A Bill Comes Due: Susan Collins Faces Rising Demands To Fulfill Her Promise To Vote Against A Presumed Anti-Roe Nominee

440px-Susan_Collins_official_Senate_photoBelow is my column in The Hill newspaper on the rising pressure on Sen. Susan Collins over her vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.  There is considerable anger over Collins maintaining that she would never vote for a nominee hostile to Roe v. Wade but refusing to acknowledge the widespread view of Kavanaugh as not only hostile to the reasoning of Roe but appointed by a president who promised only to nominate an anti-Roe justice.  As with Neil Gorsuch, Collins appears inclined to vote for Kavanaugh despite her oft-repeated pledge.   She insists that she is comfortable after Kavanaugh told her that Roe is “settled” law.  However, many have put Collins’ position as falling somewhere between hopeful thinking and willful blindness.  As discussed below, the unsettling thing about settled law is that only five votes make anything truly settled on the Court.

Adding to the political dimension are polls showing that the hearings did not produce a bump for confirmation.  The latest polling shows 38 percent in favor of Kavanaugh and 39 percent opposed. 

Here is the column:

First there was Greece. Then Spain. Then Venezuela. Now Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine. All fell victim to leveraging too much on debt too long without making the inevitable difficult decisions. In the case of the first three, it was revenue. In the case of Collins, it is Roe v. Wade. All found that they could not maintain a financial or political position over the long run with either skeptical creditors or angry voters.

For more than a decade, Collins has secured bipartisan support as a moderate promising to be a steadfast vote in protecting the right to choose from any nominee who does not support the 1973 ruling. She has declared that she “would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade.” Time has now run out for Collins, who faces a nominee widely viewed as hostile to Roe, nominated by a president who promised to only put Roe killing justices on the Supreme Court. The bill has come and Collins may not have the political capital to cover over a decade of political debt in actually voting against a Republican nominee.

Collins, along with Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, face incensed voters over their refusal to acknowledge what seems obvious to everyone else, which is that Donald Trump has delivered on his promise to appoint a nominee who is not friendly to Roe. Some 3,000 hangers representing back alley abortions have been sent to her office, and almost a million dollars has been raised on a crowdfunding platform which declares that, if Collins votes for Brett Kavanaugh, the money will go to “her future opponent” in a general election.

In fairness to both Collins and Kavanaugh, the refusal to answer questions on abortion is consistent with prior Supreme Court nominees. While I have long been a critic of the “Ginsburg Rule,” nominees like Elena Kagan gave the same meaningless replies when asked about their views on Roe. Moreover, Democrats have overplayed a couple of references to Roe in the record as proof of Kavanaugh opposing the decision.

In a 2017 lecture at a Constitution Day event at the American Enterprise Institute, for example, Kavanaugh praised the dissent of the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist in Roe. However, he was praising the approach of Rehnquist to all unenumerated rights and his articulation of the high burden that must be faced by those claiming such rights. Kavanaugh never actually said he agreed with that particular ruling.

However, Kavanaugh did vote in dissent in Garza v. Hargan, the case of a young woman seeking an abortion. This case came a month after the Constitution Day event, and Kavanaugh voted in the majority in the appeals court ruling that the government could hold the girl to secure a “sponsor” so long as the girl is released “expeditiously.” That meant the girl might have to wait 11 days to find a sponsor or, if no sponsor was found, be allowed to have the abortion. The opinion actually made clear that the government could not unduly burden her right to an abortion.

Finally, Democrats hit Kavanaugh for a 2003 email, when he worked in the White House under President George W. Bush, on an opinion piece to defend judicial nominees. The draft included a line that “it is widely understood accepted by legal scholars across the board that Roe v. Wade and its progeny are the settled law of the land.” Kavanaugh noted that he was “not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level” since the justices can always overrule its precedent and “three current justices” would do so. That is true but does not necessarily mean Kavanaugh would join them in such a vote.

Putting aside the misrepresentation of these prior positions as dispositive proof, it is equally dubious to accept his confirmation hearing statements as proof that Kavanaugh intends to maintain Roe. Collins has said she felt reassured when Kavanaugh told her that he considered Roe to be “settled law.” That says absolutely nothing since, as Kavanaugh himself noted correctly that the Supreme Court “can always overrule its precedent.” In other words, cases are “settled” in the judiciary until they are not.

As with nominees before Kavanaugh, his statements are more maddening than reassuring. When asked if the case was “correctly” decided, Kavanagh said that “Roe v. Wade is an important precedent of the Supreme Court” that has been “reaffirmed many times.” That is like asking a lumberjack standing in front of an old oak with an axe whether he intends to chop it down, only to be told “this tree is old with deep roots.” That is certainly information, but not the information you were seeking.

Most scholars believe Kavanaugh is likely to curtail Roe and its progeny. He has good faith reasons for questioning the basis for taking this issue from the states as part of an unenumerated right. His narrow interpretive approach tends to run counter to Roe and its constitutional foundation. It is less likely that the Supreme Court would outright overturn Roe. It can effectively kill Roe with a thousand papercuts, upholding procedural and substantive limitations on the right imposed by the states.

