Thursday 20th June 2019

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Let’s Face The Illusions . . . About Roe, The Court, And The Kavanaugh Confirmation

October 12, 2018 Frontpage No Comments


Hold the “hallelujahs.” Brett Kavanaugh is now a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, but don’t expect him to be the much anticipated and much feared “fifth vote” to overturn the High Court’s Roe v. Wade decision issued 45 years ago and upheld by the court on subsequent decisions, most notably, Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992.
First of all, it is a considerable leap to assume that there are now four votes on the court to overturn Roe. The last two Republican nominees, Roberts and Alito, both said in public hearings that they regarded Roe as “settled law,” entitled to the protection of a due respect for “precedent.” Justice Scalia is dead and Clarence Thomas remains the only member of the Supreme Court who might reasonably be assumed to be ready and willing to cast a vote to overturn Roe.
Secondly, we have Judge Kavanaugh’s word, as related by Sen. Susan Collins, that he would not be part of a 5-4 majority to nullify the “abortion rights” decision. The Maine Republican, minutes after saying she did not believe there should be a “litmus test” for Supreme Court nominees, cited that assurance from nominee Kavanaugh as her major reason for voting for his confirmation.
Her speech should be read carefully and critically. She was quite emphatic in dismissing the plank in the Republican platform promising the appointment of justices who would overturn Roe. As Collins noted, that plank has been in the GOP platform since 1980, and since that time nominations to the Supreme Court by Republican presidents have included those of Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and David Souter, the trio that wrote the opinion of the court in the aforementioned Planned Parenthood v. Casey, upholding Roe, albeit with some minor qualifications. So much for Republican promises.
Face it, pro-lifers. The only way we would get five solid anti-Roe votes on the Supreme Court is if a court-packing plan like FDR’s were actually enacted and there were eventually 15 Supreme Court justices. Then, of course, five votes would be very much a minority and “abortion rights” would still be quite safe.
The Roe v. Wade decision changed American politics in more ways that we might realize. Prior to Roe, “abortion rights” were the hobbyhorse of lawyers and intellectuals, most of them from the upper strata of society. Suddenly in Roe, there was what dissenting Justice Byron White (a Kennedy appointee) called a “freshly minted” constitutional right of abortion.
This forced a realignment of the two major parties that most historians have overlooked. Previously the Democratic Party’s claim to the votes of the poor was based on economics and social standing. As my father explained to me when I was seven years old, the Republican Party was the party of the “big shots” and the Democratic Party was the party of the workingman. If I should ever become a “big shot,” he explained, he would expect me to vote Republican, because that would be where my interests lie.
I have often voted Republican, but as far as becoming a “big shot,” dear old Dad need not have worried.
I would suggest three events forced a realignment of the two parties. The first, the High Court’s unanimous Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954, did not by itself lead to any realignment. The ruling by Republican Chief Justice Earl Warren and his colleagues merely, for the time being, reinforced the opposition to civil rights and the “party of Lincoln” by the solidly Democratic South.
But when Democratic President Lyndon Johnson pushed the 1964 Civil Rights bill through Congress, that coalition began to crack. Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina switched parties to join the GOP, then headed by long-shot presidential candidate, Barry M. Goldwater, who was part of a Republican minority opposing the legislation.
The opposition broadened considerably a few years later when the Brown decision was interpreted to require the forced busing of schoolchildren across district lines to achieve racial integration of the public schools in the whole nation, not just in the legally segregated South. The Nixon administration, then in office, publicly opposed the forced busing even while lawyers in the administration’s justice department were filing one lawsuit after another to require and enforce it.
Nixon, we might recall, received a healthy share of the black vote when he lost to John F. Kennedy in 1960. The 1964 Civil Rights Act and the opposition to it by the GOP presidential candidate in 1964 changed that dramatically. Ever since, some 90 percent of the black vote has gone to Democrats. In winning the White House in 1968, Nixon became the candidate and beneficiary of the Southern coalition, winning key Southern states as well as votes in the rest of the country from people who thought the civil rights revolution was going too far, too fast. Still, he won the narrowest of victories over veteran civil rights champion Hubert Humphrey.
Then came the Roe v. Wade decision at the very beginning of Nixon’s second term, on January 22, 1973. It followed a report by a commission appointed by President Nixon to explore the issue of what had been widely heralded as “overpopulation.” Though couched in diplomatic and general welfare language, the largely Republican and thoroughly establishment commission recommended birth control and abortion as means of limiting the population, especially among the poorer in society.
Nixon immediately denounced the report, firming up his support among cultural conservatives, especially Catholics. The Roe v. Wade decision provided Nixon and the Republicans with a ready-made “wedge” issue. There was already a National Right to Life Committee and other anti-abortion groups looking to rally behind a party and candidates who would support the pro-life cause.
It was a bandwagon made for Nixon and the GOP, most of whom quickly became anti-abortion. While most Democrats had opposed abortion also, once Nixon became opposed to it, abortion became a cause for Democrats to celebrate and defend. Aided by a liberal national media, the “right to life” became “a woman’s right to choose.”
Both sides cynically primed the issue for all the votes and all the dollars it was, and still is, worth. Yet once in office, elected officials on both sides of the abortion divide have been content to leave the issue with the courts.
Democratic majorities in Congress never mustered enough votes to pass the Freedom of Choice Act that would have codified the Roe ruling.
Republican majorities never advanced the Human Life Amendment, nor passed legislation declaring the preborn to be persons under the Fourteenth Amendment, nor moved to limit the jurisdiction of the judiciary in matters of abortion. Thus, the battle every time there’s a vacancy on the High Court, especially if the vacancy has been created by the death or retirement of a justice considered to be either a believer in “abortion rights” or a “swing” vote.
In Harry Blackmun’s majority opinion for the court in Roe v. Wade, he was somewhat vague as to where the invisible “right” to abortion was located in the Constitution that neither mentions nor hints at the subject. Is it in the Ninth Amendment’s stipulation of unenumerated rights, neither mentioned nor denied by other rights actually specified in the “living document”? Or is it in the Fourteenth Amendment’s “due process” clause or its guarantee of the “equal protection of the laws”? Or does it even matter?
One significant point about the Fourteenth Amendment that has gone largely overlooked in all the litigation over it is its very last sentence: “The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.” Note not only what it says, but also what it does not say. It does not say, “The judicial branch shall have power to enforce, by imaginative interpretations, the provisions of this article.”
By its own admission, the Blackmun ruling for the Supreme Court in Roe would fall of its own weight if Congress were to declare, for the purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment, that preborn humans are persons under the law. The unborn would then be entitled to the “equal protection of the laws.”
For numerous times over the 45-plus years that the Roe decision has been in force, supposedly pro-life Republicans have been in the majority in Congress. So where is the pro-life legislation? A ban on partial-birth abortion is nearly worthless as a partial solution. We need to elect pro-life legislators who mean what they say about the right to life from the moment of conception to natural death. Now that would be a precedent, for the Congress that could go far to rein in the courts.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Politics breeds evasion, abstraction, and euphemism. A politician is someone who can discuss abortion for hours without using the word KILL.

