ABORTION AND THE CONSTITUTION

From Lewrockwell.com…By Andrew Napolitano

“The fetus has an interest in having a life.”
–Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., Dec. 1, 2021

Last week’s oral argument in the Supreme Court about abortion was both humdrum and arcane. Humdrum because we already knew where the nine justices stand on the morality of abortion. Arcane because the questions and answers were largely not about abortion, but about stare decisis, the legal doctrine that calls for settled law not to be lightly disturbed. What brought this about?

Mississippi has enacted into law a statute that prohibits abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy. That statute directly conflicts with two major Supreme Court opinions on abortion, Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

The 1973 Roe decision establishes a trimester system during which the state’s interest in protecting the life of the baby in the womb does not come into being until the third trimester of pregnancy. More importantly, Roe holds that the states may not ban abortions prior to fetal viability, roughly at the end of the first trimester, around 23 weeks.

The Casey opinion, 19 years after Roe and with a largely different membership in the court, upheld Roe’s no-abortions-until-viability standard and added a new rule that prohibited the states from imposing any undue burden on mothers seeking abortions.

Thus, Mississippi — and Texas, which prohibits abortions after six weeks, right behind it — is effectively asking the court to overrule both Roe and Casey. The Mississippi argument states that because the Constitution is silent on abortion or any kind of killing, its Framers must have intended to leave regulation of those subjects to the states. The counterargument is that women have personal autonomy over their bodies and that autonomy trumps any state interest at any time.

When the Roe court established the bright line of viability as the point before which no state could prohibit taking the life of the baby in the womb, it did so without legal justification or scientific basis. We know that from the posthumously revealed notes of Justice Harry Blackmun, the author of the Roe decision. Yet, an unwanted pregnancy is just as unwanted the day before viability as it is the day after. Viability has been the bright line for 48 years, and during that time, over 62 million abortions have been performed in the U.S. in reliance upon it.

So, can the court change the bright line, and if so, should it? That was the essence of the argument last week. But that argument largely misses the constitutional point. There is nothing constitutional about viability. Justice Blackmun made it up out of thin air, and six other members of the court accepted it, just as Justice Sandra Day O’Connor made up “undue burden” out of thin air in Casey.

The constitutional point here is whether the baby in the womb is a person. Roe itself concedes in the text of the opinion that if the baby is a person — with an interest in having a life, as Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. put it during oral argument — then Roe falls.

That’s because the 14th Amendment prohibits the states from taking life, liberty or property from any persons without due process — meaning a jury trial at which the state would need to prove fault. Such a demonstration would be impossible in the case of a baby in the womb. As well, the same amendment also requires equal protection of the laws.

Since all states protect life by enacting laws against homicide, they must enforce those laws equally so as to protect all persons from being murdered, irrespective of age or physical dependency.

The linchpin to the application of 14th Amendment jurisprudence to abortion is the concept of personhood. If the fetus is a person, the mother and her physicians may not lawfully kill the fetus any more than they could lawfully kill the father of the fetus. This is why the debate over viability misses the point. The court should have passed over the argument about viability and moved into the only constitutional issue here — personhood.

Is the fetus in the womb a person? Of course she is. The growing baby has human parents and all the genomic material within her tiny body to develop and mature into a post-natal child. The fetus, through a guardian, can sue and be sued; inherit assets and even bequeath them. These truisms and legal principles were known to the Framers when they wrote the Constitution and to the drafters and ratifiers of the 14th Amendment.

This business of denying personhood can be dangerous beyond compare. In 1857, the Supreme Court infamously held in Dred Scott v. Sandford that African Americans were not persons, and thus they could not sue for legal protection and could be brought as slaves into free territory. The German Nuremberg laws in the 1930s hatefully declared that Jews were not persons and thus had no legal rights. We all know where these horrific principles brought us — a war that killed more Americans than all other wars combined and a holocaust of catastrophic proportions.

Do the justices have the moral courage to recognize babies in the womb as persons? I doubt it, though my college classmate Justice Alito seemed to be going in that direction. Yet, making such a declaration — broad and sweeping so as to cover all humans at all times and under all circumstances — would put to bed once and for all the debates over the rights of all, from babies in the womb to foreign detainees in American foreign jails.

All offspring of human parents are endowed with natural rights that they may enjoy and for the exercise of which they can require governmental protection. This is the only valid moral purpose of government, absent unanimous consent of the governed — to protect the lives, liberties and property of all persons.

