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"Let's not forget that the Supreme Court is itself an extra-Constitutional entity."

Please elaborate. The Supreme Court and its powers are spelled out in Article 3, sections 1 and 2.

Until relatively recently the SC interpreted the 4th amendment (The right of the people to be secure in their houses papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,...)as a protection of property. Now the SC interprets the amendment as a protection of privacy. Therefore the right to make what's seen as a private decision cannot be violated by the fed govt. Since it is now seen as a right, the 14th amendment prevents the States from abridging it.

Personally I think it's a bit of a stretch to use the 4th amendment to guarantee abortion rights, but it is proper that rights granted by the federal Constitution must be respected by the States.



1. Dodging questions is not a good argument.

2. 500 years ago ill people who can not survive outside of a hospital would have been dead, so who knows perhaps in 500 years after a day a machine will be able to enable the fetus to live on its own, but at the present day a fetus must be in it's mother's womb, and so it is as unborn and so as not human as a person who lived 500+ years ago who can not survive outside of a 21st century hospital would have been dead.

3. If you are into science scientists say a fetus has not yet developed into a human (It is a fetus), Cows have unique DNA.


The option of abortion is recorded to have been around and practiced since the Roman Empire, it is not a recent creation so I highly doubt that you could argue that allowing abortions will even dent the amount of human life in the world, Ancient Rome which was at the time the only city with 1 million people living in it had abortion procedures standardized and practiced regularly.

Denise what you said about miscarriages didn't answer my question though.

An miscarriage caused by a woman doing things wrong was not manslaughter prior to roe vs wade, although if it was the death of a child would it not be a text book case of manslaughter?

I do not however think we are going to be able to change each others mind anymore than Sir Thomas More could have changed Henry VIII's mind about his divorce, so we should drop arguing about the abortion issue because it is pointless.

Andrew Ian Dodge

Considering Fred Thompson hasn't even announced, he is doing rather well. I suspect he will get the nomination if his candidacy has any traction at all. All the other leading candidates have big negatives. I suspect that Thompson is only one that can defeat Clinton or Obama.


Dear Daniel,

1. Throwing red herrings isn't a very good argument either, even if you like to refer to them as "questions".
2. In effect you're saying patients requiring medical care in a hospital are or were (at any given point in time) not humans. Well, I tend to disagree. I think that majority of the civilized world does too.
3. You seem to have missed something in my sentence - there it goes again, now with an emphasis added: "_human_ fetus has unique DNA code, a _human_ DNA code - and it is a form of _human_ life." No, not "cow" - but "human". Care to notice any difference?



1. I asked questions which I do not believe you could answer on account of your lack of even an attempt to do so.

2. Are you sure you are a conservative? Because the Torry Party is firmly against twisting someone's words to what you know the person did not mean. What you did in your #2 is as obnoxious as it is revealing of your barbarian ability to close your mind from outside opinion, I suppose though it takes a barbarian to restrict individual rights. I said a person who can not exist outside of a hospital would have been a dead person 500 years ago inr resonse to your answer to if a fetus isn't human because it can not live outside of it's mother's womb is a person who can't live outside of a hospital dead? I said nothing about sick people not being human. However since you have demonstrated a lack of any civility or desire to understand or debate intelligently by both dodging questions, insulting me, and twisting my words and creating strawmen I see no reason whatsoever for me to continue to be civil. The civilized world by the way is on my side, only Barbarian countries like Saudi Arabia still have bans on abortions, there is not a single Western Country that has them banned, and that is because it is the opinion of science and tradition that human life begins at birth, not at sex.


1. Daniel, none of the "questions" (later discussed by Denise, by the way) were relevant and/or in any way connected to the matter at hand, and you still haven't demonstrated otherwise, have you? Anyway, let's look again - lateness on naming the child, legal relation of miscarriages to Roe v. Wade, bureaucratic census record as related to a fetus. Are you seriously suggesting that any of these issues is related to the issue of determination of the beginning of life? I personally believe in one objective truth. The answer to any of these "questions" does not change the answer to the question of whether the life begins at inception, since it is independent from any of those issues. I am aware that there is an opposite approach - a negation of the existence of the one objective truth. It leads to moral relativism. And it doesn't have much to do with conservatism.

2. Quoting your own words: "at the present day a fetus must be in it's mother's womb, and so it is as unborn and so as not human as a person who lived 500+ years ago who can not survive outside of a 21st century hospital would have been dead."

Simple logic:
Premise A: a person who lived 500+ years ago who can not survive outside of a 21st century hospital would have been "dead"
Premise B: at the present day a fetus must be in it's mother's womb, and so it is as "unborn"
Premise C: ... as not human

By saying "at the present day a fetus must be in it's mother's womb, and so it is as unborn and ***so*** as not human" (emphasis mine) you say: since A & B, it follows that C. Therefore, you're drawing an implication "unborn" => "not human". Likewise, you have also concluded the correspondence to "dead" in your 500+ years ago "dead" example.

