Tuesday, February 14, 2006

South Dakota House Bans Abortion

The bill has not been passed by the State Senate yet:

Lawmakers in South Dakota overwhelmingly approved legislation Thursday that would prohibit almost all abortions in the state. House Bill 1215 passed 47-22, after representatives voted against inserting amendments that would exempt women impregnated as the result of rape or incest. The bill, which now goes to the state Senate, makes an exception if the women’s life is in danger.


Representative Roger Hunt (R-Brandon), the chief sponsor of the South Dakota bill, said the timing is right for the "Women's Health and Human Life Protection Act," in the wake of the new Supreme Court appointments: conservatives John Roberts and Samuel Alito.
I can't see how they arrived at that conclusion. Even assuming Roberts and Alito both uphold this law, that only gives 4 pro votes (counting Scalia and Thomas). But where is the 5th vote going to come from? The argument that technological advances change the nature of the debate is a good point, but I can't see any of the remaining judges reversing precedent on that basis alone.

And I don't think it is wise to count on either Roberts or Alito to vote to overturn Roe v Wade. They are beyond political consequences, but they will still want to establish their credibility on the issue of non-ideological jurisprudence which they both empasized strongly at their confirmation hearings. Both new justices must know that voting the party line so early in the game could very well scuttle any future judge's ability to use that argument. Which would in turn mean we will never get that 5th vote.

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