Cold-blooded Roe calculus

Comments

19 comments posted
Uh-Huh

"...They should bring as much pressure as they can afford to bear on the legislators who gave this abortion ban its life and chase them from office..."

Using magic chicken bones ? While the DP runs anti-choice candidates and dares us all to do anything but smile and eat more shit ? Meantime, who will provide services to women and girls while PP is throwing all their money at proven traitorous sexist, classist fuckheads ?

The Deceiver's space is aptly named, I must say...

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 11 March 2006 - 10:09am
That is really fucked-up

Basically, the argument is that we should throw the women of South Dakota under the bus so as not to endanger anyone in the other 49 states.

Except that probably half of those states will themselves eventually do the same thing. So then the North-South slavery analogy is in full effect.

Which is basically what the likely outcome of an overturning of Roe would mean.

So in order to protect Roe, we've got to allow the conditions to deteriorate to the point where they would be if Roe went away.

That makes sense.

Dadahead's picture
Posted by Dadahead (not verified) on 11 March 2006 - 10:19am
Anti-Choice Groups can sue, too

There is nothing stopping an anti-choice group from suing to test the law. More of the same only "mum's the word" strategy from progressives has landed us here. Like the old saying, "throwing meat to a tiger in hopes it will become a vegetarian."

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 11 March 2006 - 2:18pm
Legislative Felony

So far, media coverage of this issue has been all the politics fit to marginalize.

Media defense of constitutional rights has gone dark. No lights on. Almost nobody home. Almost nobody to say, wait just one damn minute. Rights trump values. Marginalize this.

HB 1215 might be about overturning Roe somewhere down the road, but it's about killing established rights first. This is about a governing elite pushing their values and using an inferior, unconstitutional statute to kill a superior, constitutional right. Worse yet, it's about a state-level governing elite perpetrating a federal conspiracy felony and trying to hide it behind the doctrine of legislative immunity. This is about legislative felony against the nation.

They want you to think that they have legally made law in a legislative setting, and that their legislative immunity means that they are not culpable for any illegal consequences that their law might have.

Surprise, Article 3, paragraph 11 of the South Dakota constitution says that legislative immunity shall not extend to cases of "treason, felony, or breach of peace". If you do the felony, Mr. Legislator, you can be taken from this place, questioned, arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned.

Surprise, every conspiracy that violates a constitutional right is a federal felony, as defined in the federal statute, 18 USC 241. That short, powerful law says, in part -- "If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, ... They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both... ".

Surprise, the SCOTUS decision in United States v. Gillock, 445 U.S. 360 (1980), clearly established that the doctrine of legislative immunity does not shield the legislative acts of a state legislator from criminal prosecution in a federal court. "The historical antecedents and policy considerations which inspired the Speech or Debate Clause of the Federal Constitution do not require recognition of a comparable evidentiary privilege for state legislators in federal prosecutions. ... Where important federal interests are at stake, as in the enforcement of federal criminal statutes, principles of comity must yield. Recognition of an evidentiary privilege for state legislators for their legislative acts would impair the legitimate interest of the Federal Government in enforcing its criminal statutes with only speculative benefits to the state legislative process."

The moment that the governor of South Dakota signed the anti-abortion legislation, he and every legislator who voted for the legislation became co-conspirators in a federal felony to violate rights. They are all constitutional criminals and felons-in-waiting. Their only rightful place is in federal prison.

High station in life is not a get-out-of-felony-free card. The law is harsh, but it is the law. The prosecutions of the South Dakota felons-in-waiting should begin immediately.

The prima facie case against them does not stop with the felonious violation of constitutional rights. In violation of their oaths to uphold the state and national constitutions, they have failed to protect the rights of South Dakotans and flagrantly violated both constitutions with their legislative felony. These are acts of treason. All of the South Dakota co-conspirators are on a hard-edge parallel with the treason of the secessionists of the 1860s.

It's the law, stupid -- not the politics.

Stephen Neitzke's picture
Posted by Stephen Neitzke (not verified) on 12 March 2006 - 2:33am
Copyright On Above Piece

Posted the above item in the wee hours. Very tired. Omitted the fact that the piece, "Legislative Felony", is an extract from my copyrigted essay, "Killing Rights -- Anti-Abortion Legislative Felony". You can read the entire essay on my "TRG Polity" site at

http://trg-polity.org/viewtopic.php?t=44

We need to stop the governmental killing of our rights, state and national. Good luck to us all.

Stephen Neitzke's picture
Posted by Stephen Neitzke (not verified) on 12 March 2006 - 8:12am
You've really badly misrepresented my point.

As I say, right up front:

"I fully support a vigorous and full-throated challenge to this pernicious law passed in South Dakota, as long as the challenge is mounted ANYWHERE BUT IN THE COURTS."

