Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Unsettled Precedents

"With the passing of Judge William Rehnquist all the Supreme Court jurists who decided Roe v. Wade are now deceased, but the controversy that ruling started continues to this day (Justice Rehnquist dissented in the case).

"Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) is so focused on the Roe decision that it appears the pro-choice Senator has to invent words to further confuse the issue.

"The Washington Post reports that Senator Specter asked Judge Roberts if Roe v. Wade set a 'super-precedent' since the decision has been followed by 38 Supreme Court rulings meant to refine or clarify its guidelines. Judge Roberts wisely did not answer the question but the question itself shows how even Senator Specter, a former district attorney, can be misled on what, if anything, the Roe decision settled.

"That the Supreme Court needed 38 subsequent rulings to 'clarify' its holding does not establish Roe as a 'super-precedent,' but just the opposite." ...

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