In mid-July, in an appeal approved by President Reagan before he was hospitalized for cancer surgery, the US Department of Justice urged the Supreme Court to reverse its 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling which established a constitutional right for an American to obtain an abortion.
The thirty page ‘friend of the court’ brief charged that Roe v. Wade is “inherently unworkable,” “a source of instability in law” and “so far flawed that this court (The Supreme Court) should overrule it.” It also commented on recent court decisions that struck down legislation regulating abortion in Pennsylvania and Illinois, describing them as “harsh and one-sided.” The brief requested that the court “return the law to the condition in which it was before the (Roe v. wade) was decided.
The brief carries the signature of outspoken Edwin Meese III, the new US Attorney General. Boldly, he recently commented on the Supreme Court’s lack of respect for the American Constitution concluding: “Far too many of the Court’s decisions on the whole, have been more policy choices than articulations of long term constitutional principle.” Early in July he attacked federal judges for “transforming courtrooms into mini-legislatures…The courts are coming to be perceived less as defenders of constitutional rights than expositors of moral theories.”
The Justice Department briefs is almost certainly doomed to failure as the Court membership is unchanged from only two years ago when they struck down local (state) legislation regulating abortion by a six to three vote. Attorney General Meese concedes the near certain possibility of failure, saying, “The fact that we may not be successful shouldn’t deter us from stating what we believe to be sound constitutional doctrine.”
Curiously, the US Supreme Court has again chosen to consider abortion statutes similar to laws which it has already struck down. The Justice Department has therefore deemed this to be a propitious moment to present their brief. Although abortion rights have no legal tradition anywhere in the world, and even though success is extremely unlikely, yet it is openly admitted in legal circles and even among pro-abortionists that Roe v. Wade is at best a confusing ruling. It ties a woman’s “right” to abortion to the 14th Amendment’s implicit “right of privacy” but modifies that right with reference to the trimester of pregnancy.
Certainly from a pro-lifer’s viewpoint and that of some lawyers concerned with constitutional law, Roe v. Wade, among other things, conflicts with the unborn child’s rights (long protected) in criminal law in all democratic societies).
US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor may have put it succinctly when she suggested that the Roe v. Wade ruling is “on a collision course with itself.” CAS
New York mayor pushes homosexual policy
In the past New York mayor Edward Koch has participated in “gay pride” marches, supported with federal funds a school for homosexual youths (the Harvey Milk School), and passed Executive Orders to force New Yorkers to hire homosexuals.
Under Executive Order 50, homosexuals must be among those hired to teach young children participating in the Head Start programme, a programme for disadvantaged children funded by Congress. Any school or agency in New York city wishing to have such a programme must hire homosexuals. Executive Order 50 also calls for affirmative action in recruiting homosexual teachers.
The Catholic Archdiocese of New York, the Salvation Army and Agudath Israel have rejected the Order and have taken the matter to court.
In early July, the New York State Court of Appeal, with a 6-1 vote, struck down Koch’s Executive Order requiring all city contractors to hire homosexuals. It, too, had been opposed by the above mentioned groups who argued that the order violated their religious beliefs. The three groups had threatened to terminate their social-service contracts with the city, collectively worth some $97 million annually, rather than obey the order.
The Court of Appeal ruled neither on religious beliefs nor on separation of Church and State. Rather it argued that policy matters could not be instituted by executive order, but required action from a legislative body such as the City Council. The latter, however, has rejected a homosexual policy over the last 14 years.