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January 10, 2006
RNC Blogger Forum: The Meaning Of Consensus

We're watching C-SPAN ahead of the start of the hearings this morning, and Bruce Shapiro of The Nation is appearing for call-in questions -- and not surprisingly, he's coming up with some eyerolling pronouncements. When a self-confessed former "radical feminist" made the excellent point that since half of the American people describe themselves as "pro-life", it hardly puts Alito out of the mainstream if he has the same beliefs. She challenged Shapiro to respond as to why his magazine and the Left react so hysterically whenever a pro-life candidate comes up for confirmation. Shapiro responded that he wouldn't want a jurist to rise to the Supreme Court that would throw out decades of "consensus".

Consensus? The entire problem with Roe is that it kept abortion from going through the political process to reach some sort of consensus. It froze the argument in amber by making it an absolute right -- more absolute than free political speech after the BCRA, for instance. No one who has lived through the abortion debate can possibly imagine that America has had any consensus on this issue. What the argument for judicial originalism begs is to return the issue and others like it to the legislature where it belongs. Vacating Roe would not make abortion illegal; it would force the legislatures to grapple with the question as the representatives of the people, and to reach the consensus that Shapiro imagines exists now.

Talk about missing the forest for the trees!

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 10, 2006 8:04 AM

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