Thursday, October 06, 2005

Principled Opposition to Miers

I know I use the term 'principled' too frequently, but so far it's the best description I have for what elected Republicans have and Democrats lack in their public policy and especially judicial nominees.

A discussion I had with my roommate the other night highlights a major difference between conservatives and the minority party. Harriet Miers was nominated on Monday for the Supreme Court. Both sides have expressed mixed reviews as they throw criticisms at her to see what sticks.

What criticisms do the democrats have? Generally: "We don't know how she will vote on Roe v. Wade."

What criticism do the Republicans have? Generally: "She's not the most qualified nominee."

Roe v. Wade's result (legal abortions) is abhorred by social conservatives. They see it as killing babies, fostering a disrespect for human life, and divorcing responsibility from poor choices, subsidizing poor choices that in turn lead to more problems.

Roe v. Wade's legal holding (an unwritten, undefined, invented right to privacy that applies only in this one situation) is abhorred by federalists and constructionists. The 'right to privacy' was conjured up by an unelected, life-tenured panel to overturn legitimate and democratically-created state laws. The 'right to privacy' doesn't extend to killing any other people, using/growing drugs, hiring prostitutes, etc. It was created to secure an outcome in this one instance but damages the credibility of our legal system and federalism, basic constitutional principles. Nobody doubts there is a right to privacy for medical, family, financial, and personal action and information; but what possible line in the sand takes only the medical procedure of abortion out of the jurisdiction of the legislature? It's patently absurd!

Much as Brown v. Board of Education needed vocal public support to overturn Plessy v. Ferguson (separate but equal), conservatives have worked for decades to strike down this silly, but dangerous, clause created in Roe. Furthermore, whatever your opinion is about Roe, reasonable people should be able to recognize that it's as important for conservatives to strike it down as it is for libs to uphold it.

Here's where principles come in. Is opposition to Roe what Republicans are after in a new nominee? Sure, Focus on the Family, Right to Life, and groups that exist to promote pro-life policies ask about that. But generally Republicans want the most qualified person that will not be an activist on the court. We saw it with their enthusiastic support for Roberts (even though we were as in the dark as libs on his views about Roe), and we can see it in the early criticism of Miers.

Democrats on the other hand, make litmus tests their central criteria. See our September posts and links to the Roberts hearing. Democrats opposition comes from not knowing if she will support a right to privacy and 'not getting documents' they requested form the White House. (Never mind the letter from all living former Solicitors General that disclosure of private legal briefs is the stupidest policy ever). Democrats don't care about jurispudence, they simply want to prop up a flawed contention for as long as possible.

So, I guess I'm soliciting suggestions for synonyms to 'principled'. Democrats have no 'morals', no 'conscience', no 'character', no 'ethics', 'completely lack a level of reasoning acheived by most of the Plantae and Fungi Kingdom'.... Please leave a comment if you have more ideas.

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