The Best of Andrew P. Napolitano

Rock River Patriots Meeting This Friday February 12th

ROCK RIVER PATRIOTS ARE HAVING A MEETING THIS FRIDAY FEBRUARY 12TH AT 6:00 PM IN FORT ATKINSON AT THE DWIGHT FOSTER LIBRARY LOCATED AT 209 MERCHANTS AVE.  At this meeting, we welcome State Sen. Steve Nass, who will update us on all that is happening in the closing weeks of this legislative session.

 

NOTE: TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!!! The Countdown is on on Wisconsin’s Baby Body Parts Bill!!!

 

We need one final statewide push to get Assembly Bill 305/Senate Bill 260 – The Baby Body Parts Bill – scheduled for a final floor vote in the State Assembly and the State Senate….and then it is on to Governor Walker for his signature.
The highly paid pro-abortion lobbyists are working the hallways hard in our State Capitol and you need to counter them with your voice for truth and Life.  If you don’t already realize it, there is A LOT of $$ riding on this bill…$$ that will fund this fall’s campaigns to pay for the literature mailed to your home and the endless TV commercials and bothersome robo-calls….and how much $$ will be passed under the table???
The Legislature will wrap up its activities by the end of February according to news reports and they are hoping to run out the clock on this bill.
It’s time to put Speaker Robin Vos and Senator Scott Fitzgerald on notice that Wisconsin’s Pro-Life Movement is tired of their constant lies. 
 
Tell them to put the bill on the calendar and take the vote.
Let’s Do the Math.  Only 50 votes are needed to pass the bill out of the State Assembly and move it to the State Senate. There are 42 Assembly Co-Sponsors on the bill right now. Only 8 more “Yes” votes needed.  (There is an overall total of 63 Republicans in the state Assembly.)
Below are 21 Republican state representatives that are not currently listed as co-sponsors.  They need to hear from you immediately about how vital it is they VOTE YES on AB 305.
Once you are finished with this list, be sure to contact your own legislators through the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-362-9472.
Please forward this list to all your friends and family.

Call Now.

Ballweg
Brooks
Duchow
Jagler
Kitchens
Loudenbeck
Mursau
Murtha
Nerison
Novak
Nygren
Petryk
Rodriguez
Sanfelippo
Spiros
Steineke
Swearingen
Tauchen
VanderMeer
Vos
Weatherston

Rock River Patriots Meeting This Friday January 8th

The Rock River Patriots are having a meeting this Friday, January 8th, in Fort Atkinson at the Dwight Foster Library beginning at 6:00 pm.  The Dwight Foster Library is located at 209 Merchants Avenue.

At this meeting we welcome State Assembly Rep. Cody Horlacher to discuss what is happening in Madison as the legislative session draws to a close.  We will also discuss current events and initiatives.  Hope to see you all there!

 

Upcoming Events

 

Pro-Life Rally in Madison at the State Capitol on January 12th at noon.
Here is the event flyer with more information: Rally for Life Press Release_TIME_CHANGE

Fetal Body Parts Bill Public Hearing Tomorrow

By now you’re aware of a public hearing on 8/11/2015 regarding baby body parts.

If you can, please attend and show your support for this bill!

The “comment line” is open till 5:00 p.m.   Your letters, e-mails, personal comments and phone calls are needed in support of:

Assembly Bill 305

Sale and use of fetal body parts and providing a criminal penalty

They need a large turnout for anyone who may attend in person:

Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety

10:00 am, Room 225 Northwest.

Citizens may submit statements supporting this bill  (letter or email)  to the :

Assembly Criminal Justice Committee

Rep. André Jacque

P.O. Box 8952

Madison, WI  53708

Rep.Jacque@wisconsin.gov

Wisconsin Legislative hotline:  800-362-9472

Wisconsin Legislative Website:  http://legis.wisconsin.gov/

Rock River Patriots Meeting Friday February 14, 2014

The Rock River Patriots are meeting on Friday February 14th at 6:00 pm in the Community Room at the Dwight Foster Library in Fort Atkinson.  The Dwight Foster Library is located at 209 Merchants Avenue.

At this meeting we will discuss current events, initiatives, and anticipate receiving a legislative update from one of our representatives.  We welcome Pastor Matt Trewhella from Missionaries to the Preborn, to speak about the Lesser Magistrate Doctrine.

 

These Bills Need To Be Passed This Session!!!

TIME TO PUT THE PRESSURE ON!!!

BURN UP THE PHONE LINES – PLEASE SHARE: There is IMPORTANT BUSINESS that they’re going to leave unfinished unless we insist that they do their jobs. Please pick up the phone TODAY, call your STATE SENATOR AND YOUR STATE ASSEMBLY REP. Tell them that you expect them to do their jobs and get some important legislation passed before they end session.

