In predictable fashion, the pro-abortion forces have found judges who say that despite the will of the American public and of the Legislative and Executive branches of government to ban partial-birth abortion, this procedure must be allowed to continue.
The courts that have made these judgments have done so based on the absence of a health exception in the legislation. Yet they pay no reverence to the fact-finding powers of the United States Congress, which did not ignore the issue of a health exception, but after many years of investigation and testimony, with far more fact-finding resources than any court system has, and many more hearings and deliberations, reached the carefully considered conclusion that this procedure is never necessary for a woman’s health.
The Congress does not overstep its bounds here. It is quite aware of the Supreme Court’s rulings. It is also aware of the fact that we have three branches of government, not one, and that each is capable of interpreting and defending the Constitution.
Along with the efforts that will be made to defend the ban in the courts, renewed efforts need to be made on the part of all Americans to understand, appreciate, and assert the authority of the legislative branch of government, and re-establish a true balance of powers, taking away from the courts, if necessary, jurisdiction over certain critical issues on which they have blatantly contradicted the will of the American people.
Alexander Hamilton and others, in fact, wrote at the founding of our country that judges who neglected the rightful authority of the Legislature, and the will of the people, deserved impeachment.
President Andrew Jackson summed up the balance of powers issue when he wrote, “Each public officer who takes an oath to support the Constitution swears that he will support it as he understands it, and not as it is understood by others…. The opinion of the judges has no more authority over the Congress than the opinion of Congress has over the judges, and on that point the President is independent of both.”
The last forty years have seen an amazing and growing display of judicial arrogance, and it continues to intensify. It was the Courts, not the people, which took prayer and Bible reading out of public schools. It was the Courts, not the people, which legalized the killing of unborn children. It is the Courts, not the people, who refuse to prohibit partial-birth abortion. It was the Courts, not the people, which could not endure a monument of the Ten Commandments in the Alabama Supreme Court. And it is now the Courts, not the people, which are questioning the very nature of marriage.
It is time for action. Let your elected representatives in Congress know that you want the legislature to assert its authority more vigorously. Let your Senators know that you want them to confirm judges who realize the limits of judicial authority. Help everyone within your reach understand these critical problems and their solution. And in 2004, vote accordingly!
Fr. Pavone is the Founding Director of Priests for Life. You may contact Priests for Life at PO Box 141172, Staten Island, NY 10314; Tel: 888-PFL-3448 or 718-980-4400; Fax: 718-980-6515; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: www.priestsforlife.org.