Keeping the narrative straight

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Monday’s New York Times editorial page comments on the upcoming Supreme Court term in what can only be described as ominous terms.

Most of the editorial is liberal boilerplate, advocating the respect of precedent when the precedent is liberal (partial birth abortion) and encouraging the court to be activist when the result would be supporting liberal policy goals (directing the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon dioxide).

A couple of lines, require a response.

The justices in the Supreme Court’s now solidly conservative majority …

Bwahahaha…Justice Anthony Kennedy is not solidly conservative and the Times is counting on that fact throughout the remainder of the editorial. In fact, the editorial closes this way:

But the biggest factor is likely to be Justice Anthony Kennedy, who began last term to fill Justice O’Connor’s role as a voice of moderation. We hope he continues to do so.

Well, is there a solid conservative majority or isn’t there?

Then there’s this line on the partial-birth abortion case the court will review.

The cases that have so far attracted the most attention are a pair of challenges to a federal law that criminalizes so-called partial birth abortions. The law, passed by Congress in 2003, does not have an exception for procedures necessary to protect the health of a pregnant woman. The court struck down a nearly identical ban in 2000 by the State of Nebraska. That ruling was 5 to 4, and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor — the court’s perennial swing vote before she retired — sided with the majority.

The “partial birth” cases should reveal a lot about the views of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito. If they are as hostile to abortion rights as many court watchers believe, there may now be five votes in favor of the ban, which could outlaw many second-trimester abortions and endanger the lives of women. [emphasis added]

What? The line from the pro-choice extremists throughout these debates was that the procedure described in the legislation was unnecessary because it was rarely used and only very late in pregnancy. Now it’s “many” and they’re in the second trimester? Interesting how the facts change when you’re trying to scare up support.

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