Sunday, September 4


United States Supreme Court Justice William H. Rehnquist, who died last night at age 80, was the only justice of the current court to have sat on the fateful 1973 ROE v. WADE case that ushered in a tidal wave of merciless death in this country that makes the Hurricane Katrina disaster pale by comparison.

Newscasters on the ground in New Orleans have been horrified (as have the nation's television viewers) by the ghastly sights of corpses floating in the roiled flood waters and corpses left unattended and uncared for at the convention center, stadium, and on sewage-strewn sidewalks, streets, and overpasses. Understandably, those newscasters have appeared shell-shocked and disconsolate, and thoroughly overwhelmed by a death toll that seems unimaginable and, in the case of victims who died solely for lack of timely rescue and relief efforts, unconscionable. The often-heard refrain over the past week has been: how could this be happening in America -- these look like scenes from a Third World country?

But this blogger must wonder why the horror that has been going on in this country for nearly 33 years now hasn't generated its own tectonic shock waves or provoked Category 5 outrage?

In his dissenting opinion, Justice Rehnquist wrote (the following are chronological excerpts):

The Court's opinion decides that a State may impose virtually no restriction on the performance of abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Nothing in the Court's opinion indicates that Texas might not constitutionally apply its proscription of abortion as written to a woman in that stage of pregnancy. Nonetheless, the Court uses her complaint against the Texas statute as a fulcrum for deciding that States may impose virtually no restrictions on medical abortions performed during the first trimester of pregnancy. In deciding such a hypothetical lawsuit, the Court departs from the longstanding admonition that it should never "formulate a rule of constitutional law broader than is required by the precise facts to which it is to be applied." Liverpool, New York & Philadelphia S. S. Co. v. Commissioners of Emigration, 113 U.S. 33, 39 (1885). See also Ashwander v. TVA, 297 U.S. 288, 345 (1936) (Brandeis, J., concurring).

The fact that a majority of the States reflecting, after all, the majority sentiment in those States, have had restrictions on abortions for at least a century is a strong indication, it seems to me, that the asserted right to an abortion is not "so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental," Snyder v. Massachusetts, 291 U.S. 97, 105 (1934). Even today, when society's views on abortion are changing, the very existence of the debate is evidence that the "right" to an abortion is not so universally accepted as the appellant would have us believe.

To reach its result, the Court necessarily has had to find within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment a right that was apparently completely unknown to the drafters of the Amendment. As early as 1821, the first state law dealing directly with abortion was enacted by the Connecticut Legislature. Conn. Stat., Tit. 20, ยงยง 14, 16. By the time of the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, there were at least 36 laws enacted by state or territorial legislatures limiting abortion. 1 While many States have amended or updated their laws, 21 of the laws on the books in 1868 remain in effect today. 2 Indeed, the Texas statute struck down today was, as the majority notes, first enacted in 1857 and "has remained substantially unchanged to the present time." Ante, at 119.

Even if one were to agree that the case that the Court decides were here, and that the enunciation of the substantive constitutional law in the Court's opinion were proper, the actual disposition of the case by the Court is still difficult to justify. The Texas statute is struck down in toto, even though the Court apparently concedes that at later periods of pregnancy Texas might impose these selfsame statutory limitations on abortion. My understanding of past practice is that a statute found to be invalid as applied to a particular plaintiff, but not unconstitutional as a whole, is not simply "struck down" but is, instead, declared unconstitutional as applied to the fact situation before the Court. Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356 (1886); Street v. New York, 394 U.S. 576 (1969).

For all of the foregoing reasons, I respectfully dissent.

It should be the capstone of his professional life as a jurist that William H. Rehnquist dissented from this grotesque, majority decision and ruled on the side of life. For this alone he has no doubt gained entry into the Kingdom of God and the hearts of those who champion life and believe God's miracle begins at conception.

Meanwhile, there's a storm brewing out at sea, fueled by the warm waters of nihilism. A hurricane of unmatched fury will form over the days and weeks ahead and soon clear the nation's eastern shoreline and gain, rather than lose, strength as it moves inland towards Washington and the U.S. Senate chamber. The natural disaster that was Katrina will be eclipsed in the corridors of power by the unnatural and needless disaster that is abortion, as the furious, gale force political winds of abject liberalism build and take dead aim at destroying President Bush's determined efforts to place conservative, pro-life justices on the United States Supreme Court.

Justice White, who joined Justice Rehnquist in the dissenting opinion, wrote of SCOTUS' decision in Roe v. Wade that it was an exercise of raw judicial power.

I would add that it was an execrable decision and one made more so by the disgraceful uninterest of the mainstream media in showing the horrific way in which preborns are killed (most in the interest of the mother's convenience, rather than her or her preborn's threatened health) and heaped in bio-waste containers. In many ways, it is still a story untold. America's television viewers have a ghoulish fascination with scenes of death in New Orleans, but refuse the revulsion of viewing post-abortion preborns.

Amazing in the context of what in time will be an ineluctable, Republican-led rescue effort on the United States Supreme Court, so long overdue in coming, are the mainstream media's frenzied, vehement attempts to find fault with the federal government and President Bush in what it describes as the untimely, under-manned, under-resourced response to the greatest natural disaster in our nation's history. Amazing, I say, because nearly 33 years have passed since a court-approved genocide against millions and millions of preborns began -- the greatest unnatural disaster in our nation's history -- and all these years later the Democratic Party, its left-of-Left gatekeepers, and the allied forces of the MSM, will mount an unprecedented rescue mission to preserve death, rather than life, for millions of America's innocents.

How can moral lessons be learned from Hurricane Katrina when lessons have yet to be learned from Cataclysm Roe v. Wade?