Issue #1: THE MINING BILL – NO CHANGES
The conservative members of the Senate Republican Caucus are disgusted with what’s going on surrounding AB 426. They don’t want ANY of the changes proposed by Senator Kedzie. They’ve introduced a twin to AB 426 that’s currently assigned LRB #4045. Call your senator and INSIST that this bill gets passed IMMEDIATELY! And keep the pressure on Kedzie and Schultz.

Issue #2: RAW MILK (SB 108)

Here’s another one where you can give Senator Schultz a piece of your mind. This bill, introduced by Senator Glenn Grothman, would restore important FOOD FREEDOMS to Wisconsinites, has been sitting in Senator Schultz’s committee for 6 MONTHS. Now he’s letting the bill’s worst enemy, the Wisconsin Dairy Association, tinker with it. You can bet the bill won’t be worth a dee-doodle once they get done. Call Senator Schultz and tell him to knock it off. Then call your own legislators and tell them that it’s time to get this bill PASSED and stop putting farmers in jail!

Issue #3: SMART GROWTH OPT-OUT (AB 303) 
Reps. Mary Williams and Scott Suder should see their bill pass THIS SESSION. It had a public hearing in the Senate yesterday. It NEEDS TO CLEAR COMMITTEE AND PASS to restore prerogative to local governments and land rights to individual citizens. Tell your legislators to STOP AGENDA 21 NOW…not five years from now when it’s too late.  The globalist groups are coming out in force to try and stop this bill.  THIS NEEDS TO BE PASSED!!!

Issue #4: LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT ON OBAMACARE (AB 530 and 531)
Rep. David Craig and Senator Leah Vukmir have written two excellent bills that will enhance legislative awareness of Obamacare issues and prevent state agencies from acting on their own to comply with any aspect of Obamacare. AB 530 deals with state agency reporting to the legislature. AB 531 ensures that any aspect of Obamacare compliance must be placed before the legislature for consideration, NOT acted upon solely by state agencies.

Issue #5: WINDMILL SITING (SB 263)
Many people are now reporting health issues as a result of wind turbines in their area. Introduced by Frank Lasee, this bill would place a moratorium on the building of any further wind turbines until the health effects can be more closely studied. This also buys more time for property owners to figure out how to contend with the forces behind wind energy. The bill is stuck in committee. Tell your legislators you want it out of committee, passed, and on the governor’s desk PRONTO!

Issue #6: BABY BODY PARTS (AB 214)
Rep. André Jacque and guys like Steve Karlen and Matt Sande at Pro-Life Wisconsin have crafted an excellent bill to prevent the sale of baby body parts for ANY reason. If baby parts can be sold, they can be purposefully harvested. What kind of society are we if we let this possibility stand? Tell your legislators it’s time for Wisconsin to DO THE RIGHT THING.

From The 10th Amendment Center – “Aborting Guns?”

Below is a very good article on State vs. Federal power.  This applies to so many issues that are happening today and speaks to why we have an out-of-control federal government.  This is also due, in part, to the national media.  There is a vested interest by the national news media in having a strong central government.  Not only does this increase the “importance” of their coverage, but also allows for easier coverage.  Most of the media focus only needs to be spent in one place, Washington D.C, instead of the coverage being spread throughout the 50 State Capitals of our nation.

The Framers set up our constitutional republic as a system having the power “decentralized”.  Many of the most contentious issues like abortion, I believe, will never be solved on a national level.  To truly solve these issues the States need to re-assert their sovereignty.

Pro-Life advocates, for example, have a much better chance to stop abortion on a State level.  As the article points out, if a person doesn’t like how their respective State is handling this issue, they can work to change it and/or “vote with their feet” to another State with whose laws they agree with.

Aborting Guns?

by John Lambert

Recently, the National Right-to-Care Reciprocity Act of 2011 passed overwhelming in the House of Representatives.  One thing that stood out, there were some on the left that cited the 10th Amendment as justification for it being Unconstitutional.

As much as I’m an avid gun-rights advocate, I have to admit that this criticism is valid.

Currently, forty states have some form of concealed permit reciprocity, so is the power for the Federal Government really necessary for the final ten states?

The question becomes, does the expansion of liberty by this law outweigh the growth of power in the Federal Government?  The problem is…  yes, they can pass this bill which on some level I like, but what is stopping the Federal Government using this tactic on something I don’t like?