This all brings us back to Collins. She has avoided answering questions from reporters while issuing statements that she has not been expressly told that Kavanaugh has it out for Roe. Given his consistent interpretative approach and the widely held view that Kavanaugh is hostile to Roe, Collins risks looking like a senatorial Sergeant Schultz, running through the halls insisting she knows nothing. For many voters on both sides of the abortion rights issue, the very public stand that Collins has taken on principle now appears painfully artificial and convenient.

It is clear that Collins will not consider herself bound by her pledge absent an outright declaration of lethal intent by a nominee. Such a confession from a conservative nominee is about as likely as a liberal nominee declaring an intent to bar any state law affecting abortions. If Collins is not willing to read a record for the likely approach of a nominee, her signature pledge is practically meaningless. Going back to the tree, either you can read likely intent from the fact that the lumberjack is holding an axe, or you can focus on the fact that the tree is still standing.

Collins taking an artificial position reflects a broken Senate confirmation process that has become little more than an empty exercise. These Supreme Court nomination hearings are primarily about the senators rather than the judges. Senators want cover for their votes, even in the denial of what seems abundantly obvious. Kavanaugh says Roe is settled and that could well settle the matter for Collins.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

164 thoughts on “A Bill Comes Due: Susan Collins Faces Rising Demands To Fulfill Her Promise To Vote Against A Presumed Anti-Roe Nominee”

  1. Alexander Hamilton – The Farmer Refuted, 1775

    “The people are nothing but a great beast…I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value.”

    -Alexander Hamilton

  2. Supreme Court justices are not supposed to legislate from the bench. Kavanaugh’s personal opinions on abortion are irrelevant. If a subject is not covered under the law, then the states and federal government can legislate. That is not the job of SCOTUS.

    1. In addition, if politicians are simply going to vote against each and every appointee by an opposing President, then no one will ever be seated. Ever. Not for any president.

    2. Throw all the mud you can at the wall and see what sticks.

      Even Judge Kavanaugh’s underpants are the communists’ business.

      They really, really, really want “their” unconstitutionally redistributed “free stuff” derived from taxpayer dollars and “their”

      unconstitutional, fraudulent, contrived and compulsory social status. They are desperate to change every vote they can.

      In reality, if America had a Supreme Court that was able to read and comprehend the Constitution, there would be no communistic

      redistribution of wealth and social engineering – no welfare state or affirmative action, fair housing, forced busing or non-

      discrimination dictates.

  3. Darn it! Dadgum Doubly Darn it! The Stormy Dandles strip club tour got canceled in here in Richmond ’cause of Florence which is hundreds of miles away! How am I going to get my legal research done now? And what about my pre-scheduled intellectual discussion with her about the legal enforcement of straw-man, non-disclosure agreements? I had my fee for her all ready and in one dollar increments!!


    1. mespo – well, this is going to put a crimp in legal thought for at least 6 months. I am surprised you did not get a grant from the Humanities to question her, though. Really, you should not be spending your own money, you should be spending government money. This will give you time to get the Humanities money, however most of it is gone by this time of the year. You may have to apply for next year, but that will allow you to tuck in travel funds. I am sure you will need several days to conduct your interrogation and investigation. You will have no problems finding a journal to print it, especially if it come complete with pictures.

        1. mespo – no, go for the government. Humanities and Arts are the best places. It is all in how you write the grant proposal. Remember that wyman who got her Ph. D. watching blacks in porno, “Brown Sugar”? She got a grant from the Humanities to pay for all those DVDs. I wonder if her dissertation is illustrated? Hmmm????

    2. mespo ……….It’s probably for the best, because I’m not sure those tassels could take hurricane-force winds. I can tell by your uncharacteristic phalanx of expletives that you’ve been stripped of a most lucrative opportunity..
      My professional advice as a veteran of Pole-land is to stay abreast of the situation at hand until it blows over.

              1. Well, of course government compelled diversity is bad except for the diversity of ideas. Everyone knows our strength is unity not the identity-based, phony diversity the Left loves so much that breeds dissention.

    3. Don’t be like he weather forecasters and leave out one of the largest influences which is depth of water.

      For example they said it would pull up cooler water? Well up to near a 100 miles off shore from Wilmington it’s shallow enough to require dredging at times for ocean going ships. There is no colder water down below because there is no down below.

      Next comes a bunch of billion dollar developments, the only barrier then the Sand Hills area. and one shallow river The Cape Fear.

      Think of a Tsunami effect. The water builds up higher and higher and delivers a Crescent City effect on the entire coast from Hatteras to Wrightsville and beyond. Not an Oregon or N. Cal coast where the coast goes straight up into a wall of mountains. That Wall is way far off shore. See the iight blue portion on the weather maps? That’s all Atlantic Tsunami territory.

      Is it slowing? Sure because it’s strength is piling up a mountain of water that used to be the ‘down there.’

      After a while it will all do a 180 and return to the ocean extending that sand bank further offshore. as the sand hills become the sand beaches become the sand shallows.

      Unlike with the politicians there is plenty of there there. and over here and yonder aqui, alli, alla and everywhere

      Ask any one who works the ships or sails the boats. Do you see them banging nails into their hulls? Nope. They booked to other parts of the world or went way the hell and gone up rivers a long time ago. You won’t find any of them in the wrong voting booth either.

