“Liberty and Justice for All”: Roe v. Wade’s Betrayal | Jim Graves | Catholic World Report
Robert P. George on Roe’s cultural and legal legacy, 40 years and 50 million lives later
Robert P. George, 57, a Roman Catholic and a professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University, has long been a respected intellectual and defender of natural law. He served on the drafting committee of the 2009 Manhattan Declaration, which defended the sanctity of human life, traditional marriage, and religious liberty, and was signed by more than 150 prominent Christian leaders. He has been outspoken in defense of the unborn and traditional marriage, and has influenced many well-known political leaders. The New York Times has dubbed him “the reigning brain of the Christian right”; Archbishop of Newark John Myers describes him as “the pre-eminent Catholic intellectual.”
In a recent interview with CWR, he shared his thoughts on the infamous Roe v. Wade decision, which struck down the nation’s abortion laws. The 40th anniversary of the decision is January 22, 2013.
CWR: As we mark the 40th anniversary of Roe, what is your opinion of the decision and how firmly entrenched is it in the legal community’s thinking?
George: Roe has never been accepted by the American people as a whole as a valid constitutional decision. It is widely regarded, even among liberal academics, as poorly reasoned—at best. Many scholars and others (including more than a few who are not pro-life in their moral and political convictions) regard it as a glaring (and even embarrassing) example of the judicial usurpation of authority left by the Constitution in the hands of the people and their elected representatives. Even Roe’s diehard supporters tend to defend it on the grounds that it is an “established precedent,” not on the grounds that it is correct as a matter of constitutional interpretation.
CWR: Do you think there is a possibility of overturning Roe and sending the abortion issue back to the states?
George: Yes, but it will entirely depend on the election of a Republican president in 2016. President Obama’s appointees, present and future, will vote to uphold Roe. They will not have very good arguments for doing so, but they will do it. I believe that currently four justices on the Supreme Court would overturn Roe if given the opportunity. If none of these justices retires or dies during the second Obama term, and if the next president is a Republican who nominates a faithful constitutionalist judge to replace one of the current pro-Roe justices, then Roe would finally go the way of Plessy v. Ferguson [the 1896 US Supreme Court decision that upheld state laws requiring racial segregation in public facilities; it established the so-called “separate but equal” principle] and other shameful decisions that blot the Supreme Court’s historical record.
CWR: In the years since you began publicly supporting the pro-life cause, how has the debate over abortion changed?Continue reading at www.CatholicWorldReport.com.