Supremes Dump Oklahoma Court Case and I Am Bummed About It

Supremes Dump Oklahoma Court Case and I Am Bummed About It November 4, 2013


There are times when I get up and walk off the House floor.

I go to my office and tell my secretary not to let anyone in. Or, I will go wandering around the rotunda.

But I get away from the mike on my desk and its ever-beckoning invitation to let fly and say whatever I want.

Because what I would want to say in that heated moment is not what I would want to say later, after the dust has settled and I’ve found my inner sane.

I am in a similar situation now, which is why I am not going to weigh in on the only bit of news today that has anything directly to do with me. Because I know that what I would say now is not what I would want to have said later.

Sometimes, it’s better to just keep your mouth shut.

The Supreme Court of the United States has decided not to hear a case based on an Oklahoma law concerning the prescribing of drugs used in chemical abortions. I co-authored an amicus curiae brief in favor of this law, along with my friend House Majority Leader Pam Peterson. That’s why I’ve been mum on this case up until now.

I will talk about it more. Later.

For now, here are a few facts (which I will have some thoughts about in the future) from the Washington Post:

The Supreme Court left in place Monday a decision by Oklahoma’s highest court that a major provision of that state’s new abortion law is unconstitutional because it effectively bans all medication abortions.

The high court last summer had tentively agreed to consider the issue but asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court for clarification on exactly what the law proscribes. The Oklahoma court issued an opinion last week that the law would effectively end the early-term practice of medication-induced abortions, and was thus unconstitutional.

Upon receiving the Oklahoma opinion, the Supreme Court then announced Monday that it will not schedule the case for briefing and consideration. As is customary, the justices gave no reason for deciding not to hear the case.

It is clear, however, that there are other ways for the issue to reach the Supreme Court. A number of states have passed similar restrictions on medication abortions, and the issue is working its way through the courts.

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30 responses to “Supremes Dump Oklahoma Court Case and I Am Bummed About It”

  1. I owe no responsibility to anyone and I will say what I think. These people are bought and paid for. They showed it at the time of the sentences against marriage, and they show it again now. And by bought and paid for, I mean bought and paid for. An investigation into their private lives and finances is in order.

  2. If the general news media were not pushing these vary agendas, there MIGHT be investigations. However, they are, and will not. Besides which, many of these “justices” are known to support gay unions and abortion and there is nothing really surprising about their choosing to “judge” in such a way as to benefit their preferred outcome, whether or not there is ANY legal precedent to back them up.

  3. The reason for constant setbacks like this one is that the pro-life movement absolutely refuses to do the hard, uphill work of selling its values to the American public one on one and building a new social consensus around abortion. 90% or more of the movement’s “strategy” is nothing more than political and legal tactics. “How can we ram a total defacto abortion ban through a legislature and snooker a court into believing it doesn’t violate Roe?

    It hasn’t worked and it won’t work because judges, for all their human shortcomings, can read, and they’re smart enough to know that a lipsticked pig is still a pig. If we look at any major social issue framed by a Supreme Court decision or constitutional amendment – slavery, women’s suffrage, civil rights, gay marriage, we find that none of these things happened in a vacuum. They happened when, and only when, there was a sea change in the nation’s thinking on these issues. The rulings may have helped drive and solidify that consensus, but they did not create it in any of these areas, and they will not do so for abortion either.

    The gay rights movement is a classic example. Certainly they have exploited legislative and judicial opportunities, but they got where they are because they spent 40 years making their case directly to the American people- through one on one interaction, the media, the arts. Hearts and minds. The life movement has only done that sort of evangelizing as an ancillary activity. Societal attitudes have changed some, but there is not majority support for a blanket ban, and too-clever-by-half “all but in name” bans are not going to get past Roe. The post-game analysis I see shaping up here is the same as a thousand times before. Demonize the judiciary as evil and illegitimate, then work on stepping up your legal shell game for the next run. If you like fighting, keep doing this. If you like winning, take the time to recruit a couple hundred million allies.

  4. The problem is that when you pass a law under the guise of doing it to protect women’s health when you are really doing it to protect the unborn, the courts can easily see that it is an attempt to make it more difficult for women to have abortions, which you can’t do because it has already been established that a woman has a right to have an abortion and you can’t take that right away by trying to make it appear that you are doing it out of concern for her health and safety. You may also have that concern but it is not the primary reason for trying to ban abortion producing drugs. It is up to doctors to assure that use of these drugs will be done safely.

  5. Your notion of legal due process seems somewhat curious. In Italian, “to put intentions on trial” (fare il processo alle intenzioni) stands for the ultimate in injustice, bad reasoning and undue influence. Intention is NOT the subject of a trial, with the possible exception of a Church annulment court. Courts of justice must adjudicate facts. The requirements of this particular bill had nothing unreasonable about them, and an uncorrupted court of justice would at the very least have heard the case.

  6. I am thinking of Justice Roberts, the specialist in legal acrobatics who discovered that the Administration could impose any kind of fee it wished because nobody doubts its constitutional right to impose taxes – even though the administration had argued that the mandates were not taxes; and who built the arguments, such as they were, for the sentences against marriage. He reminds me very much of this fellow: . But you are right that at least some of these scoundrels prostitute the law because they believe they are right in doing so. Long before she was even dean of Harvard law school (an appointment that should itself have put into question the merits of that body), she perjured the Clinton administration in the service of unlimited abortion. This woman should have been prevented from entering the Supreme Court by any means at hand; she is simply not the kind of character who should be made a judge at any level.

