The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Sunday, May 23, 2004
Kerry and the judges: a clarification
Regular readers will identify two themes of the blog as caveat lector and an aversion to breaking news.
Apparently, John Kerry had scarcely made his rash comments on judicial appointments (my May 20 piece) than he'd clarified them.
The San Francisco Chronicle (May 22) says
Kerry clarified his position in a written statement shortly after Wednesday's interview, saying he "would not appoint anyone to the Supreme Court who would undo (the) right'' to have an abortion.
The statement isn't on the Kerry site list of press releases.
It's an unsatisfactory formulation, designed to get Kerry out of his immediate jam. (Which, perhaps, it does.) But, for example, his Supreme Court quote assumes that Roe is a black-and-white issue. And we've seen that the anti-abortion approach has been limited but progressive - in partial birth abortion laws, state and Federal, for instance - rather than any Pickett's Charge against Roe itself.
And, as for lower courts, that's where almost all the action is: perhaps he's thinking of appointing a lone anti to the Red Ninth on which he'd be guaranteed to be in a minority on the issue. Or perhaps to trade a couple of antis to create a majority anti circuit  in exchange for a pro replacement Supreme.
The speculation, presumably, was meant to attract antis to the Kerry camp, perhaps indirectly address the Catholic communion thing.
Even in the revised formulation, it sounds to me like the half-baked notion of a bright spark that wiser heads should have squelched.
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