Thursday, June 3, 2010

Justice Stevens

Justice Stevens writes, concurring in Carhart I, "Although much ink is spilled today describing the gruesome nature of the late-term abortion procedures, that rhetoric does not provide me a reason to believe that the procedure Nebraska here claims it seeks to ban is more brutal, more gruesome, or less respectful of potential life than the equally gruesome procedure Nebraska claims it still allows."

Justice Stevens was an old man when he wrote that, and that was ten years ago. He's frickin' 90. Now I'm not saying there should be a mandatory retirement age for old and cranky Supreme Court Justices who love their power so much that they can't let go. I'm just saying I hope his clerks are driving his car for him.

Anyway, as some of us younger people might remember, it's not actually Nebraska's idea to allow for these gruesome medical procedures. I'm pretty sure the Supreme Court is in charge of the ripping-the-baby-into-pieces-with-multiple-passes-into-the-cervix operations. I don't know where Stevens gets off blaming Nebraska.

It may be Nebraska wants to outlaw partial-birth abortion just because Nebraska is pissed off about the whole damn thing. As some of us younger people recall, born infants are classified as people by the Supreme Court, and unborn infants are legal objects. So if you're inducing labor and giving birth to a child, that baby is actually passing into the world of legal protection.

I know, he's only half-way. He's half fetus, half baby. He's half object, half person. But if the birth line is important--and I'm pretty sure that's what separates unborn from born--then it's kind of troubling when you're cutting up babies who are in the process of being born. I mean, perhaps Nebraska isn't outlawing the procedure because it's gruesome and evil--although, come to think of it, why the fuck not--but it's outlawing the procedure because it's uncomfortably close to what we define as murder. It's half constitutional right, half murder. And since some of us don't have brains that can understand the legal concept of half constitutional right, half murder, we would rather just outlaw the damn thing if it's all the same to you.

Stevens' argument is that now we have to allow doctors to kill partially-born infants, because it's no more gruesome than all the unborn infants we've been killing. But of course this argument can be flipped around just as easily. Stevens is all, "Let's kill the partially-born, because we're already ripping the unborn all to hell." But it seems to me the more natural thought is to be upset about killing babies out of the womb. And then you start wondering, what the hell are we doing to babies in the womb?

Not to imply he's senile or anything like that, but 90 is up there. That's a seriously old fart. Has he got a tight grip on the reins of power or what? "I'm not leaving! I'm not leaving! Fuck you, I can drive. Whippersnapper."

I say when you're leaving your abortion concurrences in the refrigerator, it's time to retire. "Hey, did you read Stevens' opinion in that partial-birth abortion case? It was really cold, man."

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