  4. Look around America. See the incoherence and hysteria.

    Now you know why the American Founders denied women the vote.

    Who in the world would vote FOR murder?

    Who in the world would vote for redistribution of the wealth of Americans and an invasion of foreigners?

    The same people who imposed the unconstitutional 19th amendment.

    It’s long past time for repeal.

      1. Anyone who receives a paycheck or welfare check from taxpayers must NEVER be allowed to vote.

        The original criteria were Male, European, 21 years of age and 50 lbs. Sterling or 50 acres.

        The Founders understood that the “poor” would “sell” their votes.

        Self-reliant, accomplished and capable people should vote.

        If the society is normal, men and women marry and perpetuate the population – one vote per family seems appropriate. It may be that women simply cancel their husband’s vote.

        The vote should be undiluted maintaining its importance, value and effect.

          1. Only if they are citizens and registered to vote.There! I have put my red ine down and will defend it stripe by stripe against the solid red of the opposing side.

          2. Those who are 21, self-reliant and capable with 50 lbs. Sterling (inflation adjusted) or 50 acres (IA), according to the Founders, and those who do not receive a paycheck or welfare check from taxpayers.

            Actually, the criteria must be set by the states. The states have the unrestricted, absolute, ultimate and prevailing power to set any and all vote criteria they approve by a vote of their legislatures. No court has any power to legislate or modify right-to-vote legislation approved by elected officials.

            Unfortunately, freed slaves and their descendants are faced with a yuge conundrum. On the day of the issuance of “Crazy Abe’s” unconstitutional emancipation “proclamation” (secession is not a condition allowing proclamations), the status of slaves changed from “property” to “illegal alien,” requiring emigration or deportation, as the Naturalization Act of 1802 required citizens to be “…free white person(s).” All illegal aliens must return to their country of origin to immigrate properly.

            Interestingly, Article 1, Section 8 precludes taxation for individual welfare, or welfare checks, so there actually cannot be welfare check recipients and most public workers, who receive a pay check from taxpayers, work for a welfare or redistribution department so those public worker jobs would vaporize along with the unconstitutional welfare checks.

            1. George, immigration was relatively open and I don’t think immigration was declared a federal responsibility until the 1875 Supreme Court decision. Congress did pass certain laws in the 1880’s excluding Chinese workers. Until then the states were the active parties with regard to immigration but upon the secession and the freeing of the slaves those states functioned outside of the law so I don’t see how your arbuments hold in these southern states based on your comment. “the status of slaves changed from “property” to “illegal alien,” requiring emigration or deportation, as the Naturalization Act of 1802 required citizens to be “…free white person(s).” ”

              Further based on the 1802 Law most slaves had met their residency requirements. In 1870 another law was passed that extended naturalization to persons of African descent.

              1. Allen, this is a multi-generational “cold case” that requires resolution to this day. The violation was committed and the penalty must be imposed. What is the statute of limitations on foreign invasion by legions of illegal aliens?

                Three weeks ago, a Nazi death camp guard was deported to Germany to face war crimes charges from 75 years ago. The existence of millions of illegal alien Africans in America in 1863 constituted a non-violent, non-military invasion, not dissimilar to Mexico’s invasion today. The illegal invasion of a sovereign foreign nation is a crime commensurate with those of Nazi Germany.

                The Naturalization Act of 1802 was in full force and effect on January 1, 1863, the date of the unconstitutional Emancipation Proclamation (proclamations require the condition of insurrection or rebellion. excluding secession). It required citizens to be “…free white person(s).” Slaves could not become citizens and they had been relieved of their status as “property” making them illegal aliens. Illegal aliens require immediate emigration or deportation. There is no “grace” period. The violation of the Naturalization Act of 1802 remains an immutable fact.

                “Crazy Abe’s” war of Northern aggression was similarly illegal but it cannot be taken back; its ultimate 1 million victims cannot be brought back to life and demolished property restored.

                1. George, I was just adding a little history and fact to your rhetoric. You are free to believe what you wish whether or not it comports with the law and historical fact.

        1. The founders described the common citizen (not people but citizens) as the center of power not the whims of some King claiming to have spoken with God.and received a divine appointment. They also start a move towards public education to ensure the citizens had the knowledge.

          Then came the media and Snowflake U.

          1. Alexander Hamilton – The Farmer Refuted, 1775

            “The people are nothing but a great beast…I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value.”

            -Alexander Hamilton


    Depending on whom you believe, Anthony Kennedy’s retirement either means that Roe v. Wade will definitely be overturned — or else that it will probably be overturned (but definitely chipped away at).

    Regardless, one thing is certain: If the Supreme Court’s new conservative majority takes the right to reproductive autonomy away from the American (female) people, the vast majority of the U.S. electorate will be displeased. A new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that 67 percent of voters do not want Roe v. Wade overturned. Opposition is overwhelming among Democrats and independents. But, in another sign that the congressional Republicans do not actually represent the consensus views of their constituents, some 43 percent of GOP voters want Roe upheld (the percentage of Republican Congress members who’d be willing to espouse that position in public is in the single digits).


