Supreme Court Justice Says Abortion, Assisted Suicide Not Court Issues

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 30, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Supreme Court Justice Says Abortion, Assisted Suicide Not Court Issues Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 30, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Echoing the concerns of pro-life advocates who say the nation’s high court wrongly decided the issue of abortion more than thirty years ago, Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia on Tuesday said issues such as abortion and assisted suicide shouldn’t be decided for the entire country by a few unelected judges.

Justice Scalia spoke at Harvard University on Tuesday and, according to an Associated Press report, said that the Supreme Court’s "abstract moralizing" has led to chaos in the American justice system and given judges too much power.

Issues such as abortion and assisted suicide, Scalia said, are "too fundamental" to be decided by the courts. They are better left to the American people to be decided through their representatives at the legislative level.

"What I am questioning is the propriety, indeed the sanity, of having value-laden decisions such as these made for the entire society … by judges," Scalia said, according to the AP report.

"The court has taken sides in the culture war," Scalia said.

Scalia has frequently dissented in recent abortion cases, including the 2000 decision that overturned a Nebraska ban on partial-birth abortions.

The debate over the role of the Supreme Court and what kind of people should be appointed to it is a key battle in the presidential election.

The next president could have the power to determine whether abortion will remain legal for the next 30 years by appointing as many as four new Supreme Court justices and elevate one of the high court’s members to the Chief Justice position.

Associate Judges Sandra Day O’Connor, John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who back abortion, and pro-life Chief Justice William Rehnquist are all considered likely retirees over the next few years.