So, as long as that's on the record. You've basically danced all over that.

Let me add that I support full and unbound choice in the matter of abortion to EVERYONE. Free and unrestricted access to birth control of all kinds FOR EVERYONE. I believe that protecting reporductive rights is of essential importance to every American because of the judicial precedents that would be set through the failure to do so.

And, I want every measure of relief brought to bear to support the women of South Dakota, so long as it does not include a challenge in the Supreme Court. At this point in time, it is unsure how friendly the court will be to their claim. The potential for loss is great. Many people have presumed that I mean the fight should be ignored. I merely think the fight should not be waged with blinkered stupidity.

SCOTUS shall rule in the coming weeks on cases that should provide insight into how Alito, Roberts and Kennedy might vote in future cases. Careful consideration needs to be conducted. If you know going in that the court is not going to favor you, you shouldn't take the fight there. It's that simple. Doing so is tantamount to playing cheap political games with the lives of every American woman in the balance.

That, and only that, is my pre-eminent concern. I cannot express in words how far away my mind was on the matters of electoral calculus when I wrote that post. I hadn't in fact considered anything related to "meta-agendas" until you mentioned that one could, in fact, consider a "meta-agenda." The fact is, even now, I'm not clear as to what the fuck you even mean by a "meta agenda"!

I believe a SCOTUS fight represents a high-stakes gamble where the odds favor abortion opponents! If every SCOTUS judge were Judge Stevens, I'd be singing a different tune. I'd be letting lawyers crash at my apartment. I'd be driving them to work. I'd be cooking them stir-fry and Tivoing their favorite shows.

But I don't think SCOTUS favors our side right now. I recommend that we pursue other avenues. Right now, voters in SD are emerging and saying: "Holy crap. This really does go a little far." If the people who passed this law can be voted out of office, wouldn't that be the swiftest way to abolish this law? Isn't the idea even worth exploring?

Right now, you seem to be mainly pissed off at me because of some ideological purity test I've failed to pass. Karl Rove himself would commend you for the expense of time and energy you've spent excoriating me, someone who is on your side, as opposed to acting in similar fashion towards the people who oppose you. This sort of "indie rock elitism" has infected the left and it really must end if we're to take back our country.

To be sure, one possible outcome of all the efforts brought to bear on SD is that WE COULD LOSE. That's just reality. You fight, you might lose. If we lose, we know that SD will pay a steep price. Hence my invocation of Freakonomics. At the very least, decades later, the people of SD will come to regret their decision. In the meantime, let's get legislative victories in MA, CA, MY, VT, IL, WA...so that on that day, we can say: "We explicitly protected abortion rights in these states--take a look at how well the people there are living! Look at their amazing quality of life! Compare it to your own! See the EVIDENCE that we were right!"

That's called making the winner pay the price for winning.

I do regret mentioning Jodasm's point w/r/t abortion saving people money. I am typically tongue-in-cheek, and I feel that reverting to a jokey, half-assed type of post created major dissonance with the serious posting from before. It was wrong of me to invite seriousness on one hand and then immediately inject juvenile levity on the other. That was a serious mistake on my part. I regret that. It was very stupid of me. But I still stand that a SCOTUS fight is a loser and that the battle for the women of SD can be fought in many other, smarter, more effective ways.

That said: I hereby forgive you. I know full well that I fully espouse the pro-choice side, and I refuse to be alienated from doing everything in my power to fight for reproductive rights. You obviously have contempt for my tactics, I have reasoned that the SCOTUS fight you are ptching for is a loser. So we disagree. That's okay. At least we're both fighting for the same thing. And if Alito and Kennedy and Roberts all turn out to be Roe champions, I'll be a very very very very very happy person.

In the meantime, I absolve you.

DCeiver's picture
Posted by DCeiver (not verified) on 13 March 2006 - 1:53pm
It's interesting how you use right-wing talking points

...like "ideological purity." You really don't want to be calling up Karl Rove, either, as you're doing his work by kicking the progressive base to suit your own cockamamie theory. (Funny how you lash out at the people doing the work, like Planned Parenthood, and then turn around and cry foul when people refuse to take it lying down.)

SCOTUS shall rule in the coming weeks on cases that should provide insight into how Alito, Roberts and Kennedy might vote in future cases. Careful consideration needs to be conducted. If you know going in that the court is not going to favor you, you shouldn't take the fight there. It's that simple. Doing so is tantamount to playing cheap political games with the lives of every American woman in the balance.

There are two problems with your theory, which I will reiterate here:

One is that you have to fight for the rights of the people. You don't file court cases to score political points, you do it to directly affect individuals. There is no option of telling people who are stuck to just wait for an election down the road. If a court stay as the case goes through the appeals process delays enacting this law for a few years, many lives are saved.

