Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Just When Things Are Going Right

With the confirmation of Justice Alito, South Dakota has now passed an anti-abortion bill, and Mississippi is following suit. If you want to see Roe vs. Wade overturned, whether for constitutional reasons (which I share) or for religious or moral reasons, this action by the state of South Dakota is a big mistake.

In the first place, the addition of Alito, by itself, did not change the liberal vs. conservative balance on the Supreme Court. We need another conservative justice to overturn Roe vs. Wade, Kelo vs. New London (the eminent domain decision) and McCain-Feingold (the campaign finance fiasco). I’m afraid that the action by South Dakota, combined with the lame duck weakness of President Bush, will combine to energize the opposition to another conservative. If you think the left was rough with Alito and Roberts, wait until you see what they are capable of if another conservative nominee is put forward soon.

It seems that just when things appear to be going pretty well for progress on conservative issues, the Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee shoot themselves in the foot by voting to sabotage the president on the Dubai ports deal, and the South Dakota legislature exhibits the patience of a three year old. Their action on abortion is not only a mistake in the context of the bigger picture with respect to the Supreme Court, it is also meaningless to the residents of South Dakota where almost no abortions are currently performed.

This new legislation has already been challenged, and will undoubtedly be rejected as unconstitutional by the first federal court that hears the case. What is needed now is a recognition by South Dakota’s governor and attorney general that appealing the case would be counterproductive to the long-range objective of restoring sanity to our Supreme Court, and would actually be counterproductive to the goal of reducing abortions.

I am e-mailing this column to South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds (at his website, and also to the South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long (at

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