Parent Like You Mean It: Roe vs The Constitution

Parent Like You Mean It: Roe vs The Constitution June 28, 2022

Roe vs. The Constitution

Today, we’re ditching the safety nets & discussing decision making – both at home and at the Supreme Court! 
Roe vs. The ConstitutionWe start by looking at a decision making tool based on the North Star, introducing questions, goals and boundaries that restrict the options for any decision. Then we draw the parallel to how the SCOTUS made is landmark decision regarding abortion in the Dobbs case. It all, essentially, boils down to a lesson learned in Saturday Morning Cartoons – the Schoolhouse Rock song about the three-ring-circus that is our federal government system. If a ruling is brought before the SCOTUS, their single job is to determine if it is Constitutional or not. If it is not (as is the case with Roe v Wade), then the option for those who insist on making it the “law of the land” is to either amend the Constitution or pass a law through the legal system that falls within the Constitution’s standards.
It’s really not that complicated.

Now, I know that  none of you, nor our news broadcasts, give a care at all about where or if my

son goes to college. But, I also know that many of you may be dealing with this; or you will be dealing with this sometime. Or maybe you have dealt with this. But, our family, over the last couple of years have gone through this decision-making process of “if or where my oldest son should go to college”. And we are faced with the dilemma of how to best make these decisions.

Now, I had a mentor a number of years ago and he laid out a decision-making tree that was different, and more simple, than many others that I’ve seen. It’s called “The North Star Decision Making Process”, and it consists of a figurative north star that guides and directs our decision, or it’s the question that we’re seeking to answer. In this particular situation, this is the question, “If or where should my son go to college?”

Then we have some boundaries basically that help create our path to this decision and inside of these boundaries are viable options, such as my son says: my son wants to go into a specific field that requires a college degree. So, his field of of study matches with his professional field that he wants to go into. And so, the fields lead to our north star. If we had a situation where he wanted to work as something that may not require a college degree, then that would change our boundaries. Now, if his career field track was the the only rule that we have to follow – if that were the only thing guiding our decision – then any university would fit within our north star process. However, that’s not the case.

The field that he wants to study often requires some very expensive universities – universities that I simply can’t afford. So, without significant financial aid, many schools fall outside of our boundaries. Then, my son said one of his personal preferences is that he wants to be near the

Beach (I have surfers for kids).

So, among the many, many other decision making factors, we have his field of study, his desire to be near the beach, and we have schools that we can afford. All of this allows for a whole broad list of universities that my son can choose from. But, it also nixes other opportunities or colleges that are outside of our boundaries.

This helped us make some decisions on where to apply, how to apply for financial aid and before you know it… VOILA! Dude’s going to a university right on the beach, studying what he wants to study.

Is this process easy? No. It took a lot of prayer, research, and then a lot of – honestly – divine

intervention when it came to financial aid and other deadlines.

But by going through this whole process, we are able to stand very confidently and when life gets rough – when the classes get hard, when finances look ridiculous – we can say, “We went through this process; and we could see where things are pointing; and we can feel confident that my son is at the right college.

I bring all of this up to discuss another story that HAS been in the news more than a little bit in the last few days – the decision that the Supreme Court had in front of them regarding Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. For those of you who don’t know, the Dobbs case brought into question Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, asking “Should abortion be a federal mandate across the country or should it be something that each State should regulate its own?”

Well we’ve got the North Star question: What should we do about Roe v Wade? And we’ve got

some boundaries that helped guide the SCOTUS’ decision. The single boundary that means more than anything is The Constitution. That’s the overarching boundary. That is what the Supreme Court really had to examine and base their decision on.

Now many people are saying, “But what about the fact that Roe v Wade has been the “law of the land” for the last nearly 50 years? What about the past decisions that have been based on Roe’s premise? We can’t just get rid of all that.”

Can’t we?

Well, what the Supreme Court looked at is was whether or not the Roe decision of 1973 was actually based on the Constitution. And therefore, everything else would trickle down from there. The SCOTUS determined: No. it wasn’t.

Roe was a bad decision. It was a bad decision in its original state. 

Even Ruth Bader Ginsburg, before she passed away, said that she wished there was a better way to defend abortion because Roe is on shaky ground.

Therefore, the SCOTUS said kicking it back to the states – just like it had been for most of America’s history is the right move. 

Does it make abortion illegal across the land? No, it does not. Does it make abortion “the law of the land”? Well, honestly it never was “the LAW of the land”.

And this brings me to something completely different. That is something that I learned as a little kid way back in the 1970s – that’s the three ring circus that is our Federal Government. In our “three-ring circus”, we have the Executive Branch, the Legislature and the Judiciary. The three of them have checks and balances. Each of them have separate but equal powers. Each of them have a role in our lives, as a nation. And then, any power that does not apply to these three branches goes to the state and local governments.

The reason why I said that Roe was never the “law of the land” was that it was a Supreme Court decision. Not a law.

A law can only be brought through the Legislature, then signed and executed by the Executive, then if it is brought before them, examined by the Judiciary to determine whether or not the law is Constitutional.

This is how our Constitution works.

When you’re hearing people scream about how terrible this moment is in our nation’s history, they are completely forgetting about this Schoolhouse Rock three-ring circus of how our Constitution is supposed to work. When we examine the different decisions that the Supreme Court is supposed to make, each one should abide by the Constitution in its current state.

The hard truth is is that there’s nothing in the Constitution that guarantees the right to an abortion. 

Now, there are certain rights that ARE specifically guaranteed by our Constitution and its amendments. And this is where I think people need to get things moving, if they are really as passionate as they seem to be. If they truly feel like abortion needs to be the law of the land, 

make it the law of the land. Go through the legislative process. Get it signed or passed through our legislature. Then get it sent up to the executive and have the President take care of it. Then it may get kicked to the judicial branch and they’ll determine if it fits within the Constitution. If it

does, it becomes the law of the land. Until then, just like the SCOTUS just did, it’s going to be kicked back to each of the individual states. And they get to make up their minds within each state regarding what to do with this dilemma and how to how to answer the North Star question of whether or not abortion should be allowed.

Is this example oversimplified? Yes, sure. But when you oversimplify things, it makes understanding certain things a whole lot easier – at least for my simple brain.

I’ve said it many many times when i look at what guides me in my life decisions. What I try to do is to keep in mind one Bible verse. Just one. And I ask, “All right, God, what do you want me to do? It’s a big world with a big load of decisions. What do you want me to do?” And then I remember Micah 6:8.

The Lord has told you what is good,

    and this is what He requires of you:

to do what is just, to love mercy,

    and to walk humbly with your God.

Now, I know that some of you are saying, “Oh, there you go with your Bible stuff. Christianity doesn’t have any place in our government, and we’re supposed to have a separation of Church and State…” Okay, then you take whatever principle it is that guides your life and apply it to your North Star process, knowing that we have our Constitution. We also have a three-ring circus; and let’s see what wins out.

But, for now, I simply say, STOP THROWING YOUR TEMPER TANTRUMS. 

And, instead, try out my method of living – just for a bit – loving mercy, living justly and walking humbly. And then maybe, just maybe, you might see some positive, life giving results.

I hope that this stirs up some healthy conversations – not screaming or yelling… not wailing nor going into false assumptions of what the Constitution says or what it doesn’t say. Nor what the law should be, or what you wish. Because all those things are outside of the North Star Boundaries. I don’t care what you want. I don’t care what history has been. The Justices didn’t care about any of these different things. It simply looked at what does the Constitution say and then within that, how does the decision-making process work.

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