Saturday, September 17


From Charles Krauthammer's regular Friday column, reprinted in today's Saturday edition of the "Houston Chronicle" (registration required), and in the context of whether or not John Roberts, as Chief Justice, will lead the court in overturning Roe v. Wade:

But I predict two things: (a) Chief Justice Roberts will vote to uphold Roe v. Wade, and (b) his replacing his former boss, Chief Justice Rehn- quist, will move the court only mildly, but most assuredly, to the le ft — as measured by the only available yardstick, the percent of concurrences with the opinions of those conservative touchstones, Scalia and Thomas.

I infer this not just by what Roberts has said in his hearings — that he supports Griswold v. Connecticut, that he deeply respects precedent, and that he finds Roe itself worthy of respect. That is little beyond boilerplate. I infer it from his temperament, career and life history as an establishment conservative who prizes judicial modesty above all. Which means while he will never repeal Roe, he will never repeal it and be the cause of the social upheaval that repeal would inevitably bring.

Not that this in any way disqualifies Roberts in my conservative eyes. He is a perfectly reasonable traditional conservative, who will be an outstanding chief justice. He is just not a judicial revolutionary. If you're a conservative looking for a return to the good old days, you'll be disappointed.

And if you're a liberal who lives for the good old days because that's all that liberalism has left, tell Chuck Schumer to relax.

I'm a conservative looking not so much for the return of the "good old days," whatever Krauthammer means by that remark, but for a restoration of the sanctity of life and an end to the wanton killing of millions of preborns. The nation didn't speak in Roe v. Wade; a court spoke. And "reproductive rights" and "a woman's right to choose" were not and could not have been tenets of the Founding Fathers or, in the context of the slaughter that would follow,
constitutional principles.

I watched the hearings, I heard John Roberts' testimony, and I think Mr. Krauthammer is correct in his observations. If John Roberts holds to the precedent established in Roe v. Wade, then President Bush has let me and a majority of Americans down badly.