The Supremes next greatest hit will be all about late-term abortion:
The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will consider the constitutionality of banning a type of late-term abortion, teeing up a contentious issue for a newly-constituted court already in a state of flux over privacy rights.
The Bush administration has pressed the high court to reinstate the federal law, passed in 2003 but never put in effect because it was struck down by judges in California, Nebraska and New York.
The outcome will likely rest with the two men that President Bush has recently installed on the court. Justices had been split 5-4 in 2000 in striking down a state law, barring what critics call partial birth abortion because it lacked an exception to protect the health of the mother.
But Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who was the tie-breaking vote, retired late last month and was replaced by Samuel Alito. Abortion had been a major focus in the fight over Alito’s nomination because justices serve for life and he will surely help shape the court on abortion and other issues for the next generation.
Your guess is as good as mine. I do not know when the ruling will come out, but if it is before the 2006 election and the ban on late-term abortions is overturned, it could be demoralizing to the religious right. Who knows, though- they have turned every other court defeat into a rallying cry, so I don’t know what is going to happen.
Personal opinion- I have no problem banning late-term abortions, provided there is a health exception. I guess what is at question in much of this is how broad the health exception must be, which I believe was just addressed a month or two ago. If someone knows more, please fill me in.