Therefore, it is not true that "[Daniel] said nothing about sick people not being human." Perhaps without realizing so, but that doesn't change the meaning nor the implications.

By the way - I have to say I fully agree with your statement: "I suppose though it takes a barbarian to restrict individual rights." The question remains - have you taken into account the individual rights of an unborn baby? If not, on what basis are you assuming them away?

Note also, that abortion is effectively illegal in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, completely illegal in {Malta, Chile, Vatican City, ...}, illegal with exception for maternal life in Monaco, illegal with exception for maternal life and/or health in Queensland and Victoria (Australia). Not really "only Barbarian countries like Saudi Arabia", are they?

// source: http://en.wikipedia.org/

Furthermore, note that fetal right are protected and fetal homicide is punishable as a crime in many jurisdictions. Why do you think is that so?

Perhaps you could clarify your position - are you arguing for abortion solely for maternal life and/or health or just any abortion on demand? _If_ the latter, are you aware that you are then effectively arguing against the personal responsibility, a fundamental concept underlying the conservatism per se? How do you reconcile that with your supposed - to - be - conservative views? A CINO springs to mind...

What about partial-birth abortion (a.k.a. late-term abortion)?

On the other hand, if you are arguing for abortion at or before 8 weeks, take note that "When the fetal stage commences, a fetus is typically about 30 mm (1.2 inches) in length, and the heart is beating. The fetus bends the head, and also makes general movements and startles that involve the whole body. Brain stem activity has been detected as early as 54 days after conception." In general "biologically speaking, the zygote created at fertilization possesses a unique genome of human DNA, and many of the biological manifestations of a living organism." If these characteristics (beating heart, brain stem activity, unique human DNA, biological manifestations of a living organism) are not enough to convince you it is a living form of human life, what other do you require to (mercifully) allow these people to live?

As for the straw men - quoting you once again: "life begins at birth, not at sex." Would you be as so kind as to tell how is it relevant at all in the discussion and who are you directing that to? I remember very well I've been arguing that the life begins at inception. So much for "firmly against twisting someone's words to what you know the person did not mean", eh?

I cannot help you that you feel insulted, though in no way were I at any point intending to insult any person.

Ultimately, I think I would like to dedicate you a quote to ponder: "We need to get back to the principles of personal responsibility and away from this culture where everybody plays the victim." -- US Republican Congressman Ric Keller

Da Coyote


"...I thought that in America it was just one soveriegn law that applied across the board so how does that work with the state vs federal powers?"

At the time the Constitution was written the 13 original states were individually soveriegn and unwilling to give up that soveriegnty. Some believed that a divided America would doom the new world to the constant warfare that plagued the old and so they sought to unify all the states under a central government. That's when the US Constitution was written, amended and eventually ratified- including the 10th Amendment which reads:

'The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved for the States respectively, or to the people.'

Which until the "War of the Rebellion" was understood to mean that each member state of the Union was individually soveriegn and associated with the Federal government on a voluntary basis. Soveriegnty was divided between the states and the federal government, each supreme in it's area.

After the Confederate States of America declared their soveriegnty a new interpretation was conjured up that forbid states to leave the Union. Upon the conclusion of the "War of Northern Aggression" with 400,000 men dead and half the continent laid to waste, the 10th Amendment was basically ignored as "states rights" were redefined to mean the power of the individual states to govern their own affairs- provided they have the consent of the Federal government.

Since then Supreme Court decision after Supreme Court decision has expanded the Federal government's de facto power in direct conflict with the US Constitution. Note too that the Supreme Court's power to detemine constitutionality was not given to the court by the Constitution's framers but rather by the Supreme Court to itself.

So the "de jure" situation has the United States as soveriegn in the areas of national defense, international diplomacy and interstate commerce while the states remain soveriegn just about everywhere else that doesn't step on US citizen's rights.

That's where the abortion issue jumps up: Some magistrates in black robes (in our "democratic republic") decided to overturn laws across half the nation by declaring that a group of rich, white, Christian men had intended for women to have the fundamental and unrestricted right to kill their unborn children when they penned the US Constitution. Yeah, right. Abortion is legal in England too (from what I hear) but at least the MONARCHY had the sense to push the matter through the legistlature!

Now the De facto situation has the Federal government holding the states enthralled by a collection of constitutuional misintepretations and Judicial and Legistative overreaches when the states should be superior to the Federal government in virtually every arena.

And I've just barely touched the issue, despite the extensive length of this post, but hopefully I've given you a glimpse of the answer to your question.


Winston, the Supreme Court is extra-Constitutional in that its powers of Judicial Review are not explicitly granted to it by the Constitution, and in expropriating this power from the legislature, it made itself immune from the other branches of government. The President can veto and the legislature can override vetoes, but only the Supreme Court can declare the whole lot "unconstitutional."

