U.S. Politics

The end of the pro-life movement

The pro-life movement died on Monday, July 9, 2018, just after 9 p.m. ET, when President Trump officially announced the Federalist Society-approved Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his choice to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. I have neither the right nor the desire to bury the movement myself. I am even willing to praise it, after a fashion. But what I would really like to do is to have a frank conversation with its members, among whom I have never been sure whether I should be counted. For two generations every American who opposes abortion has known what he or she is supposed to do: Support the Republican candidate for president, no matter how mealy-mouthed his commitment to the unborn, without regard to the rest of his platform. Abortion opponents must do this because if elected, and assuming there is a vacancy, a Republican president may appoint justices to the Supreme Court who subscribe to a bizarre jury-rigged philosophy of constitutional interpretation, the logical concomitants of which, we have been told, are favorable to the cause. Treat this judicial body, most of whose business is dry interpretation of vague statutes in cases involving the application of few if any discernible general principles, as if it were a kind of miniature Senate — but make a point of telling people that you believe it exists simply to uphold the law (whose?), not to "make" it. Immure yourself in double-think; recognize that when a law of which you disapprove is struck down, the result is simply a faithful application of genuine constitutional principles; when a judgment you abhor is handed down by the same body, restrain the urge to decry it as immoral and content yourself to lament the unfortunate existence of a phenomenon known as "judicial overreach." Do all of these things over and over again, paying no attention to the other consequences of your actions, until eventually the number of approved persons wearing robes at 1 First St. NE reaches five or more.

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