A Different Take on Abortion-Part 1

I know abortion is a touchy issue with a lot of people.  I just ask you give me some latitude here to make my point, and I will make you a promise.  I will not endorse one side or another or even state my position on abortion.  Since it is such a divisive issue, it allows me to make a particular points.

If we are honest with ourselves, the heart of this issue comes down if you believe or not that the unborn child has natural rights or not.  Obviously, the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life crowds have different views whether life begins at conception or birth.

Personally, I can make compelling arguments for both points of view.  A Pro-Choice individual will naturally argue that a woman has the right to her own body.  Her body is her property and the state can’t claim it.  She can choose what to eat, drink, or even who shares her bed.  This isn’t the function of the state.

A Pro-Life individual will state the unborn child has rights and should be defended.  If a man beats his wife who is pregnant and she loses the child as the result, he should be punished for the loss of the child, right?  If so, we are saying as a society that the unborn child has rights on some level.  So how can an individual have partial rights?

If we are honest, we really can’t refute either argument.  We can intellectually disagree but all we can do is form some conclusion that seems morally right to us.  I do know one thing about the abortion issue.  No matter which side I come down on, there are a significant number of people in this country who will disagree with me.

When this topic comes in conversations, I will state my view, but I will also make a case that I do understand the arguments from the other side.  One time, a Pro-Choice friend of mine made the case that she felt the Fourteenth Amendment justified her position.  However, I pointed out to her that to a Pro-Life individual would argue that the Fourteenth Amendment would also apply to the unborn child and they are defending those same rights.  She never really considered this point of view.

I don’t demonize those who disagree with me on this issue.  My goal when the topic comes up is to share my understanding on this issue in hopes they don’t demonize individuals as well.

Since this is such a divisive issue, I believe I don’t have the authority to force my view on those who disagree with me through the power of Washington DC.

A Different Take on Abortion- Part 2

Let us pretend there are three islands close together.  The first island is settled by Catholics who want to practice their faith in peace.  There are about the same number or settlers living on the second island, but they are atheists.   Both of these islands are roughly the same size and have similar resources.

The last island is larger and is occupied by head hunting cannibals.  (I know this sounds like a Gilligan’s Island plotline, but just bear with me.)  This island has superior resources they often attack the smaller islands.

Representatives of the first two islands discuss working together to fight off the cannibals.  They form a council to discuss their issues with the cannibals. They agreed that they will trade among themselves and defend each other, but will stay out of each other’s internal affairs.

The Catholic island because of their faith have abortion illegal.  The atheists could care less about the issue and thus not illegal.

Do the atheists have the right to force the Catholics to allow abortions?  Do the Catholics have the right to force the atheists to ban abortions?  Isn’t this determination up to the people who live on these islands?

However, what if one of the following happens: a Catholic comes to the conclusion that abortions shouldn’t be banned?  Or one of the atheists starts thinking that abortions are morally wrong?

Each of these individuals have the natural rights to do one of the following:

1) They can just accept their circumstance and do nothing.

2) They can use their natural right of Free Speech and try to persuade those around them to their point of view.

3) They have natural right of traveling to the other community who shares their viewpoint.

Federal versus National

This concept is what our Founders had in mind with the creation of a Federal and not a National system.  The states are themselves sovereign and should control most of their internal issues.

The “conventional wisdom” has been that the Federal Government needs to maintain a check on States who may abuse their power.  Again who will maintain a check on the Federal Government?  The Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court went from 1937 to 1995 without ruling a Congressional Act as Unconstitutional.  Really????   You mean that every law during this time frame was totally Constitutional?  I sincerely doubt it.

There is no debate that States themselves will abuse power.  Well, they are government institutions after all.  However, there is a check on the states.  If a state becomes too oppressive, people and companies will leave the state and move to another one.  The State will then lose tax revenue and the quality of life will decline in the state.

Or if a State creates a bold plan for its citizens something like a state run healthcare system.  If successful, other states will study and copy the program.  If it fails, the impact is only felt by said state.

However if the Federal Government passes a bold program, the failure of the program affects everyone.  A citizen can’t avoid it by just moving to another State.

We have acknowledge the importance of competition in the marketplace for our dollars.  There are several shops or manufactures will sell you a hammer if you need one.  Why not force the states in the position to compete for your citizenship and tax dollars?

This is the check on the States and demonstrates why a lot of what Federal Government does isn’t necessary.  There is also the problem of the Federal Government abusing the states doing things that they believe are right.

Like the Republicans who supported the National Right-to-Care Reciprocity Act.

John Lambert [send him email] is the Outreach Coordinator for the Texas Tenth Amendment Center.