Harriet Miers and abortion — an alternate take

Sometimes, I will work through certain issues purely as a mental exercise. I don’t so much try to find the truth, but see if a solution is reasonable or plausible — usually when I have no way of actually finding the truth.

This time, I’m turning that process on the issue of Harriet Miers and Roe v. Wade, in particular her supporting a constitutional amendment to ban most abortions in a questionnaire well over a decade ago.

Many people are trumpeting this as a great insight on her thinking, that it shows that she opposes abortion and would act to strike down Roe v. Wade if she were confirmed to the Supreme Court.

I find myself wondering of another interpretation might be feasible — that while she does, indeed, oppose abortion, she would not act to strike it down.

According to the supporters of abortion rights, Roe V. Wade was a “good” decision, founded on Constitutional principles. Opponents say it isn’t, and should be overturned.

But what if one thought that while abortion was wrong, the Court had acted appropriately? What to do then?

There’s really only one way to overturn a Supreme Court decision on a Constitutional issue, and that’s by amending the Constitution. And that’s what Miers said she supported.

She could easily think that abortion is one of those issues that the framers simply didn’t anticipate, and that in their absence of guidance, the Court made the best ruling it could. But if one amends the Constitution, explicitly addressing the abortion issue, Roe V. Wade would not be overturned, but simply nullified.

So I think that it’s plausible that Miers could be both supportive of Roe v. Wade AND against abortion — she wants abortion stopped, but is more concerned about the process being followed.

Do I think it’s likely? Hell, no. It’s a stretch. But it definitely is plausible.

For my next trick, perhaps I’ll try to rationalize how Karl Rove could have revealed Valerie Plame’s identity with absolutely no malice whatsoever, no criminal intent, and no law broken.

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  1. ed October 20, 2005
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