- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 28, 2005

Tom-toms are pounding in the fever swamps of the Democratic Party’s left wing, where the natives are restless, demanding a human sacrifice to their bloodthirsty idol, Choice.

Not satisified with the relentless daily slaughter — about 2,800 abortions a day, 365 days a year, more than 30 million since 1973 — the true believers in Choice now want to serve up a special victim to propitiate their idol. So Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats say President Bush’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge James G. Roberts, must tell them where he stands on the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

This is the only issue the fanatics care about. Forget about property rights, religious freedom or novel interpretations of the commerce clause. No, the pagan deity Choice must have his victims, and his acolytes must do as their idol bids.

The ground rules of contemporary Washington require that Judge Roberts be evasive and vague on the Roe question, lest he bestir the devotees of Choice into a cannibalistic frenzy. Yet I will admit I occasionally fantasize what an honest judge might answer to the Judiciary Committee on this subject.

Finally, after about two dozen questions from committee Democrats about Roe v. Wade, Judge Roberts decides to come clean and proclaim the truth for all to hear:

“Senator, let me be as frank as possible. The issue here is not whether I think abortion ought to be illegal. The question is, who is fit to decide the matter?

“In 1973, the Supreme Court decided that the American people and their elected representatives were unfit to decide the legality of abortion. What the court did in Roe v. Wade and its companion decision, Doe v. Bolton, was to strike down the abortion laws of 49 states and, in effect, impose a single regime of law on all 50 states.

“There was something of a movement afoot at the time toward liberalization of abortion laws. In 1967, California Gov. Ronald Reagan had signed one such measure into law, and similar legislation was passed in other states. But it seems that the Supreme Court grew impatient with the legislative process.

“In 1970, New York enacted the nation’s most liberal abortion law — allowing abortion up to the 24th week of pregnancy — and it was this law that seems to have served as the inspiration for the famous ‘trimester’ scheme of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade. In other words, the court took it upon itself to impose New York’s law on the other 49 states. Some legal scholars would say that the court offered little in the way of constitutional reasoning for doing so.

“In Roe, then, we behold the negation of democracy by a court majority that seemed to have lost faith in the people and their elected representatives, and to have lost sight of the Declaration’s emphasis on government that rests upon ‘the consent of the governed.’

“So, Senator, you and your colleagues have repeatedly demanded to know my views on Roe v. Wade, in order to satisfy partisan special-interest groups who have spent decades telling American women this Supreme Court decision is the only thing standing between them and back-alley abortions with rusty coat-hangers.

“That claim is a lie, and it always has been a lie. Women are eligible to vote in all 50 states. Women sit as legislators and judges in every state of the Union, as well as in both houses of Congress. And thus America’s women are fully capable of participating in the process of representative government, to enact at the local, state or federal level whatever laws or regulations they wish to apply in the matter of abortion.

“The absurd notion that the rights of women should rest entirely in the hands of a majority of the justices on the Supreme Court is a vicious and patronizing myth that has distorted American politics for more than 30 years. And it is high time we put an end to that myth.

“Should Roe v. Wade be overturned? Absolutely. For if we believe in a government of the people, by the people, for the people, then the legality of abortion ought to be decided by the people, through the regular processes of representative democracy — and not imposed upon the people by the judicial fiats of unelected black-robed elites, who presume to know better than the people what’s good for the people.”

Of course, Judge Roberts is too smart ever to say such a thing to the Judiciary Committee. But we can dream, can’t we?

Robert Stacy McCain is an assistant national editor for The Washington Times. His e-mail address is smccain@washingtontimes.com.

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