If capital punishment is inadmissible, how is excommunication (the spiritual version of capital punishment) admissible if its consequence is eternal death?

Load More...

Vatican’s doctrinal office expected to release document on gender theory

Vatican City, Jun 14, 2019 / 12:00 pm (CNA).- The Vatican’s doctrinal office is preparing a document which will address Church teaching and the anthropology of the human person in the context of so-called gender theory, according to a Vatican…Continue Reading

Illinois bishops oppose abortion law, disagree on Communion for pro-choice lawmakers

Baltimore, Md., Jun 14, 2019 / 04:00 am (CNA).- While two Illinois bishops are unified in their strong opposition to the state’s new abortion law, they differ on the question of prohibiting to receive Holy Communion the Catholic state legislators…Continue Reading

‘The Decalogue’ for Nuncios (Pope Francis’ Full Address to Meeting of Papal Representatives)

The following is a ZENIT working full English translation of the discourse Pope Francis prepared and delivered today, June 13, 2019, to all the Papal Representatives, meeting in the Vatican from June 12 – 15,  2019: **** Dear Brethren, I’m…Continue Reading

Vatican rejects idea that people can ‘choose one’s gender’

The Vatican on Monday released an official document that rejects the idea that a transgender person has the right to “choose one’s gender,” according to reports. The Washington Post reported that the Catholic Church said in the document that the right to…Continue Reading