    Edited from: “Poll: Nearly 70% Of Voters Don’t Want Roe V Wade Overturned”

    NEW YORK MAGAZINE, 6/29/18

      1. Hillary won the Popular Vote by a 2% margin even ‘after’ James Comey’s letter to Congress. So the polls were not that far off.

          1. Hillary’s Popular Vote victory was 2.8 million. Al Gore’s was more like 500,000. So 2016 and 2008 were not that comparable.

            1. BUSH – GORE NO SURPRISE


              I was not surprised Bush-Gore. Every poll taken from Labor Day to Election Day in 2000 said the race was “too close to call”. So as a liberal I was braced for a Bush victory weeks in advance.

              With regards to Florida, that state could have easily gone either way. Flip a coin! The chances Bush really won Florida are at least 50%. The spoiler was Ralph Nader. Nader sabotaged the Gore campaign more than any wrongdoing by the Bush brothers.

              Trump’s ‘victory’ over Clinton can be traced directly to Comey’s letter to congress that last Friday in October. Polls showed Hillary’s approval plunged the week after Comey’s letter.

              And no wonder! Even loyal Democrats get rattled when the FBI issues warnings on their candidates. That had never happened before. It sounded like Hillary faced certain indictment. What a turn-off to voters! Especially when Trump kept leading chants of “Lock her up!”

              Now we know the FBI was investigating Trump. Comey never told us that! Had the voters known, however, that Trump was under investigation for Russian ties, that would have been a game changer on Election Day.

              So polls predicting Hillary’s victory were not a ‘fiction’ of liberal bias. They were based on credible numbers. Trump was badly burned by Access Hollywood. Wikileaks was forced to intervene. Releasing hacked emails right after Access Hollywood.

              Nevertheless Wikileaks failed to seriously dent Hillary’s poll numbers. Trump was clearly out of favor after Access Hollywood. The polls were right on Hillary.. but Comey played The Joker.

              1. Peter, overall, that is a plausible editorial by whomever.

                However i think it has two big flaws

                a– Nader had a right to run and he had a good platform on certain things particularly that he was antiwar. this was a precursor of the logic that Democrats used to sideline Bernie in favor of pro war free trade hillary clinton

                observe that just to drive the point home, Jill stein is considered to have colluded with the Russians too, whatever that means. nonsense

                b– Wikileaks is a Julian Assange lead collective. Assange is a liberal. There is credible evidence that the Dem emails were a leak not a hack. By a Bernie supporter perhaps? But the press now calls Assange a “svengali” and putin-collaborator.

                now I am not a Democrat but there are a lot of Democrats who say these things. I am not just talking about Jimmy Dore or some far leftist like Noam Chomsky but I have some Democrat friends involved in politics I talk to about this who nurse the same suspicions. I believe that the Clinton clique has for a long time suppressed these voices and the witch hunt against Trump conceals this.

                In fact I think that she tried the same thing on Obama but the guy was too crafty to get caught in her attempt to paint him as too far left etc. and he also stole a lot of her local support that she formerly had in the Midwest. Remember she is from Chicago Illinois too. Bernie was pigeonholed more successfully and did not connect with people the way that Obama did.

                On the Republican side, I think demonizing Obama now is wrong, he is gone and in retirement and was nowhere near the darling of the “Deep State” that Hillary was and is. Leave him be and move on with positive forward looking actions.

                If the Republicans can keep majority through midterm, the whole thing will blow over soon enough and then they should stop talking about Hillary all the time too.

                1. Kurtz, Hillary quite arguably ‘beat’ Obama in the 2018 primaries. Hillary won 7 of the 10 biggest states. But the super-delegates went with Obama. That didn’t bother me for long. And Hillary never nursed a grudge. She outwardly supported Obama as Secretary of State.

                  Hillary, in fact, was a much better sport than Bernie Sanders. Bernie became the ultimate sour apple! Sanders would be Vice President today if he had been as good of a sport as Hillary had been earlier.

            2. That is of no importance except as recognizing a population imbalance cause by… the ability to pick the pocket of your working neighbor. What it did not do is At the local level you see the exact same thing when NYC outvotes upstate and Willamette Valley outvotes Oregon. and Seattle Tacoma outvotes Washington. or Miami, Tampa, Jacksonvile outvote Florida.

              The founders did not want London with it’s rotten bouroughs outvoting the rest of the British Empire. Our founders learned that lesson. The French learned nothing. But our founders descendents worse refused to learn anything.

              1. Michael, our founding fathers could not have envisioned the size of modern cities. So this theory that they wanted farmers to cancel the votes of urbanites strains credibility.

                1. Peter, your statement indicates that you missed the entire theory behind the Constitution. Whether the foundery envisioned big cities or not and whether they considered farmers or not had little or nothing to do with why the Constitution was structured this way. It seems you lack a basic understanding of the Constitution. Read some history. Learn about Federalism.

        1. Peter Hill,..
          A common forecast was for Hillary to win well over 300 Electoral College votes.
          I think you would be hard pressed to find any analysts/ media outlets that foresaw Trump winning every major toss-up state PLUS some states that hadn’t voted for a GOP presidential candidates since the 1980s.
          CA. has 55 EV votes, 16 more than Texas, the second largest state.
          As we’ve discussed, running up the score in CA. doesn’t get any bonus points beyond those 55 EC votes.

