Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Edith Brown Clement and Abortion via ProLifeBlogs

JivenJ of Pro-Life Blogs reports that President Bush may nominate US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Edith Brown Clemente to the bench of SCOTUS. Reasonable groups such as the People for the American Way strongly oppose her. Their discomfort makes this Fool a happy man! Here's some details of the good news:
However, one ruling that should be noted is Planned Parenthood v. Sanchez, which was decided in March of 2005. In this case, the state of Texas passed a law to prevent federal family planning funds from being used to help finance abortion and entities that perform abortion. Basically, the state of Texas didn't want federal family planning dollars being used to pay for the upkeep (utilities, rent, phone bills, etc.) of entities that provide both abortion and family planning.

Planned Parenthood sued because they felt that this law 1.) "imposes an unconstitutional condition" on their eligibility for funds 2.) "imposes an unconstitutional burden on a woman's right to obtain an abortion" and 3.) "violates the Supremacy Clause..."

The district court blocked this legislation with an injunction because Judge Sam Sparks felt Rider 8 (the part dealing with abortion) blocked Planned Parenthood from creating "affiliates" who wouldn't perform abortions and could therefore receive family planning funds. The district court's decision was overturned by Judge Higginbotham's unanimous opinion (joined by James Dennis and Edith Brown Clement).
Judge Brown's decision helped the State of Texas to ensure that Planned Parenthood's affiliates could not use Federal funds for abortion. That may be a "modest victory", but it's an important one. American citizens no longer need to be party to Planned Parenthood's abortion business via their tax dollars, at least in Texas. This case opens the door for other states to follow suit. It also sends the message that the United States does not need to fund abortion. Considering the revenue Planned Parenthood gets from abortion fees, the organization does not require subsidies from taxpayers.

People for the American Way protest that Judge Clemente's dissents defy established precedents of the Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. If the Court of Appeals has decided cases like the Court of Appeals for the Nineth Circuit, then good for Judge Brown! It's about time Judge's interprete the law based on the law itself, and not on increasingly novel precedents that usurp the legislature in the name of constitutionality.

Judge Edith Brown Clemente may make a solid nominee. I'm pleased that President Bush has not succumbed to the political advice of Schuamer and Specter. He's keeping his promise thus far.