Cardinal Pell awaits verdict after prosecutor stumbles in appeal hearing

June 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The two-day hearing in Cardinal George Pell’s appeal before the Victorian Court of Appeal against his conviction for alleged child sex abuse in Melbourne, Australia, in the 1990s ended Thursday with a positive impression for the defense.…Continue Reading

Archdiocese of Saint Paul-Minneapolis announces synod

St. Paul, Minn., Jun 7, 2019 / 06:04 pm (CNA).- Minnesota’s largest diocese will hold a synod— a meeting designed to help the bishop shepherd his local flock— during Pentecost Weekend 2021, Archbishop Bernard Hebda announced yesterday. It will be the…Continue Reading

Jerry Falwell, Jr., Rev. Kevin Cusick and the Satanic War Against Sex

Some entity or other doesn’t want me writing. First, my carpal tunnel has flared up something fierce. It hurts me to pet the beagles, much less to peel them off the dirty plates they’re licking inside the dishwasher. My favorite…Continue Reading

Biden Buckles, Flips on Hyde Amendment Under Pressure From Democrats

Former Vice President Joe Biden reversed his position on the Hyde Amendment Thursday after facing intense backlash from within his own party. Biden, while speaking in Atlanta, first reaffirmed his support for Roe v. Wade

Biden names pro-LGBT ‘Equality Act’ as top priority if elected

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Passing the radical pro-LGBT and pro-abortion Equality Act “will be the first thing I ask to be done” if elected president, Joe Biden said at the annual Human Rights Campaign gala Saturday. The…Continue Reading

Pontifical university bans top scholar who accused Pope Francis of heresy in open letter

ROME, May 29, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – One of the English-speaking world’s greatest living scholars of Classical philosophy was told he has been barred from all Pontifical Universities after he signed an Open Letter along with a number of prominent clergymen and scholars…Continue Reading

Pope Francis responds to heresy accusation, China concerns


Vatican City, May 29, 2019 / 10:05 am (CNA).- Pope Francis said he reacted “with a sense of humor” to the accusation of heresy made against him earlier this month. “It does not hurt me at all. Hypocrisy and lies…Continue Reading

Parish priest assails Catholic prep school’s decision to allow same-sex union announcements

The pastor of a Catholic parish in the Washington suburbs has publicly slammed the decision this month by Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School to allow announcements of same-sex unions in its magazine for graduates, calling it a scandal that was a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love


  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading


Today . . .

Archbishop Viganò clarifies points arising from new interview

ROME, June 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — In the wake of two recent pieces in the Washington Post relating to Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, an article and an extended interview (the first the archbishop has granted since his initial allegations concerning Pope Francis), renewed insinuations and smears have been directed at the former diplomat of the Holy See. In his June 10 interview, the archbishop claims that the actions so far taken against McCarrick are chiefly…Continue Reading

Pope backs carbon pricing to stem global warming and appeals to deniers

Carbon pricing, via taxes or emissions trading schemes, is used by many governments to make energy consumers pay for the costs of using the fossil fuels that contribute to global warming * Pope Francis tells top energy executives to act now * Pontiff urges world to heed scientific findings

U.S Bishops Approve the Revised Passage on the Death Penalty for the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults

BALTIMORE— The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved the revised passage on the death penalty for the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults. The full body of bishops approved the revised passage by a vote of 194 to 8 with 3 abstentions at their Spring General Assembly taking place in Baltimore, June 11-14. On August 2, 2018, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released the Holy Father’s revision to the teaching on the…Continue Reading

Democrats Fail to Get Enough Votes to Force Americans to Fund Abortions

House Democrats failed to garner enough support Monday for a measure to force American taxpayers to pay for abortions. The Washington Examiner reports the amendment came from a group of progressive Democrats who want to remove the Hyde Amendment from a Congressional spending bill. The Hyde Amendment prohibits taxpayer funding of abortions in Medicaid. The Democrats pushing the measure were U.S. Reps. Ayanna Pressley, of Massachusetts, Barbara Lee, of California, Pramila Jayapal, of Washington, Diana DeGette,…Continue Reading

Cdl Burke, Bp Schneider issue ‘declaration of truths’ to correct rampant ‘doctrinal confusion’ in Church

ROME, June 10, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Raymond Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider, together with several other bishops, have issued a public declaration of truths of the faith to remedy the “almost universal doctrinal confusion and disorientation” endangering the spiritual health and eternal salvation of souls in the Church today


Where Did The Zombie Apocalypse Come From?

