By Dan Carlson
Columnist Prairie Ponderings 

Everyone Please Calm Down

 

September 30, 2020

The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg (RGB) earlier this month and President Trump’s subsequent nomination of Amy Coney Barrett (ACB) to fill her seat has set in motion a chain of events some speculate could lead to another American civil war.

The level of hatred being flung at ACB before she even has a chance to field questions from concerned citizens and senators is yet another example of collectivist wrath and judgment in a “guilt by association” context.

ACB isn’t Catholic in name only. She sincerely believes Catholic doctrine, lives out Church teachings and, by all accounts thus far, has lived an exemplary life marked by devotion to God, family and community service. Would that we all were as righteous. But before a single case is heard by her as a SCOTUS justice, critics wail at the anticipated outcome.

Dire predictions of how this strong, intelligent, consummate professional and mom of seven will transform American society for the worse are flooding the airwaves and internet, coming from many of the same people who, for years, have cautioned us not to judge others rashly.


The fear of many is that ACB will vote to overturn the landmark SCOTUS 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that found constitutional grounds for pregnant women to have abortions without government interference. That ruling has been a legal firewall preventing states and smaller jurisdictions from restricting abortion. While ACB has written in the past that she is personally pro-life, she has also written a justice should not allow personal opinions to affect interpretation of the law. To oppose her nomination for fear of a Roe reversal is to call her a liar without cause.


It’s important to understand that IF Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, nothing would change the next morning. All such a ruling would do is to put the matter back into jurisdiction of the states. There would be states that would then seek to outlaw abortions, while others would seek to make them readily accessible.

Both efforts would have to wait for the next session of state legislatures for bills to be introduced, and those would go through a legislative process and debate before passage. Some states may even opt to kick the matter down to the county or town level where local jurisdictions could pass ordinances allowing or outlawing abortion within their boundaries – a scenario that ultimately may be the most fair and acceptable resolution. In any case, have no doubt women wanting abortions will have access to a medical facility that offers them. Some may have to drive a bit farther, but the procedure will be available.


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Having ACB on the court will not be bring into existence the apocalyptic “Handmaid’s Tale” society many fear. Yes, SCOTUS may rule more conservatively on upcoming cases than some would like, but America has survived periods of liberal dominance of the court and can survive a few years of conservative dominance.

Please don’t let shrill voices on either side elevate your blood pressure and suck you into the rage maelstrom permeating our cultural landscape. Everyone please take a deep breath and calm down.

 

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