Palin’s Anti-Abortion Allies

Before the election, I discovered a document from Alaska Right to Life. An article by Bob Bird, former president of the organization, deserves a look:

Well, what do the federal courts and presidents have to do with Alaska? Simply this: these erroneous attitudes have trickled down into the state level as well. Listening to our pro-life legislators, lawyers and governor lament and berate the latest 3-2 Alaska Supreme Court decision striking down the “Parental Consent” law is praiseworthy — yet every one of them fail to realize that no court’s opinion need be obeyed. …

Scan both the federal and state constitutions until you go blind, and you will not find any provision requiring the chief executive to enforce court opinions. Indeed, the executive’s opinion is clearly superior to the courts’, as the constitution (either state or federal) must be defended, even from those other members of different branches of the government who wish to usurp the limits placed on their powers. …

[A] pro-life Congress could pass a statute removing the court’s jurisdiction on human life cases. …

[P]assing a constitutional amendment is admitting that the Supreme Court indeed has the right to sweep away state laws. This is a dangerous admission, for the courts have absolutely no such right. …

Governor Palin and the others asked for public support. Indeed, they deserve it, for their hearts are in the right place, if not their heads. The support they need is a massive flood of POM’s, e-mails and letters, telling them to give the state Supreme Court a message: “You’ve made your opinion. Now try to enforce it!”

Bird’s position is extraordinary. He is claiming that governors are not bound by state courts and that the president is not bound by the Supreme Court. He is claiming that the Fourteenth Amendment offers no protection from state tyranny. Bird’s position implies that the president need not abide by any of the Supreme Court’s rulings regarding any part of the Bill of Rights. Ultimately Bird would throw out the separation of powers on which our nation is built and open the door to dictatorship.

Does anyone wish to claim that the politics of this faction of the ant-abortion movement are remotely compatible with liberty?

One thought on “Palin’s Anti-Abortion Allies”

  1. A,

    It gets worse. This idea of legislative and executive overriding judicial efforts to protect individuals rights is an explicit point in Newt Gingrich’s 21st Century Contract with America.

    From his book _Winning the Future_ (pp83-4), Gingrich calls for 1) litmus tests for Senators and judges so that they must agree with his definition of the role of God in government, 2) legislative clauses that deny individuals the right to challenge the constitutionality of statutes in court, 3) impeachment of judges who undermine the authority of the legislative and executive branches, and 4) state legislative resolutions demanding Congress and the President check the power of such judges.

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