Friday, May 29, 2009


Mike Kinsley on Republican thinking

Michael Kinsley’s column today is of the kind that I find so particularly annoying – he opines on something he apparently has little familiarity with – in this case the Republican Party platform. Party platforms are usually tiresome reads and quickly forgotten but when someone is attempting to use parts of one against his political enemies, the least that person can do is get it right.

“Recent Republican platforms have pledged to appoint judges who not only will overturn Roe but will make clear that fetuses have the same rights as people under the 14th Amendment's guarantee of "equal protection of the laws…. The Republican Party platform effectively calls for a litmus test for judges: Will they rule abortion illegal in all 50 states no matter what the people want? Now that would be judicial activism with a vengeance.”

…except that’s not what the platform says:

We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation
to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.

Mr. Kinsley, as a liberal, no doubt conflates judicial activism and legislation but such sloppy legal reasoning should not be projected on others. Maybe it’s a Harvard Law thing.

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