Thursday, April 19, 2007

Constitutional abortion rights

Justice Ginsburg objected vehemently that “this way of thinking reflects ancient notions of women’s place in the family and under the Constitution — ideas that have long since been discredited.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/19/washington/19scotus.html?ei=5090&en=5666b2d55ee42dbd&ex=1334635200&adxnnl=1&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all&adxnnlx=1177003225-nHEMI/CjJmRuhKmAEgzXyA

So, according to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there’s a Constitutional right abortion because the Constitution reflects ancient notions of a woman’s place in the home that have long since been discredited.

In other words, she’s appealing to the Constitution to find a Constitutional right of abortion based on the fact that our Constitution reflects an antiquated view of women’s rights. Yeah, thanks for clearing that up.

7 comments:

  1. Steve,

    Was Justice Ginsburg saying that the Constitution reflected ancient notions about women’s place in the family, or was she saying that there were ancient notions that used the Constitution as a justification to impose paternalistic ideas upon women, and their place in the family?

    She followed that statement by going through a few older cases that relied on the “weaker sex” notion (and consequently lesser status under the Constitution) with more recent cases that recognize a woman’s equal status under the Constitution.

    In other words, it seems to me that she was saying we formerly used the Constitution as a means to claim women should be “barefoot and pregnant” but since that time, such use of the Constitution has been discredited. Not that the Constitution upholds such notions, but rather the opposite.

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  2. Steve Jackson4/19/2007 5:46 PM

    According to libs, the Constitution was enacted by a bunch of racist, sexist and homophobic white guys. But, incredibly, when properly interpreted, it actually mandates Teddy Kennedy style liberalism.

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  3. DagoodS said:

    "Was Justice Ginsburg saying that the Constitution reflected ancient notions about women’s place in the family, or was she saying that there were ancient notions that used the Constitution as a justification to impose paternalistic ideas upon women, and their place in the family?"

    But she presumably believes that late 18C America was just as paternalistic as Constitutional case law from the early 20C, or the 19C.

    So, as Jackson points out, she presumably believes that the Constitution was framed and ratified by men (and I do mean "men") who held antiquated views on the social role of women.

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  4. Steve, that is the essence of the great debate on the U.S. Constitution—whether to interpret it strictly solely within its four corners or whether it is a “living, breathing document” by which it can be interpreted differently with a society that changes and evolves.

    A debate you and I are not likely to settle within a blog discussion. *grin*

    But if it is a dynamic, changing document, then the ideals and beliefs of the framers is irrelevant. (And even this is simplistic, as those that hold to it being a living document would say that original intent IS important, and that the original intent was for it to be adapt at modifying with changes by virtue of the Supreme Court’s interpretation of it.)

    And if one holds to a living document, then they would be justified in saying that at one time people used the Constitution to impose certain notions that have since been discredited.

    Really, the only reason I posted is I questioned:

    Steve: So, according to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there’s a Constitutional right abortion because the Constitution reflects ancient notions of a woman’s place in the home that have long since been discredited. (emphasis added)

    I don’t think that is what Justice Ginsburg was saying, in reading the opinion. I read her as saying that people have used the living, breathing document, and interpreted it regarding women in manners that have since been discredited. As the role of women have changed, how the living document was interpreted in the early Twentieth Century is considered an antiquated notion in the early Twenty-First Century.

    Look, you are free to disagree with her dissent, as well as her method of interpretation of the Constitution. Many do. But it seems to me you were saying that she was using a strict constructionalist method, when I am not certain that she was.

    No big deal. Carry on…

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  5. Infanticide was an ancient Pagan practice. If anything she is supporting an antiquated view.

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  6. "Infanticide was an ancient Pagan practice. If anything she is supporting an antiquated view."

    Ancient, sure, but, according to the pro-aborts, not discredited. Thanks to the liberals, we now know that gender roles are man-made, oppressive, and just plain wrong. But we certainly don't know that infanticide is wrong. The pagans were right. It's just those hateful, power-hungry, paternalistic Christians who think otherwise.

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  7. Dagoods simply illustrates the incoherence of liberal, Constitutional jurisprudence generally, and Ginsburg's in particular.

    Appeal is made to Constitutional authority, but the Constitution is made to mean whatever a contemporary judge or justice imposes on the text, so the whole exercise is a charade.

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