Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Alito Files IV

Ben Shapiro writes today on the wonderful nomination of Judge Alito. Apparently this is a great day for us all. It's interesting that Shapiro, in listing off the cases he thinks shows Alito's good side, starts with one that his opponents are bringing up as well.
He was the lone dissenting voice on the Third Circuit in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1991), the case concerning a Pennsylvania state requirement that husbands be notified before wives received abortions. Alito, still an appellate court judge bound by Supreme Court precedent, criticized the majority opinion's conclusion that spousal notification created an "undue burden" on pregnant women seeking an abortion. Wrote Alito: "The Pennsylvania legislature could have rationally believed that some married women are initially inclined to obtain an abortion without their husbands' knowledge because of perceived problems -- such as economic constraints, future plans, or the husbands' previously expressed opposition -- that may be obviated by discussion prior to the abortion."
A few points

1. This ruling does place wives in the same category as children. A child should be required to tell her parents before getting an abortion, because she isn't able to make the decision on her own (or so the argument goes). She needs the counsel of someone more mature and responsible than her who knows her; hence she needs to consult her parents. Requiring wives to consult with their husbands puts them in exactly the same position.

Echidne of the Snakes wrote a good post on this the other day, discussing this ruling and another in which he argued that a wife could be strip searched if her husband had a search warrent against him (hey if you can search his car why can't you search his wife?)

While I can understand opposition to abortion, I don't countenance opposition to abortion that places women in the same category as children or property.

2. Ben Shapiro did underline something else that you are all well aware of. Let's go back to this phrase "Alito, still an appellate court judge bound by Supreme Court precedent, criticized the majority opinion's conclusion . . ." Obviously if Alito is on the Supreme Court his relation to Supreme Court precedent changes quiet a bit, doesn't it?

Anyway we aren't done with Ben Shapiro yet, as our new feature (A Catalogue of Commentators) debuts this afternoon, and young Ben is first up.

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