Bench Memos

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A “Filibuster for Choice”


I suppose NRO readers are likely to have picked up on this, but it is worth saying again: The soon-to-be failed “filibuster” against Judge Alito is, as “Kid Oakland” at Daily Kos put it , a “filibuster for choice” . . . and nothing else:

I want to be clear: This can’t be about George Bush. This can’t even be about Samuel Alito. This can’t be about the big bad GOP. Or CAP. Or Vanguard. Or the unitary executive. Or Harriet Miers. Or Dr. Dobson.

The time for all of that is over. That’s all mumbo jumbo now.

The only way a Democratic filibuster of Samuel Alito has any meaning, the only way we will have real political impact and effectiveness, the only hope we have of making it succeed, is if we make it about a woman’s right to choose, and ONLY about a woman’s right to choose.

Here is a clip from Senator John Kerry’s statement — calling for the filibuster — on the floor last week:
What makes America different from every country on the face of the earth is that the average citizen can go into a courthouse in America and hold the most powerful corporation to account for their safety, for their livelihood, for their welfare. These are rights that Americans care about deeply. And the importance of this choice is highlighted by focusing on the seat that this nominee has been chosen to replace. Justice Sandra Day O’connor, a deciding vote, a vote that will likely be lost if Judge Alito takes her place. . . .[A Justice Alito would roll back the clock on important precedents, including] Stenberg v. Carhart which overturned a state law that would have banned abortion as early as the 12th week [sic] of pregnancy without providing an exception to a woman’s health.

So, the two Roman Catholic senators from the State of Massachusetts — both of whom, if I recall, have professed personal, morality-based opposition to abortion, and one of whom reminded us during the 2004 election that he had been an altarboy — are leading the charge for a filibuster, in order to preserve the right to partial-birth abortion discovered in the Stenberg case.


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