By ARTHUR HIPPLER (Editor’s Note: Dr. Hippler is chairman of the religion department and teaches religion in the Upper School at Providence Academy, Plymouth, Minn.) + + + Am I the only one who has noticed the proliferation of movies and television shows about zombies? Casual browsing on Netflix reveals not only the longtime series…Continue Reading

God’s In Charge

By Fr. MICHAEL P. ORSI (Editor’s Note: A priest of the Diocese of Camden, N.J., Fr. Michael P. Orsi currently serves as parochial vicar at St. Agnes Parish in Naples, Fla. He is host of Action for Life TV, a weekly cable television series devoted to pro-life issues, and his writings appear in numerous publications…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Mediocrity Vs. The Golden Mean

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Grace and Truth: Twenty Steps to Embracing Virtue and Saving Civilization, by Fr. George W. Rutler; 145 pages, EWTN Publishing. Available from Sophia Institute,, in both print and electronic editions. Grace and Truth: Twenty Steps to Embracing Virtue and Saving Civilization, comes from televised talks which Fr. Rutler did for…Continue Reading

Floral Artist… Heads Back To U.S. Supreme Court To Protect Her Freedom

OLYMPIA — Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing floral artist Barronelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take her case after the Washington Supreme Court ruled against her on June 6. The U.S. Supreme Court vacated the state High Court’s previous ruling against Stutzman and ordered it to reconsider…Continue Reading

Canada And The Erosion Of Conscience

By DONALD DeMARCO Pro-abortionists have consistently argued that a woman should have the freedom to follow her conscience. Granted that this notion of conscience is incomplete since it may not be properly formed, nonetheless it gave pro-life people the assurance that this right to one’s conscience would protect doctors who are opposed to abortion from…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Barbarians Have Won

By DEACON JAMES H. TONER Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Deacon Toner has contributed numerous columns to The Catholic Thing, Crisis Magazine, and The Wanderer. He serves in the Diocese of Charlotte, N.C. This is a two-part article. Part one appeared in last week’s issue.) IV. The Church has long taught lex orandi, lex credendi (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church,…Continue Reading

God’s Greatest Gift To Us

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Solemnity Of Corpus Christi (YR C) Readings: Gen. 14:18-20 1 Cor. 11:23-26 Luke 9:11b-17 The Holy Eucharist is the greatest gift and the greatest treasure we possess on Earth. God has given us many great gifts, but the Eucharist is God Himself! It is such a marvelous mystery that the whole universe cannot contain God, but…Continue Reading

Latest From Fr. Cusick . . . Modesty: A Woman’s Voice

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK For readers following “the tweet hated round the world” story, more on the aftermath in this week’s column. Being removed a degree from Twitter after deactivating my personal account, and looking back at comments on the social media platform, is like being dead. People talk about me in the third person: “We miss him,” “Hope…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Commenting on the Vatican accord last year to give the Communist regime in Red China a say in the naming of new Catholic bishops, Fr. George Rutler of the Church of St. Michael in New York City offered these trenchant comments in a recent bulletin: “While the Holy See invokes two thousand years of diplomatic experience, China beats…Continue Reading

The Barbarians Have Won

By DEACON JAMES H. TONER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Deacon Toner has contributed numerous columns to The Catholic Thing, Crisis Magazine, and The Wanderer. He serves in the Diocese of Charlotte, N.C. This is a two-part article.) + + + Précis: Known as barbarians or heathens, the powerful enemies of the Church are both internal and external. There are many…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Of Anchieta

By CAROLE BRESLIN At the delta of the Benevente River on the coast of Brazil lies the city of Anchieta. With a population of 30,000, it is about 200 miles northeast of Rio de Janeiro. Famous for its long sandy beaches, Anchieta houses the Espirito Santo state government offices which overlook the Atlantic Ocean. More than four centuries old, this…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Marcellin Joseph Benedict Champagnat

By CAROLE BRESLIN The end of the 18th century in France was a time of persecution for the Catholic Church with many priests and religious driven from convents and rectories, and others put to death. As more and more priests were martyred, the Church searched for good young men to replace them. In the history of the Church, there have…Continue Reading