Update on Andy Schlafly’s Smear Campaign—Part 2

by Ed Whelan

Some more observations (numbered serially from my Part 1 post):

4. Let me now address the so-called response from Andy Schlafly that I’ve just learned of.

a. Schlafly does not actually address (must less engage) any of my criticisms of his smears. Nor does he even link to them. His evident intention is to keep in the dark those who have made the error of trusting him.

b. Schlafly asserts that “Whalen’s [sic] criticisms disparage the very concept of appointing a ‘really pro-life’ justice to the Supreme Court, so he is a weak candidate to talk about satisfying [Trump’s] pledge.” I’ve already answered this confused charge of his, so I’ll just repeat what I said (in point 5 of this post):

I have explained why Schlafly’s use of the term “pro-life,” when applied to judges, is badly confused and is something that Justice Scalia (whom he says he wants to have Trump “replace … with someone as close to his views as possible”) rejected. I have objected that Schlafly appears to want judges to indulge pro-life values to misread the law in order to reach pro-life results. 

In short, I don’t think that being “really pro-life” involves lying about what a legal text means. And I also don’t think that it involves baseless smears.

c. Schlafly maligns Leonard Leo by repeating a characterization of remarks by Leo that I have shown to be mistaken. Once again, Schlafly isn’t decent enough even to mention that Leo has disputed the characterization, much less to link to my post.

5. I have no interest in embarrassing the small handful of folks who are current signatories to Schlafly’s letter. Perhaps there is some reason that they have mistakenly placed their trust in Schlafly and have failed to exercise due diligence. If you happen to know any of them, please send them my links, as Schlafly is obviously intent on not doing so.

Among the countless pro-life organizations that have not signed on to Schlafly’s letter are National Right to Life, Americans United for Life, Susan B. Anthony List, Family Research Council, Faith and Freedom Coalition, Alliance Defending Freedom, and American Center for Law and Justice. But I’d bet that Schlafly would charge that they’re not really pro-life.

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