Catholics in gov't (reply)

Originally, this was going to be just a comment to a friend's post with the same title, but it was getting a bit long, so I decided to post it here. (Besides, I needed to post something today anyway.)

I'm only tangentially interested in the current judical nominee story. In a nutshell, it appears that some of Bush's nominee's are held up in committee, rather than being subjected to an up-or-down vote in the Senate. I think that is reprehensible - regardless of personal politics, the Seante should do the President and the nominees the courtesyof a vote. You may not agree with the nominee's political views, but that's not really the issue. If they are competent, confirm them, and if not, vote against them. Be prepared to argue your case to your fellow Senators and your constituents, but to propose an indefinite delay in such a simple matter strikes me as obstructionist.

Now, Kyle asked the following question:

Kerry, Catholic, pro-choice, acting against his church in accordance with what he believes: bad (and, as an after thought, excommunicated).
Pryor, Catholic, pro-life, acting against his church and against what he believes: good.

As a commenter (correctly) noted, the judge is not really in a position to actually affect change. The largest role the judge could play would be in agreeing to actually hear Roe v. Wade related cases, and even then, barring a substantial change in the SCOTUS, any decision against Roe v. Wade would be overturned on appeal. Kerry, on the other hand, is a legislator, and is in a position to affect change. If his votes are not in tune with the wishes of his constituents, they are free to vote him out of office.

Kyle notes (again, correctly, IMO), that this wrangling is mostly a distraction. I read an article (NY times - use BugMeNot if you don't feel like registering) which discusses the issue. Basically, Roe v. Wade was a terrible decision - again, personal feelings aside, it relied on an implied right in the Constitution, and was never subjected to the normal democratic process. At the time of its decision, people were engaged in a lively debate over whether or not abortion should be legal, what restrictions should be in place, the financial role of the goverment, and so forth. The SCOTUS took all that debate away from the public, and imposed a fiat ruling.

It is my belief that, were Roe v. Wade overturned, you would still see abortion as a legal option in most states. It might be limited to first or second trimester, there might be informed consent laws, there might be "only rape or incest" laws. But, the people would have made the decision. And, normally, when you fight for a cause in a democratic fashion, losing isn't as bad - you can always try again in the next election. You don't have the same option when judicial fiat occurs.


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