Two is that anyone can file a case, even Operation Rescue. To think that only pro-choice people could challenge the law is naive.

Finally, I don't need your absolution or approval. You see, that's the ultimate problem with your position -- that it's somehow your place to decide for everyone else. But when you say shit like

That's called making the winner pay the price for winning.

...you reveal either a propensity for tunnel vision or an utter lack of human compassion, because the winner doesn't pay the price, the women who are forced into pregnancy with nothing but illegal alternatives are the ones who pay the price -- often with their lives.

What's your estimate? How many women have to die to "make the winner pay the price"?

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 13 March 2006 - 2:07pm
One other note...

I also absolve you for the content of your post that's just more or less a cheap personal attack, and I'll tell you why: One day, you may have the opportunity to sit down and speak with me in person. And I GUARANTEE that after that occasion, you will blog the following: "I had the opportunity to meet The DCeiver today. We clearly don't agree on everything, however, I deeply regret making him sound like some insensitive dick. As I found out, he's actually in person a very nice person who loves his wife and his kitty cat and who turns out to be laudably passionate about the same things I am."

The next time you're in DC, I'll be happy to prove that.

DCeiver's picture
Posted by DCeiver (not verified) on 13 March 2006 - 2:07pm
As if!

You're awfully quick to take offense at a post that is critical of your ridiculous notions. If you want to take it personally, that's your albatross. Enjoy.

And sure I'll look you up when I'm next in DC. Sure. That would be a good idea. (As if!) You really know a lot about women. Uh huh.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 13 March 2006 - 2:11pm
I wouldn't say I've been

I wouldn't say I've been particular "quick". I've actually taken my sweet time in responding. And I'm not in the least offended, so don't worry. I'm more chagrinned on your behalf by how roundly you've savaged a real ally in this fight.

I think my notions are perfectly reasonable, especially since I a) support a vigorous defense of reproductive rights in SD and b) have every reason to suspect a decision in the SCOTUS will come down 5-4 against abortion rights. Undoing that sort of damage could take years.

I hear from party hacks who say things like: "Don't worry about the Supreme Court. The Republicans need access to abortions, too!" To me, that's pretty callous--and it assumes an awful lot. I hear folks up at the DLC say that the GOP needs the abortion issue too badly for their re-election hopes to ever risk resolving it--but again, I think about Dubya, and how far he's been willing to go to trample other civil liberties. To say nothing of the way he's sentenced women around the world to death (gag rule anyone?) just so he can force his insane beliefs on everybody. Right now, I think SCOTUS can ensure the suffering of women all across the country.

I'm only amused that you have me confused with a card-carrying Rove-ite. I'm an active Democrat and a ubiquitous presence at the pro-abortion rights rallies we have in Washington.

I sincerely hope those rights aren't lost in the Supreme Court.

And, we should definitely grab some lunch with me the next time you're in DC. I sincerely hope you will look me up. You really have badly, BADLY misjudged me--to the point of comedy. My guarantee of what you'll blog after actually conversing with me stands!

Footloose and albatross-free,

DCeiver.

DCeiver's picture
Posted by DCeiver (not verified) on 13 March 2006 - 4:44pm
I would be interested in knowing

...just where I personally attacked you in the original post. You came on here and offered up some pretty personal responses.

And yes, labeling women's equality and autonomy as "ideological purity" is a right-wing talking point, and just because Dems and big time bloggers have picked it up doesn't mean it's not a phrase right from Karl Rove's playbook.

Since when is equality a special interest?

I'll pass on lunch, thanks. I prefer guys who don't carry brickbats.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 13 March 2006 - 5:12pm
I think "sickening" just

I think "sickening" just about covers the personal attack, and incites further.

I at no time and in no way "labelled women's equality and autonomy" as "ideological purity." You are just taking those words and putting them next to other words in an addled attempt to say something that I've never even suggested. It's like you are playing Boggle--and, having suffered through too many episodes of his revolting show to count, it's very much like an O'Reilly tactic. I specifically used the term "ideological purity" to describe my situation as it relates to debating this issue--my freedom to debate is deemed nil by you because I do not pass YOUR TEST of ideological purity.

In my opinion, women's equality and autonomy should be fundamental human rights. Hence my grave concern that taking the SD fight to the Supreme Court and losing a 5-4 decision--which is VERY possible--may result in the WIDESPREAD DENIAL OF THESE RIGHTS ACROSS THE UNITED STATES. You see, once SCOTUS rules, it creates powerful legal PRECEDENT that only arms the ENEMIES OF CHOICE. It gives the enemies of choice a weapon--let's say...a brickbat--with which they can wail on women in every apellate court in the land.

