September 29, 2005
Roberts is confirmed, pro-choice Americans disappointed
Ugh. So it’s done. John Roberts has been confirmed as Chief Justice of the United States.
Nancy Keenan had the following to say about it:
"We are clearly disappointed that the Senate has confirmed John Roberts for a lifetime position on the Supreme Court, even though he repeatedly refused to answer fair and direct questions, including whether the right to privacy extends to a woman's right to choose. Pro-choice Americans applaud those senators who courageously opposed this nomination.
"Now that this first nomination process is complete, the Senate must turn to the monumental task of replacing retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. As the Court's swing vote, O'Connor put reason before ideology and played a decisive role in protecting women's reproductive freedom. The president has an obligation to nominate an individual who reflects O'Connor's moderate philosophy and has a record of supporting the fundamental freedoms that Americans value."
Posted by Jessica at September 29, 2005 12:05 PM
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What needs to be done is to create a new line of defense for Roe, in case Roberts spontaneously developes an opinion on whether privacy extends to abortion rights. In addition to the privacy aspect, we should argue for it using women's rights/gender equality (men are never required to share their bodies with another life-form), bodily autonomy (a fetus has no right to an unwilling host body, the state has no authority to force women to work toward any compelling interest in sustaining life, comparison with blood, organ, and tissue donations), and under first amendment grounds, the religious nature of many arguments against abortion (conservative Christians forcing, say, an atheist, to carry a pregnancy to term is illegally forcing her to live by the rules of their religion, with the help of the government).
I'd like to see someone mount a legal challenge to parental consent laws, from a bodily-autonomy standpoint, and also it'd be wonderful if someone challenged the parental notification laws on the basis that they're an invasion of privacy and of doctor-patient confidentiality. Not likely, of course, but it would be nice.
Posted by: Kyra at September 29, 2005 1:08 PM