Sunday, December 16, 2007

Rudy Cutting Back in NH; Not So Good

From a Politico update from New Hampshire:

Yesterday, Giuliani made a symbolic statement that he and his campaign think their path to victory lies not in the early January snows of New Hampshire but in sunny Florida, which holds its primary in late January.

I'm increasingly convinced that this race, or at least the sub-race to be the anti-Huckabee, will be over before Florida.

5 comments:

Alex said...

Continuing my theme of candidate bashing, I'll share thoughts on Guliani already familiar to Brian.

Why on earth would someone committed to the pro-choice position promise to appoint strict constructionist judges whom he knows will be likely to overturn Roe? The only way to make sense of that (short of an accusation of pandering that even Romney would blush at) is this: Guliani must think that Roe is morally right but legally wrong. That is, of course, totally insane.

Alex said...

. . . insane because of the particular combination of the two beliefs: 1) the moral correctness of Roe and 2) the incorrectness of Roe's legal reasoning. Either 1) or 2) by itself would not be indicative of insanity (which was not meant seriously, anyway). But in combination they are rarely espoused by the same person. I can't say I know anyone who is pro-choice who thinks that Roe was improperly decided. Then again, the diversity of political thought is an amazing thing.

Brian said...

Alex:
I'm a bit less cynical about the existence of those who think Roe was wrongly decided but who are pro-choice on policy grounds than you are. As you stated in your second comment, the position that Roe is bad law and should be overturned and the position that abortion should usually (or even always) be legal in a certain jurisdiction are not incompatible by logical necessity: the latter is a question of moral rights, the former is a question of the legal meaning of the U.S. Constitution. Indeed, though I am pro-life I believe that the moral questions surrounding abortion are much more vexing than the relatively easy legal issues at the core of Roe and Casey.
As for the matter of whether there actually are a significant number of pro-choicers out there who think Roe and Casey were wrongly decided, here we come to the point of disagreement. One of the recent developments that anti-Roe/Casey legal thinkers have lauded is the emergence of legal scholars (mostly on the left) who favor easy access to abortion as a matter of policy but believe that Roe was wrong on the law. Considering the incredible weakness of the reasoning in Roe, should we really be surprised that many people of good faith on the other side of the policy issues would agree with us that Roe is nonsense? (Alas, many of those I refer to have not yet rejected Casey, but the trend is in our direction there as well.)
From a personal standpoint, I have encountered more than one person who held pro-choice policy views but who was, at least, deeply ambivalent about the legal merits of Roe (including one law professor who I won't name for his own good). When it comes to privacy and reproductive legal rights, I apply the principle stated so well in Justice Holmes' Lochner dissent: the Constitution was made for people of divergent views and does not enact any broad theory of social or economic governance. I welcome as allies those who agree with me about that in the legal context surrounding abortion, though we may stridently disagree about the policy merits involved.
In sum, I respectfully dissent.

Alex said...

Your post is well taken, Brian, but I'd ask you this: would someone who is pro-choice take the affirmative stems of reversing Roe that Guliani says he'll take? (Of course, appointments often backfire, but Guliani promises to appoint a "constructionist" -- code for someone who will vote with Scalia and Thomas). Does he really think that the right to privacy is not so expansive as Roe made it out to be? Maybe he is *so* principled that he will agree to erase all favorable legal results and redo them his way. (That's not entirely sarcastic: his response in one of the debates about the line item veto in the New York case was fairly impressive).

Brian said...

Alex:

My short answer to your questions is that I hope so and I think so.

My slightly longer answer is that Giuliani's background as a Reagan official and U.S. Attorney who worked with and among "strict constructionists" (I continue to use that badly indescriptive term because I've haven't seen one better yet) and the assurances of other verified strict constructionists (like Ted Olson)that Giuliani is "one of us" help assuage my concerns.