Bench Memos

re: re: The WSJ Gets It Wrong on a Litmus for Republicans

I want to add one more thing: It would of course be plausible for the Republicans to do their own version  of what the Democrats did when they recruited pro-life Democrats:  they used those pro-lifers to help constitute a Democratic majority and put the Congress in the hands of a pro-choice, pro-abortion majority.  On the other side, pro-choice Republicans have been useful in the past in helping to put in place a pro-life Republican majority.   But those are decisions we make in prudence.  They should not spill over into affecting our understanding of what constitutes the commitments in principle that mark the character of the party.   I think we could readily argue over whether Republican candidates should share with us 7 or 8 of these items.  We may have people who share only 3 or 4.  But at least we have a measure of where they are — where they fit or don’t fit — and that measure of things may be useful in reminding us just who we are.

Hadley Arkes is the Ney Professor of Jurisprudence Emeritus at Amherst College, the founder of the James Wilson Institute on Natural Rights & the American Founding, and the architect of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Acts.