Thursday, December 29, 2011

Paul Danger

There are a lot of reasons to oppose Ron Paul, chief among them that he's an adherent of the naive and dangerous theory of libertarianism.         Ed Brayton has found a new one.

Representatives Paul and Ted Poe (R-NC) have sponsored the We the People Act, which requires that the U.S. Supreme Court and each federal court

(1) shall not adjudicate– (A) any claim involving the laws, regulations, or policies of any State or unit of local government relating to the free exercise or establishment of religion; (B) any claim based upon the right of privacy, including any such claim related to any issue of sexual practices, orientation, or reproduction; or (C) 

any claim based upon equal protection of the laws to the extent such claim is based upon the right to marry without regard to sex or sexual orientation; and (2) shall not rely on any judicial decision involving any issue referred to in paragraph (1)

Section 7 of the bill stipulates "Any decision of a Federal court, to the extent that the decision relates to an issue removed from Federal jurisdiction under section 3, is not binding precedent on any State court."    

Brayton concludes, therefore,

This would reverse not only Roe v Wade but Griswold v Connecticut and Lawrence v Texas and every other ruling related to a right to privacy as well. That means the states could once again outlaw homosexuality and the use of contraception (and if you don’t think there are powerful political interests that favor doing both of those things, you haven’t been paying attention). It erases virtually every single church/state ruling in the last century, allowing public schools to once again force students to read the Bible aloud and to recite state-composed and mandated prayers.

The Court's 1965 ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut overturned a state law which criminalized the encouragement or use of contraception and established and determined that a state's prohibition on the use of contraceptives violated the right to marital privacy.      But new initiatives are under way.       Included are "personhood amendments," one of which was Measure 26, thankfully defeated in November by Mississippi voters, which would have amended the state's constitution to read "The term 'person' or 'persons' shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof." This initiative shall not require any additional revenue for implementation."      

Nevertheless, similar measures are being readied for ballot approval next November in Florida, Montana, Ohio, and Oregon.        Prior to the vote in Mississippi, Personhood amendment Walter Hoye conceded to NPR's Diane Rehm the chilling affect passage would have had on use of birth control:

HOYE: Any birth control that ends the life of a human being will be impacted by this measure.

REHM: So that would then include the IUD [intra-uterine device]. What about the birth control pill?

HOYE: If that falls into the same category, yes.

REHM: So you’re saying that the birth control pill could be considered as taking the life of a human being?

HOYE: I’m saying that once the egg and the oocyte come together and you have that single-celled embryo, at that point you have human life, you’ve got a human being and we’re taking the life of a human being with some forms of birth control and if birth control falls into that category, yes I am.

Ron Paul has been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives approximately 23 years (1977-1984; 1996-present) and thus ought to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate. And though the GOP establishment would rise up to prevent his nomination if it appeared a realistic possibility, polls in Iowa confirm that he might well win that caucus.       He should, then, be treated very seriously as apresidential contender.        And if his extremist views and their implications were well known, perhaps even Republican voters will realize just how much a radical he is.

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