          1. Tom, as I pointed out before, California has more people than the 20 smallest states combined. Yet the 20 smallest states combined have more Electoral Votes than California and New York combined (the first and fourth most populous states). That’s a huge imbalance!

            Now you can go round and round and round saying how the founding fathers wanted a constitutional ‘republic’. But at the end of the day Trump’s victory doesn’t look that victorious. 2.8 million more people voted for Hillary. It doesn’t matter if they were Californians. They’re still Americans and they didn’t want Donald Trump.

            1. Peter,…
              Yes, we can go round and round about the 4.3 million extra votes that Clinton got in CA.
              Or the 62% to 32% margin that she carried the state by, or the 1.5 million extra votes that Trump edged her out by in the other 49 states.
              It depends on how you look at it and how you present it.
              You would seemingly like to take Senators and/ or Representatives away from the smallest states like Wyoming, S. Dakota, or Idaho.
              Or dilute their say in elections by adding even more to the huge clout that the 55 Electoral College votes already gives to California.
              If you’re wondering why CA. is viewed as a lopsided, bizarre state, take a look at how far out of step they were and are with the the other 49 states.
              You view this as if CA. should have dominate the other 49 states, as if it’s truly representative of some consensus to justify dragging along the rest of the country.
              California is correctly viewed, more and more, as an outlier state with political beliefs far out of line with the U.S. as a whole.

            2. “It doesn’t matter if they were Californians. They’re still Americans and they didn’t want Donald Trump.”

              Trump had limited resources. He could go for the electoral vote or the popular vote but only the electoral vote would assure victory. He could have spent more time and resources in the most populous areas and may very well have won the popular vote but it wouldn’t have added more electoral votes and he would have lost the election.

              That is the difference between Trump and Hillary. Trump can count and think.

          2. Tom Nash – some people have collected the talking heads on Election Day as they pronosticate their way through the evening. They are available for replaying on YouTube. When I am feeling a little down, I go watch one from one of the channels and it perks me right up. 🙂

        1. I think Norma McCorvey died a few years ago. She eventually repudiated the decision. She was a straw plaintiff used by Sarah Weddington.

          1. DSS – she was more than a straw plaintiff, in the initial pleadings she claimed to have been raped. When it got on appeal she changed it to, it was consensual and with her boyfriend (which was the truth). She ended up having the baby, if I remember correctly.

            1. Paul,

              McCorvey’s early life was dysfunctional to say the least. She was a lesbian frequently in trouble with the law who later developed a severe drinking problem.

              Now you’re saying that because McCorvey was an unstable young woman, that somehow ‘invalidates’ Roe V Wade..??

              Many would argue the opposite; that McCorvey’s instability made her precisely the type of woman unfit for motherhood.

                1. Paul, you never heard that before? You thought McCorvey was a nice young women mislead by feminists? ..Wrong..!!

                  Check Wikipedia. And don’t tell me they have a ‘liberal bias’.

              1. are you implying that being a lesbian is per se dysfunctional? better watch out Peter the PC thought police are recording your comments. LOLZ

        2. Paul C. Schulte………Norma passed away a couple (?) of years ago. She was a Louisiana girl, and I think she had gone back home.
          But, one day, about 7 years ago (maybe?) I was in Walmart right here in our little Central Texas town. As I walked down an aisle, I passed a small woman, and said excuse me….She looked up , and I’ll be damned it was Norma! She moved on down the aisle as I stood there a minute thinking how incredible that the woman who had been instrumental in changing American women forever, IMO, for good or bad, was there alone in a small town Walmart.
          The Dems got really upset when she became born again and reversed her beliefs, as you remember. I think she had been raised Catholic in Marksville, La.
          Sarah Weddington is a very sweet woman but was very soft spoken in the early 70’s. She was never great in the courtroom……..too feminine.
          Well I’m sure that’s more info than you wanted…. 😉

          1. Cindy Bragg – did Weddington argue the case before the SC? Sometimes the deck is stacked the right way. For instance, when the Hollywood Ten decided to commit contempt of Congress, they thought there were enough votes on the SC to support them and they would stay out of jail. However, as the case worked its way through the slow grinding wheels of justice, one of the justices on their side died and was replaced by a vote on the other side.

            1. Paul C. Schulte…
              Yes, she delivered the oral….David said the Court rules on the written mostly and I’ll bet her husband Ron W, wrote that. he was a pretty good atty.
              Her voice was fairly strong (for her) on the recording, but she sounds like a Jr. High Home Economics teacher. When our daughter had to write a high school term paper on Roe v. W,, in the early 90’s, David set up a meeting for her to interview Sarah. Our daughter spent a couple of hours interviewing her. Sarah really is a sweet woman but I have completely reversed my view of abortion since those days.
              That is very interesting about the Hollywood 10 and SC!! .Thanks…I didn’t know that!
              Just saw Trumbo’s name on a film the other day.
              That R v. W argument is online. btw.

              1. Cindy Bragg – yes, the Hollywood Ten was not near as brave as Hollywood would like you to think they were. They thought they were playing with a stacked deck. However, in the middle of the game, someone changed the decks on them. 😉 And they were clearly in contempt.

