Supreme Court has avoided taking a clear stand on abortion. In 2007 the Court ruled in Gonzales v. Carhart that the federal government could limit "partial birth abortions" and in 2008 it refused to hear cases that had overturned state laws prohibiting women prisoners' right to abortions. In neither case did the court rule on the central issues of whether Roe v. Wade the 1973 case that established a woman's right to abortion.
Right to choose advocates have been concerned that Justice Samuel Alito will provide the swing vote against Roe v. Wade, a precedent that has been upheld in a number of 5 to 4 rulings with Sandra Day O'Connor, whose place Alito took on the Court, providing the margin of victory.Yet, if Justice Alito's hearings before the Senate indicate his judicial temperament, it is clear that he not given to rash or bold jurisprudence. He may become convinced that overturning a long-standing precedent, especially one that has so influenced public policy as Roe, is an imprudent exercise of judicial authority.
If Justice Alito considers the long-term health of the nation's political institutions, however, his choice is clear. He should vote to overrule Roe.There is a great deal of confusion associated with Roe. Many people believe that by reversing Roe the Supreme Court would ban abortion. But, in fact, overturning Roe would merely give state legislatures, governors, and ultimately the people themselves responsibility for deciding the abortion issue.
Giving voters choice on abortion would mean that the complex system of decision-making best described by James Madison and ultimately instituted in the United Sates would come into play. According to Madison partisan groups or factions must seek to convince and attract the public if they wish to have their policies adopted. If a faction becomes too adamant or confrontational, it may cause a backlash and alienate public opinion rather attract it to the cause. Blowing up buildings or...