During an interview on Meet the Press Sunday, Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton asserted landmark abortion cases shouldn’t have been decided by the Supreme Court.
Speaking on Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Tom was blunt:
“Those decisions were wrongly decided as a constitutional matter.”
You’re no doubt very aware of Roe; here’s the Chicago Tribune’s summary of PP v. Casey:
Casey situated abortion rights more clearly within the broad stream of 14th Amendment protections that cover romantic, family and sexual autonomy. It scrapped Blackmun’s trimesters in favor of infant viability outside the womb. It dialed down reverence for doctors while dialing up awareness of burdens placed on women.
To Tom, abortion rights should be controlled by legislators, not a small team of unelected judges:
“These are decisions that the American people ought to make through their elected representatives. People are going to make different decisions. Those decisions will have more democratic legitimacy…if they are available for democratic debate, if people of different viewpoints — through their elected representatives — can make these decisions informed by all of the relevant facts.”
Abortion is certainly the topic of the moment, and with good reason: Starting in March, members of Hollywood — despite not being citizens of the state — attempted to strong-arm Georgia into tossing out its fetal heartbeat bill (here, here, and here). During that uproar, I commented that if Tinseltown were to ever attempt a push against Alabama, the tough red state would tell ’em to take a hike. Then POW! — lo and behold, the Heart of Dixie’s Human Life Protection Act, signed into law Wednesday. Jim Carrey, for one, was unimpressed (here).
Last month, Ohio became the 3rd state to pass a “heartbeat” bill in 2019.
Trump’s election certainly raised abortion’s profile on the side of the Left, and Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment saw incredible hysteria (here). But perhaps a substantial catalyst for the recent conservative legislative surge was New York’s abortion-up-until-birth move (here and here) as well as Virginia’s abortion-after-birth insanity (here).
Using Sen. Tom Cotton’s remarks as a springboard here, the events of the last few months in legislatures around the country do serve to bolster a general idea, broader than the issue of abortion: If our nation is so diverse as to have such different viewpoints at the legislative level — among representatives, it should be noted, elected by the citizenry — perhaps it makes much more sense for state lawmakers — rather than federal judges — to be making our important decisions.
That is, after all, a constitutional (and conservative) concept: we are the United States — an association of autonomous territories, in union to “promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty.”
The federal government is a behemoth — one it was never meant to be.
What are your thoughts on all of this? Please let us know in the Comments section.
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