Bench Memos

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WSJ on Judge Luttig


Somehow I retain the capacity to be shocked by lazy and sloppy journalistic assertions. Take this example from today’s Wall Street Journal story (by Jeanne Cummings and Jess Bravin) on the Supreme Court vacancies: Judge Luttig of the Fourth Circuit, the story nakedly asserts, “has been outspoken against abortion rights.”

The only problem with this assertion is that no evidence exists to support it. Judge Luttig has issued rulings for both sides in the abortion battle and, in so doing, has always carefully limited himself to the judicial role. Various pro-abortion groups have been “outspoken against” Judge Luttig for upholding certain democratically enacted regulations of abortion, but it is simply not accurate or fair to assert that he has been “outspoken against abortion rights.”

As I have previously discussed regarding Judge Roberts, there is zero reason to believe that a Justice Luttig would adopt a “pro-life” reading of the Constitution, under which permissive abortion laws would be unconstitutional.


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