The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Monday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On Mitt Romney’s refusal to sign the Susan B. Anthony List pro-life pledge:

Well, he’s taken some shots from some of his competitors — Santorum and Bachmann — over this. And I think they are cheap shots, because he issued a very strong pro-life statement which endorsed just about everything in the pledge including, for example, appointing judges who respect the Constitution [and] don’t legislate from the bench, which is obviously a reference to the abortion decision in 1973, defunding Planned Parenthood, defunding U.N. programs and others that promote abortion, and as we just heard, the fetal pain bill, where you support legislation to ban abortions after a point where the fetus becomes sentient to pain. On all of that, he issued his own strong statement.

His problem is one of the statements in the pledge implies that — or can be interpreted to mean that — if some subsidiary or auxiliary of a large, say, chain of hospitals is engaged – even in a peripheral way – in abortions, the federal government can’t provide Medicaid or Medicare to any of those hospitals. Which is an absurdity, and that’s why he didn’t want to sign. And the Susan B. Anthony List itself later issued a statement saying it wanted to exclude that. So in fact, it endorsed the Romney position.

I think he’s made a strong statement. I’m not vouching for what lies deep in his heart. You can never do that with any candidate on anything. But his statement is extremely strongly pro-life. …

If I could make one remark on the idea of signing a pledge in general — every candidate ought to be able to frame a major issue with his own words. That’s what is wrong with a pledge. It’s written by others and it constrains you. That’s why even pledges on taxes are not useful. You ought to say what you want. [If] somebody else writes it — it can be misinterpreted.

On the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision that environmental regulations ought to be issued by the EPA rather than by courts hearing lawsuits brought by states:

It belongs with experts, and that’s where it ought to be.

I think what the Court is doing is reacting to thirty years of overregulating, overlegislating from the bench. In the 70s, the 80s and the 90s, you had federal judges managing desegregation in school districts in great detail, sequestering taxes, doing prison reform, deciding how many square feet a prisoner had to have – details which are absurd for any judge to do.

So after all this for 30, 40 years, it [the Supreme Court] decided, ‘We’re going to stop that. Let EPA experts do it … And if you find that it’s the wrong ruling or something that you think is unconstitutional, then you sue.’

On the Supreme Court’s decision regarding alleged discrimination against women by Walmart:

Well look, in one part of the ruling, it was 8-0, which was that this is an incorrectly drawn class action, so it was tossed out by everybody, left and right.

In the narrow ruling over whether this was an example of discrimination, Scalia, writing on behalf of the majority, utterly destroyed the other side. He was saying that Walmart has a policy against discrimination. So how did the other side claim that there was actual, company-wide discrimination?

On the basis of another policy [the plaintiffs alleged], which allows a lot of discretion among managers … [who] absorb unconsciously the prejudices of where they live. And thus Walmart allowed this to be expressed. This was utterly unconvincing to Scalia — I think to anyone who reads this. It was the correct decision.

Ironically, if you are a [potential] litigant, you had to wait a decade in order to bring [your particular] case because this was a class-action suit. So now [that the class action was thrown out] it’ll actually allow individuals to go and to sue who had to sit outside and wait.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”


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