              2. Cindy Bragg – I tried to find who I was discussing Trumbo with, but I cannot find it. However, his Exodus, with his name on it came out in January, while Spartacus, with his name on it, came out in November. So, historically, Trumbo’s first named film back in theaters was Exodus and his second was Spartacus.

      2. I hope not. Roe provided a start point on which some common sense could be exhibited. Todaiy’s laws on the subject are nowhere near what Roe stated. Two viewpoints conflict. Womens Rights versus Citizens Rights never mind the husband is conveniently forgotten. . When does one begin and cease and the other begin.

        Objectively it’s when the fetus becomes viable and the only valid point is when it can survive in the event of a premature birth.Before it cannot survive. After it must be killed. So where in all this is the new citizen projected? Some would say not until after birth. Some during birth just seconds from the first gasping breath of air is inhaled. What ever your point is if it is after the point of viabiity who made you poice, judge, jury and executioner.

        After that is not the womans right to choose but the woman’s responsibility to live up to the choice previously made.

        The ony exceptions are medical, rape, incest. but even then it’s a first trimester decision and if not then some other adult needs to be arrested,, charged, cnvicted and … killed. One crime deserves another quid pro quo.

  6. I very much doubt if many Americans are even paying attention to the Kavanaugh nomination at this point – except for evangelical and pro choice advocates. Most American’s can’t name a single SCOTUS justice and probably could care less about all of this drama.

    Professor Turley, do you believe that Kavanaugh dances to a political ideology or is a qualified and conscientious judge who will analyze the briefs, do independent research and decide each case on its own merit?

    If he is, none of this other nonsense matters.

    Notably, Judge Kavanaugh was not on Trump’s original list of nominees. Probably because Trump felt he was too close to the Bushes, whom Trump distrusts.

    1. Got that right. If Kavenaugh had been spelled by any other name on the list that spelling would have met the same fate and fate is the hate mongering of Bloody Chuck Schmuckley Putz. The present argument albeit convenient serves no other useful purpose.

  7. this is theatre. abortion is legal and it will stay that way. kavanaugh will be confirmed and in 10 years it will still be legal. even if a few statutes here or there get upheld that cut it back a little in flyover land, it will make little difference on the whole.

    technology alone has made the issue moot. the abortion pill is nothing more than birth control pills taken a bunch in one day, and they can be had over the counter. the whole thing approaches charade at this point.

    I am against Roe V Wade. but there is a lot of fakery among Pro Life leadership on this issue. They have had strong majorities that could have stripped article III courts of jurisdiction over the question and starved the Supreme Court of the right to review these kinds of laws. Nobody is much aware of that besides constitutional scholars and whomever they make their points to in law school. Like me. I was listening and I haven’t forgotten since.

    1. I am against Roe V Wade. but there is a lot of fakery among Pro Life leadership on this issue.

      There’s no fakery whatsoever among the pro-Life leadership. The fakery is among Republican politicians and lawyers.

      1. Is the pro life leadership not populated mostly, or at least much, by politicians and lawyers?

        You have to count Bishops in the leadership too. Catholic ones at least.
        Maybe other sects’ honchos as well.
        I am Catholic but excuse me if I question the bishops’ sincerity. And i do.

        I don’t question the sincerity of rank and file, good-hearted family people with reasonable beliefs and intentions. that’s the rank and file.


        “There’s no fakery whatsoever among the pro-Life leadership. The fakery is among Republican politicians and lawyers”

        Here Spastic attempts to tell us that Baptist Preachers and Catholic Priests are all fine, upstanding leaders whose moral fiber is beyond question.

        Never mind that these ‘leaders’ are almost entirely male. Never mind that these ‘leaders’ consistently show up in headlines featuring sex scandals. Spastic would have us believe they are all pillars of virtue!

        1. 1. Peter Shill fancies that if something appears in the newspapers, its a probable event. Non stupid people understand it’s merely story fodder (when the paper is acting in good faith) or it’s propaganda (when they’re not). You read about Ted Haggard. There are 50,000 working clergymen in this country you nitwit.

          2. That people in leadership positions are male is quite unremarkable. It doesn’t surprise me you fancy this silly ad hom is a valid argument. By the way, the founding president of the National Right to Life Committee was Dr. Mildred Jefferson. The current president is Carol Tobias.

            1. the rank and file of pro life movement is thickly populated with women. perhaps the pro abortion rank and file are the same. that is not surprising in either direction. i think it proves very little other than the fact that women are concerned with the issue more than men, on the whole. that is probably due to the natural fact that as the pro aborts never fail to mention, it concerns womens’ bodies. but do not be so foolish as to think that all women are pro abort.

              that would be as foolish as to think that of the billion or so muslims in the world, the half that are women are staunchly opposed to that patriarchy, either. they arent. look around the Muslim world: the attributes of “patriarchy” are firmly ensconsced. (and ironically it has mostly been in places like Assad’s Syria or Iran that women had comparatively more freedoms– regimes that are under constant pressure by progressive America…. figure that one out!)(ask Hillary how taking all those millions into the Clinton foundation advanced womens’ rights in Saudi for me, let me know what she says, ok?)

              there is a common flaw in feminist thinking, the notion that women in general are all just oppressed if they don’t agree. on the contrary, it seems to me that throughout history where patriarchies have persisted, it is not in spite of women it may indeed be because of them.

              why has patriarchy persisted in china? they have total abortion rights and modernistic divorce proceedings, they had Communists abolish foot binding and polygamy and a host of other former institutions of Chinese “patriarchy,” they had Mao and his wicked last wife attacking the “Four olds” through a decade of cultural revolution, and yet, decades later, over all that government imposed social engineering by what is arguably the most powerful and forceful government on Eart, yet, “patriarchal attitudes” persist.

