Wednesday, April 18, 2007

It Begins

I had held out hope, but I suppose we all knew this day would come. The Supreme Court, today, upheld a federal law banning a type of abortion. Yes, the Supreme Court upholds federal laws all the time. But this one was widely expected to be struck down because similar bills passed at the state level had previously been held to be unconstitutional. In general, if an act is unconstitutional as impinging upon the rights of the people, it doesn't much matter WHO passes the unconstitutional law, it remains unconstitutional. That is why commentators anticipated this federal law, which was a response to the court's ruling, to similarly be struck down. That was before, of course, the composition of the court changed; more specifically, that was before Justice O'Connor was replaced by Justice Alito. Both Alito and Roberts voted to sustain this law.

Today's decision raises two separate issues: (1) the political wisdom of the Act itself and (2) the wisdom of today's decision by the Supreme Court. These will be the subjects of a future post, once I have had time to parse the opinion itself.

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