The Nine-Man Legislature In the Sky

Newspapers, like politicians, occasionally commit “gaffes” when they inadvertently say what they really think. For an example, see this correction in today’s New York Times:

A television column on Saturday about a decision by a character on “Friday Night Lights” to have an abortion, and how the subject of abortion has been handled on other shows, referred incorrectly to the Roe v. Wade ruling, which established a constitutional right to abortion. The ruling was made by the Supreme Court; it did not involve “passage,” as with legislation.

For some decades, liberals have relied on the Supreme Court as a super-legislature to “pass” measures that are too liberal for Congress, the states or the voters. The observation seems especially timely, with partial-birth abortion advocate Elena Kagan about to be confirmed to the Court.

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