Democrats are upset. Maybe upset is not the right word, perhaps scared is more fitting and it is not the upcoming Halloween celebration that has them shaking with fear.
The recent shifts in the makeup of the Supreme Court have begun to threaten long-debated court decisions, specifically Roe v. Wade. With the confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts, and the recent nomination of Harriet Miers, these new fears may not be unfounded.
For those who are unfamiliar with Roe v. Wade, the case was solely responsible for establishing abortion rights in this country and created the "pro-life" and "pro-choice" camps as we know them today. The case, as it turns out, was also one of the biggest liberal pranks in history, but let's starts at the beginning.
The case originated in Texas in 1970 when Norma McCorvey, an unmarried pregnant woman under the alias "Jane Roe," challenged the established anti-abortion laws. When the court finally issued a decision in 1973 it was determined that the word "person" in the Constitution "does not include the unborn" and the imaginary "right to privacy" had been created.
Although the Constitution does not explicitly mention the "right to privacy," the court declared abortion laws infringed ninth and 14th amendment rights.
For those who say there is no liberal activism in the Supreme Court, this must be a real heart breaker. I say this only because I have read these amendments and find the ruling that they support abortion to be a bit absurd (and by "a bit" I mean "a friggin lot.")
The court also went on to conclude the new right to privacy it had just invented was "broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy."
In layman's terms what all this means is that women not only had a new right guaranteed by the Constitution, but their unborn children had no rights and they could throw them out if they so chose. Jan. 22, 1973, was a great day for women's rights.
The decision was based not on former precedent the way it is supposed to be in our system of common law but rather on the justices' own biased interpretations of the Constitution.
Byron White, one of the two justices who dissented, had this to say of the ruling: "I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the court's judgment. The court simply fashions a new constitutional right for pregnant mothers and with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes." I couldn't have said it better myself Mr. White.
Coincidentally the other justice who dissented on the ruling was the late William Rehnquist who was just beginning his service on the court. The same William Rehnquist whose recent death incited the game of Supreme Court musical chairs we are playing now. John Roberts, a known conservative, has taken the position of Chief Justice and is expected to continue Rehnquist's strict adherence to what the Constitution actually says. Roberts was confirmed easily because his appointment alone could not upset the liberal control of the Supreme "Imaginary Rights" Court of the United States.
The reason Democrats are worried, however, is that another Bush nominee is now up for confirmation hearings and rumblings of a Roe v. Wade reversal can be heard throughout the country's conservative hot beds.
This new nominee, Miers, is a relative unknown who has no judiciary experience and is a loyal Bush buddy. I am not here today to debate Miers' credentials or her worthiness for the highest court in the land. I am here simply to say the words "loyal Bush buddy" strike fear into the hearts of Democrats everywhere. This is especially true when a court could soon reexamine one of the most controversial court rulings in U.S. history with a few more "Christian conservatives" on the panel.
So it turns out Democrats do actually have something to be worried about right now. Someday soon, the Supreme Court may actually get back to their old school methods of doing their job and not liberalizing the country for us. The only branch of government with unlimited control just got checked and that, my friends, is a scary thought for the left.
Ryan Chapman is senior marketing major. His column runs every Wednesday in The Collegian.