Thursday, April 19, 2007

Where Have You Gone Sandra?

The lone justice of the female persuasion needs you. Taking off on Res Ipsa's comment below, I have just a few thoughts about paternalism and doughy middle-aged men, which I take from Ginsburg's dissent (as quoted at balkin):

[T]he Court invokes an antiabortion shibboleth for which it concededly has no reliable evidence: Women who have abortions come to regret their choices, and consequently suffer from “[s]evere depression and loss of esteem. [Note 7, below.] Because of women'’s fragile emotional state and because of the “bond of love the mother has for her child,” the Court worries, doctors may withhold information about the nature of the intact D&E procedure. Ante, at 28–29. The solution the Court approves, then, is not to require doctors to inform women, accurately and adequately, of the different procedures and their attendant risks. Cf. Casey, 505 U. S., at 873 (plurality opinion) (“States are free to enact laws to provide a reasonable framework for a woman to make a decision that has such profound and lasting meaning.”). Instead,
the Court deprives women of the right to make an autonomous choice, even at the expense of their safety. [Footnote 9, below.]
This way of thinking reflects ancient notions about women’'s place in the family and under the Constitution— ideas that have long since been discredited. Compare, e.g., Muller v. Oregon, 208 U. S. 412, 422–-423 (1908) ("“protective "”legislation imposing hours-of-work limitations on women only held permissible in view of women’'s "“physical structure and a proper discharge of her maternal function"]”); Bradwell v. State, 16 Wall. 130, 141 (1873) (Bradley, J., concurring) ("“Man is, or should be, woman’'s protector and defender. The natural and proper timidity and delicacy which belongs to the female sex evidently unfits it for many of the occupations of civil life. . . . The paramount destiny and mission of woman are to fulfil[l] the noble and benign offices of wife and mother."”), with United States v. Virginia, 518 U. S. 515, 533, 542, n. 12 (1996) (State may not rely on "“overbroad generalizations”" about the "“talents, capacities, or preferences”" of women; "“[s]uch judgments have . . . impeded . . . women'’s progress toward full citizenship stature throughout our Nation’'s history”"); Califano v. Goldfarb, 430 U. S. 199, 207 (1977) (gender-based Social Security classification rejected because it rested on "“archaic and overbroad generalizations”" "“such as assumptions as to [women'’s] dependency”" (internal quotation marks omitted)).

Though today’'s majority may regard women’'s feelings on the matter as "“self-evident,"” ante, at 29, this Court has repeatedly confirmed that "“[t]he destiny of the woman must be shaped . . . on her own conception of her spiritual imperatives and her place in society.” Casey, 505 U. S., at 852. See also id., at 877 (plurality opinion) (“"[M]eans chosen by the State to further the interest in potential life must be calculated to inform the woman’s free choice, not hinder it."”); supra, at 3–4.

This is what we get from the diabolical Rove, from the pathetic Specter, and from the indescribably horrible Gonzalez, and other enablers of the worst president ever. But let's save our greatest thanks for an electorate that cannot understand the concept of personal liberty and civil rights until it is their own ass being probed. How does this happen? Apparently too many people watching reruns of "Ow, My Balls!" and thinking that uniform bar code tatoos for every citizen is a good idea because if you get lost then the authorities will know where to take you.

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