Interpretations . . . and Vexations

Article excerpt

Byline: Robert Stacy McCain, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Tom-toms are pounding in the fever swamps of the Democratic Party's left wing, where the natives are restless, demanding a human sacrifice to their bloodthirsty idol, Choice.

Not satisified with the relentless daily slaughter - about 2,800 abortions a day, 365 days a year, more than 30 million since 1973 - the true believers in Choice now want to serve up a special victim to propitiate their idol. So Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats say President Bush's nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge James G. Roberts, must tell them where he stands on the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

This is the only issue the fanatics care about. Forget about property rights, religious freedom or novel interpretations of the commerce clause. No, the pagan deity Choice must have his victims, and his acolytes must do as their idol bids.

The ground rules of contemporary Washington require that Judge Roberts be evasive and vague on the Roe question, lest he bestir the devotees of Choice into a cannibalistic frenzy. Yet I will admit I occasionally fantasize what an honest judge might answer to the Judiciary Committee on this subject.

Finally, after about two dozen questions from committee Democrats about Roe v. Wade, Judge Roberts decides to come clean and proclaim the truth for all to hear:

"Senator, let me be as frank as possible. The issue here is not whether I think abortion ought to be illegal. The question is, who is fit to decide the matter?

"In 1973, the Supreme Court decided that the American people and their elected representatives were unfit to decide the legality of abortion. What the court did in Roe v. Wade and its companion decision, Doe v. Bolton, was to strike down the abortion laws of 49 states and, in effect, impose a single regime of law on all 50 states.

"There was something of a movement afoot at the time toward liberalization of abortion laws. In 1967, California Gov. Ronald Reagan had signed one such measure into law, and similar legislation was passed in other states. But it seems that the Supreme Court grew impatient with the legislative process.

"In 1970, New York enacted the nation's most liberal abortion law - allowing abortion up to the 24th week of pregnancy - and it was this law that seems to have served as the inspiration for the famous 'trimester' scheme of the Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. …