Wednesday, July 20, 2005

On Roberts: Let's cut to the chase

The mainstream media, and even many bloggers, have been trying to be "mature" by not jumping to conclusions about John Roberts, President Bush's nominee to the Supreme Court, and not talking too much about Roe V. Waid. It's been less than 24 hours, and I'm already sick of hearing about his intellectualism and how much Democrats respect him.

This is the real story that the news media should be reporting.

1. Roberts will vote to overturn Roe if given the chance, as evidenced by his past writings.
2. Roberts replacing the pro-Roe Justice O'Connor shifts the court one step in the anti-Roe direction.
3. The Supreme Court will need just one more such step to overturn Roe.
4. Pro-Roe Justice John Paul Stevens is 85 years old.

In my view, that leaves 4 possible scenarios:
1. Stevens retires before Bush's second term ends.
1.1 Bush appoints another anti-Roe justice. Roe is overturned.
1.2 Bush appoints Roberto Gonzales, because of loyalty. Roe is not overturned.

2. Stevens retires after Bush's second term ends.
2.1 The next president is pro-life. Roe is overturned.
2.2 The next president is pro-choice. Roe is not overturned.

It's all well and good to hear that Roberts gets a lump in his throat when he thinks about the Supreme Court and that he's "anchored in modern law" (New York Times). But we've got ourselves a ballgame here, with big-time consequences. The mainstream media would do us a lot of good by not being obtuse about it.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Religion and "public" life

In his recent New York Times column Mr. Bush, Pick a Genius , David Brooks (who I often agree with) endorses Michael McConnell as a potential Supreme Court nominee. In his writings and rulings, McConnell has resisted religion-state separationism, because...
The problem with the Separationist view, he has argued in essays and briefs, is that it's not practical. As government grows and becomes more involved in health, charity, education and culture issues, it begins pushing religion out of those spheres. The Separationist doctrine leads inevitably to discrimination against religion. The state ends up punishing people who are exercising a constitutional right.
Right problem, David, wrong answer. If government instead shrunk and became less involved in health, charity, education and culture issues, then people would be able to freely consider religion when choosing how to deal with illness, who to donate to, how to educate their kids, and what to do on a weekend. Moreover, without a big fat state distorting the markets in these realms, people would have more and better choices in regards to non-religous issues as well, like value and methodology.

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