The Corner

Politics & Policy

No, Morning Joe, Abortion Is Not a ‘Specifically Enumerated Constitutional Right’

Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. (MSNBC/via YouTube)

Here is Joe Scarborough this morning:

In 2010, the Citizens United decision affirmed a very specific — literally, enumerated — right of free expression. Yet, after the decision, then-president and former constitutional scholar Barack Obama took the unprecedented step of disparaging the Supreme Court on television during his State of the Union address. This is the beginning of the modern progressive’s effort to delegitimize the Court. His vice president, Joe Biden (Syracuse Law, magna cum super laude), explained that Obama believed that the justices were “dead wrong” in their reading of the Constitution and the judgment was “outrageous.” Two years earlier, the Heller decision affirmed a specific, long-standing individual right of firearm ownership and self-defense. Yet Scarborough has constantly misrepresented that decision and championed the overturning of that right. Democrats in Congress continue to try and pass laws that undermine it. And big-city politicians simply ignore it.

“No amendment to the Constitution is absolute,” Biden likes to say. Indeed, the “right” that leftists seem to accept as immutable is the one concocted from the ether by six judges in Roe v. Wade. Contra Morning Joe, by no standard is abortion a “specifically enumerated constitutional right.” Not one Founder ever discussed the procedure. Publius did not pen an essay championing the inalienable right to discard the unborn for convenience. Madison never discussed an amendment protecting it. Until 1973, laws governing abortion were a matter for the democratic process in the states. (Though it’s “rich” hearing “pro-democracy” advocates such as Scarborough championing unilateral diktats by the executive branch. If poll numbers are overwhelmingly in your favor, pass a law. Their principles are as malleable as their respect for the Constitution.)

Unlike the timeless rights that are foundational to classical liberalism, abortion is tethered to medical technology and the evolving morality of a society. If Scarborough wants to overturn the Second Amendment, there’s a process for it. Roe v. Wade, on the other hand, can be overturned by a court and thrown into the dustbin with all the other tragic decisions of history.

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