I am only saying that is another avenue to fight for the rights of women everywhere is available, LET'S FIGHT THERE and avoid the trap the Christian Right has set for us in the SCOTUS. That is the ONLY thing I am saying. Again...just to let it sink in: THAT. IS. THE. ONLY. THING. I. AM. SAYING.

Right now, while Democrats need to have this, and other debates--we are KILLING each other where it comes to ideological purity. They run away from Murtha. They run away from Feingold. They fight in public over who should run in what primary. They fight in public over the filibuster--when to use it, if to use it, are they ever going to effing USE IT. So and so isn't liberal enough. Another so and so doesn't want to be thought of as "liberal." You didn't go to Berkeley! Yeach, well you once helped a Republican jump start a car! ENOUGH. We disagree on what must be done. FINE. But everytime you pimp the conclusion that because I don't necessarily agree with you chapter and verse that I must be the second coming of Karl Rove--you embarrass yourself. Badly. Because in the end I have a vast record of political writing that safely puts me IN YOUR CORNER.

You've got no room for any kind of thoughtful debate? It's either your way straight up and down or I'm a reciter of GOP talking points? Sorry to have to go here, but that's pretty Ann Coulter of you.

Bye now!

DCeiver's picture
Posted by DCeiver (not verified) on 13 March 2006 - 6:26pm
I talk about what you do

That is not a personal attack, that is addressing your behavior -- here, what you say.

And what you say is indeed sickening to me.

You've failed to address the very real flaw in your theory, which is that anybody can fight the law in court. Planned Parenthood can't just pick up its marbles and go home, because the court challenge would be much worse if handled by the goons at Operation Rescue. (There's a personal attack, but I do consider them to be "goons.")

The other problem is that these laws unchallenged by real defenders of women's reproductive rights have the same effect as if Roe were overturned. You say don't fight in court. Well, then, that leaves wingnuts going unchallenged as they pass more and more of these laws state by state, as if Roe were overturned.

The women who die as a result are just as dead. (Another detail you've studiously avoided in your little drive-bys here today.)

So you go ahead and rant on and on about "ideological purity" while kicking everyone who doesn't agree with you, oh wise one. The only problem with that screed is that the Democrats haven't had an ideological bone in their political managers for over 20 years.

And yes, attacking ideology for ideology's sake is a right-wing political tactic. There are books and books about it. Look it up.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 13 March 2006 - 7:21pm
Ummm .. lawsuit?

You've raised this a couple times now:

You've failed to address the very real flaw in your theory, which is that anybody can fight the law in court. Planned Parenthood can't just pick up its marbles and go home, because the court challenge would be much worse if handled by the goons at Operation Rescue.

OK ... if OR sues (or represents somebody), who would be the plaintiff, who would be the defendant, what would be the nature of claim, and what would be the relief sought?

--|PW|--

pennywit's picture
Posted by pennywit on 14 March 2006 - 8:11am
Same as what Planned Parenthood is doing now

...although perhaps with a little less zeal and effectiveness, perhaps pushing the wrong arguments. (As to the art of taking a fall in litigation, I leave comment to the lawyers in the know.)

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 14 March 2006 - 2:44pm
I don't see that happening ...

Among other things, a lawyer who pulls a stunt like that will get disbarred faster than you can say "preliminary injunction."

--|PW|--

pennywit's picture
Posted by pennywit on 15 March 2006 - 10:52am
So what you're saying

...is that the right-wing political machine has too many scruples?

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 15 March 2006 - 3:59pm
LOL... you are...

just plain funny. Both senses of the word.

Marisacat's picture
Posted by Marisacat on 13 March 2006 - 2:32pm
Who's Zoomin' Who ?

Hence my grave concern that taking the SD fight to the Supreme Court and losing a 5-4 decision--which is VERY possible--may result in the WIDESPREAD DENIAL OF THESE RIGHTS ACROSS THE UNITED STATES. You see, once SCOTUS rules, it creates powerful legal PRECEDENT that only arms the ENEMIES OF CHOICE. It gives the enemies of choice a weapon--let's say...a brickbat--with which they can wail on women in every apellate court in the land.

What really concerns you, methinks, is that if Roe goes down, the DP may have to pay for its willful neglect of our rights over the last two decades or so. As long as Roe exists in name, no matter how toothless, the DP can claim it's really defending us and that to suggest otherwise just proves we're ungrateful bitches. Once even the illusion that choice is a real, tangible right for women across the country disappears, look out.

I don't look forward to seeing more dead women, but I do look forward to the DP finally facing some retribution for what it's done to us. I should only live so long...

alsis39.75's picture
Posted by alsis39.75 (not verified) on 13 March 2006 - 7:17pm