Today there will be a good deal of cluck clucking about Roe v Wade, on both sides of the issue. In the end, it will be much ado about nothing.
Roe is a political football. The Democrats try to win elections and collect campaign donations to protect Roe while the Republicans work the other side of the fence. Both are equally cynical.
No one, including the evangelicals, is serious about changing it. If they were, you would see published somewhere a road map, a long term plan leading to the extinction of that unconstitutional ruling. The plan would have to be a secular plan, not a religious plan. In fact, it could have no hint of religion.
While the Roe outcome revolts the religious, it was created in a secular, values free legal environment that the religious had grown comfortable with, and with which the religious remain comfortable to this day.
Roe v Wade came about because of the actions of a few secular judges who were raised up in their professional life in an environment where the Constitution was not seen as democracy's shield. It had become and remains liberalism's sword. Liberals believe that the ends justify the means.
Judges, they claim, ought to be "independent." It sounds noble. What the liberals really mean is that judges should be free to be independent from the constraints of the law and the Constitution.
The religious opponents of Roe want judges appointed who will follow the law. It never occurs to them that by the time a lawyer becomes a judge, he has been immersed in an environment where the law is meaningless for 15 years or more. It is an environment where money is king, where the most celebrated lawyers with the highest income are almost always the ones with the lowest ethical standards, the ones most willing to flout the law.
The outcome is as foreseeable as if they allowed their bishops to randomly appoint their priests and preachers out of a pool of 30 year old former gang members without first weeding out those who didn't believe in God.
If a road map were to be constructed, it would start with an effort to reestablish a set of constitutional and ethical values for the legal profession. Unethical judges don't just pop out of the woodwork. They were unethical lawyers for years before they became unethical judges.
Tim Gill, the current nemeses of the Colorado Republican party, has a strategy that should be emulated. He has said about Marilyn Musgrave that it would have been easier to end her political career as a legislator than as a Congresswoman. Cheaper, too. He spent $2 million to try to end her career last year, but she won anyway.
This year, his sights appear to be on Shawn Mitchell. What will it take for him to beat Mitchell? Certainly not $2 million. Probably less than $100,000. Perhaps less than $50,000.
It is almost impossible to get rid of bad judges. In theory, though not in practice, it is easy to get rid of bad lawyers before they have a chance to become bad judges. We ought to follow the Tim Gill strategy, but we don't. We have Presidential candidates who will be seeking votes by claiming that they will only appoint judges who will follow the law. Not one has expressed an interest in seeing that lawyers are required to follow the law before they become judges.
Likewise, we have local political leaders who can't seem to see the connection between unethical lawyers and unethical judges. Last week, at least two Republican State Senators on the judiciary committee voted to confirm a former judge to the Commission on Judicial Discipline, stacking that body in a way that will make it nearly impossible to get rid of unethical judges. They claim that they oppose Roe, but they don't vote like it when they cast go along to get along votes that will keep unethical judges around.
The most vocally pro life State Senator is Dave Schultheis. Schultheis especially can't seem to see the connection between his open tolerance for unethical lawyers and their eventual promotion into the judges he claims not to like. It isn't that he can't see it. He doesn't want to see it. Recall that he is the politician most responsible for the creation of this blog, when he stuck his finger in this author's chest and said that he didn't have time to read letters on the subject of legal ethics.
Republican AG John Suthers isn't pro-life, he is pro-lawyer. When John Andrews was running Amendment 40, judicial term limits, which wouldn't have gotten rid of the bad judges but would have limited their service, what Republican lent his office's prestige to the opposition? Why, if he is pro life, did he recently rule that the Commission on Judicial Discipline could have five judges on it out of ten members? Why is he so willing to protect the state court administrator and perhaps the Chief Justice from an obstruction of justice investigation with a cone of silence?
The Gazette editors are about as flaky and inconsistent as it is possible to get. They are not above promoting unconstitutional overreach by judges when it suits their purposes as when they are promoting judicial inquiries into Guantanamo or NSA. At the same time they publicly loathe Roe, the grandest overreach of them all. Since they have no interest in publishing any story that reflects poorly on the judiciary or the legal profession, it is easy to conclude that they have no interest in seeing Roe go away.
We could go on. There are many, many local examples. We have probably made our point. No road map to get rid of Roe has ever been mapped out. When it is, it will go through the legal ethics system. When the Pro Life community begins to demand an ethical legal profession, it will eventually get ethical judges who can't have spent their first 15 years out of law school figuring out how to beat the law and the Constitution. If they try, they will have lost their license.
Until that happens Pro Lifers may as well suck it up because Roe v Wade will never go away.
***For the record, this author is a secular opponent of Roe, not a religious opponent, but most regular readers already knew that.