Wednesday, July 02, 2003
Since the Supreme Court is so keen on the public mood: Today's Washington Times reports on a survey by the pro-abortion rights Center for the Advancement of Women that found that 51 percent of American women said the government should prohibit abortion or limit it to the narrow rape/incest/life-of-the-mother situations.
In its last term, the Supreme Court struck down sodomy laws and barred the execution of mentally-disabled murderers on the basis that public sentiment is opposed to those laws. (With regard to the latter, it was noted in the dissents by Justices Scalia and Thomas that public sentiment was not opposed, only a small minority.)
I didn't write much on the Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas at the time, mainly because I felt I could add little to the conversation in the blogosphere. In short, my position is that the sodomy laws are unenforceable, but that the respective state legislatures should be the ones to get rid of them. The Court use of the "right to privacy" is offensive and takes the debate out of the public square -- creating more animosity than it settles...
Just like the Court did when it decided Roe v. Wade 30 years ago. Instead of letting the people decide whether or not to allow abortion-on-demand or what restrictions there would be, the Court in it's "wisdom" has caused 30 years of rancor and sometimes violence.
Well, the public mood has changed. If the Court is going to insist on deciding questions of law based on the results of some public opinion poll, then lets see some consistency.