  7. Also, let me rephrase your last sentence. “It is up to Kermit Gosnell, George Tiller and their likes to assure that the use of these drugs will be done safely.” Oh, I am sure that these gentry will be very willing to assure that. Ensure it, on the other hand…

  8. The Supreme Court seems to rule more on public opinion and progressive desires than it does on the actual constitutionality of anything. The future of the court seems to be heading ever more progressively forward! God bless you!

  9. The requirements of this particular bill had nothing unreasonable about them

    Except that they made it more difficult for a woman to terminate her unwanted pregnancy. That is illegal.

  10. And you believe that the kind of doctors who go in for destroying babies in the womb would ensure such things? You haven’t answered my basic point, which is what was embodied in the names of Tiller and Gosnell.

  11. Illegal? Quote me the law. It may be illegal to PREVENT it, but that is a different matter. No, this is a corrupt decision by a corrupt court.

  12. And you believe that the kind of doctors who go in for destroying babies in the womb would ensure such things?

    You believe a doctor prescribing a drug to induce a miscarriage would be the kind of doctor who wouldn’t care about his or her patient? Really?

  13. For the decision and the court to be corrupt, someone would have to be giving them some sort of payoff. Do you think someone like Planned Parenthood got to the judge(s)?

  14. Actually it is not an absolute requirement that a morally corrupt decision should be paid in cash. But that is what I meant. Of course I don’t have the means to investigate the private lives and means of Supreme Court judges, but the behaviour in particular of the flexible and acrobatic Judge Roberts sends a definite whiff to Italian nostrils. Check my answer to Sister Cynthia, upthread, for a link to a description,in English, of an Italian supreme court judge who came to my mind when looking at certain decisions.

  15. I don’t know where I inferred anything about Catholics and Mexicans. I’m offering a realpolitick analysis of the issue based on 15 years or so of news writing and public policy analysis in state and local government. The criteria I use to make these calls is essentially the same whether the issue is abortion or local school tax referenda or medical marijuana or immigration.

    There is either a sufficient constituency to effect a major policy change on an issue, or there is not. If there is not, no scheme of shortcutting or anger will bring change. If there is, no force on Earth will ultimately stop it. I believe you when you say public opinion has evolved on the abortion question. It is still, in my estimation, far short of supporting total prohibition. If I had to pick a number out of the air, I would say it would take you 20 years of solid work to do that, if it can even be done in our cultural climate. SCOTUS has at times indicated it is open to abortion restrictions. Oklahoma’s law was not a restriction. It was an unsophisticated and transparent attempt to end run around Roe. There is no realistic way that even a sympathetic Court could let it stand.

  16. What are you talking about? The Texas law, which will likely be struck down just like the Oklahoma law, takes away options for women. The facilities are not “back alleys” or “curbside”. Where did you get that notion?

  17. For a decision to be corrupt, it would have to be one that I don’t agree with. I agree with it so it can’t be corrupt because I am not corrupt.

  18. Ken, I’m going to write about this in more detail in a day or so. But just for now let me say that you don’t know what you are talking about.

  19. OH dear, no, this will never do. All kinds of reasons make a decision corrupt. Thirst for money is the most obvious, but passion for popularity, personal or family motives, or party politics, are equally bad. And I’m afraid that the self is the last person to ever be able to judge its own actions.

  20. I guess I see what you mean by corrupt. There are all kinds of enticements affecting one’s judgment. Or it could just be ideology. For example, Catholics believe that as soon as the sperm fertilizes the egg, that becomes a person with a soul. So, even a morning after pill has the potential to take a human life. Most judges would see this as sheer nonsense and would not be inclined to ban the prescribing of that or other abortion inducing medications. That’s not being corrupt. It’s just having a different ideology. Militant feminists have their own ideology in regard to the rights of women. It is called diversity and it is good for us.

  21. I know this sounds terrible, but Catholics are obsessed with the notion that every life has almost an infinite value. They imagine a God who knows and loves every one of his creatures from the moment of conception to the end of their natural life. That is an ideology. Courts don’t make decisions based on ideologies. They make them based on existing laws and will sometimes even declare existing laws as being counter to the mother of all our laws, the Constitution.

  22. The right to life is the first of the three certain and inalienable rights which were declared in the first legal document of the independent United States of America, a document that precedes, motivates and gives value to the Constitution itself. If the Declaration of Independence is not legally valid, then the Constitution is not legally valid, because no legitimate national authority of an independent country has passed it. Remember this: the authority of the United States of America precedes, predates, and modifies that of the Constitution, to the extent that the United States of America have awarded themselves the right to amend the Constitution. But it does not precede or predate the Declaration of Independence; on the contrary, it depends on it. As your country’s greatest ever President – who was also a lawyer of genius – rightly said, your country is “dedicated to the proposition” that opens the Declaration. It is dedicated to it, like a church building is dedicated to cult. It cannot reject it without ceasing to be itself, any more than a building can be denied to cult and still be a church. As for the legal justice and correctness of the Declaration, read my argument here:

  23. The right to life is the first of the three certain and inalienable rights which were declared in the first legal document of the independent United States of America

    It’s a real stretch to say that the unborn have a right to life as per the Declaration of Independence.

  24. It’s a much longer stretch to halt it at the moment of birth, when everyone knows that that is a largely artificial marker.

  25. How do we get from allowing women to take a pill to end a pregnancy to concentration camps? Am I missing something?

  26. Ken,

    I do agree that it seems more barbaric the later the abortion is performed. But opponents tend to have an issue with allowing abortions even at the very beginning of a pregnancy. How can one reason with such people?