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January 22, 2011 / J. Shaw

Honest pro-choicers admit Roe VS Wade was a horrible decison

Today, President Obama sang the praises of Roe v. Wade. On one level, that’s not surprising — he’s the most pro-choice President ever. But Obama is also a Harvard Law School alumnus, and he used to teach Constitutional law, and so you would think he would see Roe for the embarassing bit of ideologically motivated junk it is.

Lest you think I’m just showing my bias, below is a collection of pro-choice scholars and journalists slamming the decision:


Laurence Tribe — Harvard Law School. Lawyer for Al Gore in 2000.

“One of the most curious things about Roe is that, behind its own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found.”

“The Supreme Court, 1972 Term—Foreword: Toward a Model of Roles in the Due Process of Life and Law,” 87 Harvard Law Review 1, 7 (1973).


Ruth Bader Ginsburg — Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

Roe, I believe, would have been more acceptable as a judicial decision if it had not gone beyond a ruling on the extreme statute before the court. … Heavy-handed judicial intervention was difficult to justify and appears to have provoked, not resolved, conflict.”

North Carolina Law Review, 1985


Edward Lazarus — Former clerk to Harry Blackmun.

“As a matter of constitutional interpretation and judicial method, Roe borders on the indefensible. I say this as someone utterly committed to the right to choose, as someone who believes such a right has grounding elsewhere in the Constitution instead of where Roe placed it, and as someone who loved Roe’s author like a grandfather.”
….

“What, exactly, is the problem with Roe? The problem, I believe, is that it has little connection to the Constitutional right it purportedly interpreted. A constitutional right to privacy broad enough to include abortion has no meaningful foundation in constitutional text, history, or precedent – at least, it does not if those sources are fairly described and reasonably faithfully followed.”

The Lingering Problems with Roe v. Wade, and Why the Recent Senate Hearings on Michael McConnell’s Nomination Only Underlined Them,” FindLaw Legal Commentary, Oct. 3, 2002

“[A]s a matter of constitutional interpretation, even most liberal jurisprudes — if you administer truth serum — will tell you it is basically indefensible.”

Liberals, Don’t Make Her an IconWashington Post July 10, 2003.


William Saletan — Slate columnist who left the GOP 2004 because it was too pro-life.

“Blackmun’s [Supreme Court] papers vindicate every indictment of Roe: invention, overreach, arbitrariness, textual indifference.”

Unbecoming Justice Blackmun,Legal Affairs, May/June 2005.


John Hart Ely — Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School

Roe “is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.”
….

“What is frightening about Roe is that this super-protected right is not inferable from the language of the Constitution, the framers’ thinking respecting the specific problem in issue, any general value derivable from the provisions they included, or the nation’s governmental structure. Nor is it explainable in terms of the unusual political impotence of the group judicially protected vis-à-vis the interest that legislatively prevailed over it.… At times the inferences the Court has drawn from the values the Constitution marks for special protection have been controversial, even shaky, but never before has its sense of an obligation to draw one been so obviously lacking.”

“The Wages of Crying Wolf: A Comment on Roe v. Wade,” 82 Yale Law Journal, 920, 935-937 (1973).


Benjamin WittesWashington Post

Roe “is a lousy opinion that disenfranchised millions of conservatives on an issue about which they care deeply.”

Letting Go of Roe,” The Atlantic Monthly, Jan/Feb 2005.


Richard CohenWashington Post

“[T]he very basis of the Roe v. Wade decision — the one that grounds abortion rights in the Constitution — strikes many people now as faintly ridiculous. Whatever abortion may be, it cannot simply be a matter of privacy.”
….

“As a layman, it’s hard for me to raise profound constitutional objections to the decision. But it is not hard to say it confounds our common-sense understanding of what privacy is.

“If a Supreme Court ruling is going to affect so many people then it ought to rest on perfectly clear logic and up-to-date science. Roe , with its reliance on trimesters and viability, has a musty feel to it, and its argument about privacy raises more questions than it answers.
….

Roe “is a Supreme Court decision whose reasoning has not held up. It seems more fiat than argument.”
….

“Still, a bad decision is a bad decision. If the best we can say for it is that the end justifies the means, then we have not only lost the argument — but a bit of our soul as well.”

Support Choice, Not RoeWashington Post, October 19, 2005.


Alan Dershowitz — Harvard Law School

Roe v. Wade and Bush v. Gore “represent opposite sides of the same currency of judicial activism in areas more appropriately left to the political processes…. Judges have no special competence, qualifications, or mandate to decide between equally compelling moral claims (as in the abortion controversy)…. [C]lear governing constitutional principles … are not present in either case.”

Supreme Injustice: How the High Court Hijacked Election 2000 (New York: Oxford) 2001, p. 194.


Cass Sunstein — University of Chicago and a Democratic adviser on judicial nominations

“In the Court’s first confrontation with the abortion issue, it laid down a set of rules for legislatures to follow. The Court decided too many issues too quickly. The Court should have allowed the democratic processes of the states to adapt and to generate sensible solutions that might not occur to a set of judges.”

“The Supreme Court 1995 Term: FOREWORD: LEAVING THINGS UNDECIDED,” 110 Harvard Law Review 6, 20 (1996).

“What I think is that it just doesn’t have the stable status of Brown or Miranda because it’s been under internal and external assault pretty much from the beginning…. As a constitutional matter, I think Roe was way overreached. I wouldn’t vote to overturn it myself, but that’s because I think it’s good to preserve precedent in general, and the country has sufficiently relied on it that it should not be overruled.”

Read more : washingtonexaminer.com     By Tomothy  P. Carney

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