In other words, speaking strictly of "Constitutionality," the Supreme Court starts out in a hypocritical position. Just because the Supreme Court reinterpreted the Fourth Amendment from its original intent for its own judicial activist purposes doesn't somehow make it legitimate or right. A newly constituted Supreme Court could easily overturn this most questionable decision. Which is what may happen, now that the Supreme Court is decidedly more conservative.

Simon Newman

"Winston, the Supreme Court is extra-Constitutional in that its powers of Judicial Review are not explicitly granted to it by the Constitution"

I didn't know this, and it explains a lot - I always wondered how the founders of the USA could create a careful system of checks and balances, and then trash it all by giving absolute power to one body, the SC. That they didn't actually do this is very revealing.


Simon, that's exactly the problem. The SC just assumed the power for itself and set itself up as the ultimate arbiter of what is constitutional and what is unconstitutional, when this very power is, in itself, unconstitutional. Ironic, hypocritical, funny... whatever you want to call it, it's one more reason why Winston's absolute faith in the wisdom of the court is misplaced.


"Supreme Court is extra-Constitutional in that its powers of Judicial Review are not explicitly granted to it by the Constitution"

Article 3 section 2 "The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity arising under this constitution, the laws of the United States..."

"Winston's absolute faith in the wisdom of the court is misplaced."

My faith is not the issue. I'm merely explaining the practical Constitutional issues. I'm talking about how the Constitution IS interpreted not how it "should be" interpreted.


Just to clarify I should have quoted section 1 first

Article 3 section 1 "The Judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time order and establish..."

Article 3 section 2 "The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity arising under this constitution, the laws of the United States..."


Winston, exactly. Article 3 says nothing about the power of Judicial Review.


Section 2 doesn't mention the exact words "judicial review", but that is what it is describing.

"ALL cases in law and equity arising under this Constitution..." (Caps mine)


Section 2 doesn't mention the exact words "judicial review", but that is what it is describing.

So you say, but as even luminaries such as Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson opposed the idea of judicial review, you can't categorically claim that it was intended by the framers. The logical proof of this is that judicial review wasn't even formalized until Marbury v. Madison in 1803.

Da Coyote

Fortunately there is a couple ways to fix that Judicial Review problem, we're just too lazy to do so.

The first is to invoke Article III of the US Constitution:

"In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, WITH SUCH EXCEPTIONS, AND UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE CONGRESS SHALL MAKE."

by passing a bill through Congress limiting the Supreme Court's powers of Judicial Review. Of course the court may very well strike down that effort as unconstitutional. And when it does it will be time to go ahead and amend the constitution (again!) restricting even further the powers of the Supreme Court.

I heard a while back that the UK was taking the Supreme Court idea under consideration. Take a good look boys, it's not always pretty.


Da Coyote, it certainly seems like a tough nut to crack, as you pointed out--as soon as we restrict the powers through legistlation, the court with strike it down. The only way to get around that is with a Constitutional amendment, and I don't think enough people care to pass that.

The best solution in the short term is to appoint as many conservative justices as possible. We're on the tipping point right now, and another GOP Presidency may just outlast Souter or Ginsburg.


I do find it touching that someone thinks British Conservatives have any idea whatsoever what Giuliani's fiscal policy stance is.


On the Supreme Court issue...Marbury v. Madison only claimed for the Supreme Court _a_ power of judicial review. Until this century it was commonly held that all three branches--legislative, judicial and executive--had the right to interpret the constitution. I think it was President Andrew Jackson who once said the Supreme Court had ruled...now let it enforce its decision. It's only late in the 20th century that judges have claimed such absolute power.

Daniel and Denise--perhaps your fundamental disagreement is in philosophy? Denise pointed this out, actually. Daniel finds the right or wrong of an abortion as resting in public opinion or state recognition, while Denise is resting her argument on natural law. That's what it looks like to me. I've been told that's a distinct European-American difference in outlook too--Europe often transforms moral issues into technical ones, while America tends to see far more things--economics, for example--in terms of values. Any thoughts?


Joanna, what is the difference between "a power" and "the power"? Also, Andrew Jackson was President a quarter of a century after Marbury v. Madison, and I'm not sure why you're citing Jackson's threat to Marshall; after all, it challenges the Supreme Court's right to strike down laws as unconstitutional, showing that even then the idea of Judicial Review was still controversial. In the end, Jackson got his way with the Cherokees, despite the intervention of the Supreme Court.

I think you're correct in saying that judicial activism is a recent phenomenon, but I'm not sure I agree that all three branches have always had the right to interpret the constitution.


Please help me here...

What are Giuliani's national security credentials? That's just like saying Ken Livingston has national security credentials, no?

In addition, for a man who increased spending by 9.3% every year hardly makes him a fiscal conservative. He also left a deficit of $3.3bn when he left office.



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