, which was admittedly above their ability to decide. Therefore, so was the decision they made.
Precedent must yield to truth
Judge Gorsuch’s reliance on the purity of precedents is more than misplaced, it is disappointingly deceptive. No man or woman, even those who wear black robes, has the right to rule on life issues. They may have opinions, but when those opinions are legally binding, we set ourselves up for apathetic acceptance of human atrocities that are a scar on our existence as a people.
Gorsuch may be considered a good judge by many, but I fear anyone in that position that is willing to rely on precedent. We were encouraged to believe that he was an originalist – but his answer to Dick Durbin defied that belief. A true originalist would not rely on precedent as being the law of the land. A true originalist would hear every case impartially and make decisions based on its merits only, using the Constitution as the standard. Gorsuch may be the best that’s out there now, and that, my friends, is an indictment on us as a people and what we have come to accept as being “the best.”
Reprint from The Daily Rant, copyright 2017 Mychal Massie, by permission
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