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Abortion “Rights” and the Supreme Court

July 3, 2018

In anticipation of announcement on Monday, July 9, of a nomination of a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, the issue of a woman’s right to abort the unborn will dominate the news.  The majority opinion of Roe v. Wade case decided by the “Burger Court” in 1973 was written by Mr. Justice Harry Blackmun (1908-1999). The choice of Blackmun to write the opinion is said to be related to Blackmun’s service to physicians at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for whom he prepared their tax returns.

A reason as ridiculous as that was characteristic of appointees to the Supreme Court of President Richard Nixon and the vapid judicial philosophy of Chief Justice Warren Burger. If blame must be placed, the trail leads to Richard Nixon and his generation of World War II veterans who may have been taught “Americanism” in high school, but had  no interest in philosophy, theology or ethics.

That has been a dominant characteristic of the generation of Americans who benefited from the classical insights of the generation of the Founding, but not their classical education in Latin, the history of Greece and Rome and the political writings of Marcus Tullius Cicero. The existence of slavery in predominantly Southern States, wealth in New England created by shipping of slaves on Yankee Clippers and labor intensive agriculture in the South thwarted a compromise between those who sought to abolish the institution of slavery and slave owners. Six hundred and fifty-five battle-related deaths later, slavery was abolished and the American republic began its transformation into a centralized state.

That “post-Founding” generation gave us Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), a case that established the principle that African Americans were not citizens of the United States because they were not included under the term “people” of the United States and had no standing as legal persons under the laws of the United States.

One hundred and sixteen years later, after a Civil War and passage of the 14th Amendment in 1868, another Supreme Court justice clumsily affirmed in Roe v. Wade (1973) the principle that the unborn were not legal persons under the laws of the United States. That decision led to formation of the “Right to Life” movement and a belief of a generation of American women who claim they have the right to abort their unborn children.

Will a conservative Supreme Court reverse Rose v. Wade?

Defenders of that decision hold that Roe is “settled law,” a precedent that must not be reversed except on solid grounds. “Precedent” is an important principle in what is called the “Rule of Law.” But, that has become a place where Liberal ideology is used to protect and enhance the interests of a New Class of attorneys, university professors and media. Today this New Class is unified in the belief that President Trump should be Impeached.

Here’s what I wrote on May 8:

Growth of centralization of power in the Federal government began in            theories of the positive state that are evident in the writings of the French philosophes. But even before they had their fifteen minutes of fame, Louis XIV controlled France absolutely. In the United States, movement toward centralization of power in the Federal government began with the Progressives in the late 1890s and the early 1900s.

               By the time traditionalists in the United States realized that they had a problem, a “new class” had sown deep roots, almost as deep as the “industrial, military complex” that President Eisenhower warned against in 1961.

The controversy over Roe v. Wade is not merely a question of the “Right to Life.” It is now a battle to preserve the Rule of Law from becoming a tool in the hands of forces in the United States with an interest in expanding the powers of a centralized, “deep,” state.

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