Freedom to marry

By EDITORIAL  |  June 30, 2011

Nebraska, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Alabama have all in recent months passed anti-choice laws that ban abortion after 20 weeks.

Similar legislation is pending in Iowa, whose February caucuses next year mark the official start of the 2012 electoral battle for the White House.

These laws contravene guidelines established by the Supreme Court, which has held that abortions can be performed up until the time when the fetus is viable outside of the womb, usually starting around the 24th week of pregnancy.

As such, these state measures should be declared unconstitutional.

The risk in bringing the measure before the Supreme Court is that the four-member right-wing block might persuade the more centrist conservative Anthony Kennedy to join them.

Kennedy voted with the majority in the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that guaranteed reproductive choice for women. In 2007, however, he backpedaled, authoring the majority decision that upheld the federal partial-birth-abortion ban.

In a worst-case scenario, Kennedy might totally rethink his position and vote to repeal Roe, or effectively gut it.

The six states that have rolled back the clock on legal abortion by at least a month are all players in a larger campaign intended to nullify Roe. (Massachusetts has adopted legislation that would maintain the right to abortion if the day ever came when it was abolished nationally.)

This is the increasingly tenuous string that maintains freedom of choice in America in the 21st century.


COLD CASH TRIUMPHS

The Republican-appointed majority of the Supreme Court that last year abolished all regulation governing corporate and union political spending has invalidated an Arizona law that provided extra cash to candidates who rely on public funds rather than private backers to pay for their campaigns.

The Arizona law was intended to promote the participation of independent and non-aligned candidates. It was adopted in 1998 in the wake of a spate of political scandals involving legislators who sold their votes to corporate interests.

In effect, the five conservative judges ruled that trying to create a more level playing field for the underfunded violated the free-speech rights of those with big bankrolls.

Sleep tight, America.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
Related: Library woes, 'It's Halftime in America', Trayvon Martin and the dark side of the American soul, More more >
  Topics: The Editorial Page , Republicans, Same-Sex Marriage, U.S. Supreme Court,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY EDITORIAL
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   MERCY AND SAL DIMASI  |  March 13, 2013
    When it comes to showing a modicum of mercy to some of those convicted of federal crimes, Barack Obama is shaping up to have the worst track record of any president in recent memory.
  •   NEXT, MARRIAGE EQUALITY  |  March 05, 2013
    On March 27 and 28, the US Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in two cases that could essentially put America on the road to full marriage equality.
  •   THUS SPAKE MARKEY  |  February 26, 2013
    Last week, Congressman Ed Markey inadvertently injected some daring political thinking and a touch of historical imagination into the race to fill the US Senate seat vacated by John Kerry's appointment as secretary of state.
  •   DRONES: 10 THOUGHTS  |  February 20, 2013
    Foreign drone attacks are almost (but not quite yet) as American as apple pie.
  •   MISSION CREEP: THE 'LONG WAR' ON AL QAEDA TERRORISTS  |  February 13, 2013
    America is a prisoner of the War on Terror, which military and diplomatic policy makers once called the Long War.

 See all articles by: EDITORIAL