Thursday, April 21, 2005

Is Brooks that Naive?

I can’t decide whether David Brooks of the New York Times is naive or if he knows his argument is bunk but is hoping to pull a fast one. In his recent Op-Ed piece in the Times, he claims that politics will become less divisive only when Roe v. Wade is overturned. To think that the abortion issue will become less divisive and cause less conflict once the controversial Supreme Court decision is overturned is ludicrous.

If a new and more conservative Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, every state legislature as well as Congress would be embroiled in the fight over abortion. Now I realize that the legislative branch of government was created to decide on policy and pass laws, so I am not arguing that the legislatures are the wrong place for this issue to be decided. But the fight over abortion laws would just as divisive as current fights over judicial nominations. Furthermore, with a Republican dominated Congress, and a strongly pro-life President, the federal government would likely try to pass anti-abortion laws (which the Democrats in the Senate would try to filibuster while Republicans might look into the Nuclear option again). If federal legislation did pass, it would cause the more liberal states to fight the issue arguing for states’ rights, sending this back to the courts. That Brooks thinks compromise legislation would be agreed on once the issue is back in the legislature is absurd. To most people, there is no middle ground on abortion. Either life begins at conception or it doesn’t. We have to accept that this issue is incredibly divisive and that no matter where the battle is carried out, it will be hard fought and very emotional.

I also disagree with his contention that the only reason Federal Court appointments are contentious is because of abortion. Democrats will always be opposed to nominations of very far right justices (in the same way that Republicans opposed Clinton appointments that they thought were too far left).