              One is tempted to suspect, that these things have persisted because Chinese people on the whole, women included, like their culture that way and intend to keep it so.

              1. Kurtz: I challenge you, as I challenged Spastic, to show me a poll a poll that charts how many American women want Roe overturned.

                1. i dont do polls. you show me and I will be interested to see.

                  did you catch any of what i said about the patriarchy? or is that all besides your point. i thought maybe it was relevant since you implied it by talking about the head count of men and so forth

                  1. Yeah, you seem to be making this unsubstantiated argument that women don’t really mind being controlled by men. I don’t buy it.

                    1. I got it, you don’t buy it. It’s an article of faith among feminists that all women are in need of liberating, regardless of whether they want it or not.

                      Like i said, why is China still deemed a paternalistic culture even after the Communists outlawed the oppressive relics of it like footbinding and polygamy, made cultural revolutionary war on the Four Olds, legalized divorce and abortion and have a hell a lot of abortion that’s for sure; and yet Chinese around the world in their communities and right there in the PRC remain steadfastly “patriarchal.’ (with the exception of the tiny Mosuo people of Yunnan)

                      Just not enough oppression to liberate the Chinese women who are so deluded I guess, huh?

                      A similar thing can be said of Muslims presumably which half of them are women. Why is that all these years after we freed the Afghan women from the burkha and gave them the vote and built schools and all that, the Afghans still seem to hate the Kabul puppet regime and support the Taliban?

                      yes, I am claiming that numerically speaking, most women around the world are totally OK with patriarchy. Pretty much most women outside the US and Europe it seems, for sure.

                      Maybe feminism is just a tool of capitalism to flood the labor market with a bunch of new workers, formerly cooped up at home? and give them wages to go spend on shiny stuff? Ever consider that one? I have a fancy that divorce divides one household into two, and shifts a certain amount of domestic production into corporate markets, ever think about that?

                      Kind of like how these corporations want to bring in foreigners to “do the work that Americans wont/ cant do” yes it’s my theory that capitalists are as much or more behind the pro immigration thrust of the past 50 years as “nativists, racists, and bigots.”

                      Just a hypothesis!

                    2. i might add, that this is the funny thing about diversity and multiculturalism. it is only ok when it supports the PC agenda. if I point out how successful patriarchy is in these other foreign nations and non-European cultures, how steadfastly supported it is by foreign women, well I must be wrong. Because I do not adhere to the universal ideals of woman’s lib! But I was just respecting cultural differences I thought!

                      At that point PC advocates just call me names, male chauvinist or whatever, disregarding the facts of different cultures that they were last telling me i needed to respect and learn about.

                      Does it not seem odd that we support the right of the women to wear hijab in Detroit, but denounce it in foreign nations? I can make a lot of examples of this, if need be.

                      Wouldnt it be more consistent to say, let people pursue their ethnic or religious cultures abroad with the same group self determination we allocate to them inside the United States? Especially since, these places are not ours to dictate in the first place? The most insane example of this in my mind was all the nonsense applied to Afghanistan. One day it was about 9/11 and the next it was burkas. Putting aside the terrorists were mostly nationals of the US “ally” Saudi that is as bad as the Taliban in such regards. Feminism, excuse for wars abroad, and to bully men at home too.

                      And if the feminists of America want some work to do, I recommend they start by liberating the Muslim women in America and aim their propaganda at them. Because they are about 500 years behind where the Americans are. And quit nitpicking the American men who are a thousand times more liberal than all these foreigners in the first place.

                      Oh, here’s another one. Hillary and all her labor and sex trafficking statistics peddled at the UN to denounce Russia and China. Lost in the shuffle, all the US allies that are as much guilty of that as any. Just a lot of phony propaganda

        2. That’s not what he said at all. And that they are male is not in any way disqualifying to them. for my part I have no problem with “the patriarchy” or any patriarchy, as such. Patriarchies in Western civilization have been what brought us here in the first place to the point where people are so quick to denounce them. Quite an irony!

          Also, I don’t lay the beef about pedo priests on the average priest who is decent. I lay it on corrupt bishops who shuffled the perverts around letting they prey on victims again and again. That looks a lot more to me like criminal conspiracy then some of these flimsy cases Meuller is trotting out.

          St John Chrysostom said something about the road to hell being paved with their skulls, I can’t recall the quote precisely.

  8. The “pro-life” (“anti-abortion”) cause has morphed beyond recognition compared to its initial motives. That’s what 45 years of losing battles does to a cause.

    Originally, the cause was focussed on the loosening of morals alleviating premarital sex of consequences. The shotgun wedding was maybe not the entrance to marital bliss, but at least it defended the kinship formation system and the rights of babies to be raised by mother and father. Granted, it was a reflexive and clumsy defense, conceding the many divorces and child abandonments pursuant to forced weddings.

    The birth control pill seemed to further undermine traditional morals put in place to help young people navigate dating and mate-selection, resulting in sound marriages — a healthy self-replicating kinship system that survives intact across the generations being the paramount goal. Elective single parenting was judged an attack on long-term social architecture, as it was known to settle into its own self-replicating pattern, a diminutive family form where women were taxed with all the burdens of childrearing, and men cut loose to become indiscriminate “seed throwers” and “rambling men” — unreliable partners.

    Stated in proactive, positive verbiage, the cause circa 1965 centered on preserving the nuclear family structure for childraising, felt by the majority to be an obligation to posterity.
    Notice though how abstract and far-off such a cause is compared to lining up in staunch opposition to birth control pills and abortion for unmarrieds.

    The danger of morphing a cause from a positive, proactive goal into fighting against that which seems to undermine that goal, a subtle, oft-unnoticed transformation of thinking and speaking, opens up a misstatement of grievance. The following thought experiment demonstrates the point: Suppose that in the next 10 years, biotech makes it possible for women to exercise full freedom over their sexual and reproductive behavior without any need for abortion. Suppose medical tech achieves this feat, where there are simply no more unwanted pregnancies, and abortion becomes a moot point. However, also suppose that young women, exercising this freedom, and the young men they consort with, experience a continuing hedonism that fails to result in healthy nuclear family formation. Assume that the % of children being raised in households with an active, committed father falls below 30%, and that single-mom parenting (and grandmother-parenting) becomes the predominant repeating kinship structure. Assume that the majority of men no longer have child-rearing responsibilities, aside from parental-support garnishments.

    Under that scenario, would the “anti-abortion” movement be celebrating victory? No. Because, their stated goal of “stopping abortions” was a tactical ploy only, one that fit with their strategic purpose at the time in the 1960s. By shifting emphasis to stopping abortion, and then to the “derivative” cause of protecting life defined as starting at conception (doomed to fail due to early miscarriage of defective zygotes), the movement let go of the ball and the big picture — preservation of nuclear family kinship organization.

    And that obligation to posterity is just as everpresent in 2018 as it was in 1968. The question is whether anybody can think in those terms. Is there a movement out there that seeks to put all young people on a path to sound nuclear family formation? Is helping young people develop healthy dating relationship standards a popular cause? Or, will we once again fall into the trap of railing against what we don’t want, such as hook-up culture, online pornography, and hypersexuality-clothing styles — only to see that these battles won and the war lost because we couldn’t agree on what we are “for”, and make that the paramount cause?

    1. Under that scenario, would the “anti-abortion” movement be celebrating victory? No. Because, their stated goal of “stopping abortions” was a tactical ploy only, one that fit with their strategic purpose at the time in the 1960s. By shifting emphasis to stopping abortion,

      You don’t understand people’s motives, but presume to instruct everyone at wearying length. Understanding the movement isn’t difficult. You just have to read its literature.

    2. no supposing, we are already there. OTC morning after pill. it’s done. don’t waste too much time on this one folks.

      there are other technological changes that get short shrift and need immediate attention as they emerge. AI for example. People saw Musk smoking pot and thought that was important. It wasn’t. What he says about AI is important. Listen

      1. OTC morning-after pills are very likely to be banned, in the aftermath of RvW. The idea is, maximum number of live birth babies, especially if they are white. The preferences of the women would have nothing to do with it.

        1. I meant to type, “in the aftermath of RvW being overturned.” Poor connection between brain and fingers.

    3. Problem is, we don’t have to imagine what your hypothetical scenario would look like in real life:

      “Assume that the % of children being raised in households with an active, committed father falls below 30%, and that single-mom parenting (and grandmother-parenting) becomes the predominant repeating kinship structure.”

      Isn’t that EXACTLY what we now see in the black population? And isn’t the fallout painfully and tragically obvious?

  9. Here’s the euphemistic “pressure” JT refers to on Sen. Collins:

    “The [left’s] frustration has boiled over at points,” the Times understates. “Annie Clark, a spokeswoman for Ms. Collins, provided The New York Times with copies of a letter and multiple voice mail messages addressed to the senator using vulgar language and outright threats.”

    One example of a threat is a “caller [who] told a 25-year-old female staff member at one of Ms. Collins’s Maine offices that he hoped she would be raped and impregnated.”

    Collins has also had some 3,000 coat hangers mailed to her office (a reference to the back alley abortion).

    Protesters have shown up at Collins’ private home in Bangor.”

    The male ego would resist this type of intimidation from other men and rebel against it. We’ll see about the female ego.

    1. The male ego would resist this type of intimidation from other men and rebel against it. We’ll see about the female ego.

      See George Bush the Elder, decorated combat veteran. Alas, in this sort of circumstance, he’d likely cave.

  10. (music)
    to tune of Armour Hot Dog Song–

    Susan Collins!
    What kind of dog is Susan Collins?
    Fat kid, skinny kid, kids who climbs on rocks
    Dem Dog, Repub Dog…
    Even dogs with chicken pox…


  11. I was an embrio once. My uncle poked a hole in my dad’s rubber and I came along. I would vote against Roe but not Wade.

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