Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Roanoke Times can't count to five

Having read this editorial, with the sub-heading "Though the GOP gubernatorial hopeful dismissed a hypothetical abortion ban as irrelevant, two high court openings may prove him wrong," plainly the eds of the RT can't count to five. As explained in last night's post, there are still five Roe supporters on the Court, even without Justice O'Connor - Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, Souter, and Kennedy.

The RT says: "Despite his ambiguity, most conservatives appear confident Roberts has left the door open to overturning the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion. With retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's seat still to be filled, a new conservative court majority could do just that." Two new justices plus Scalia and Thomas do not add up to five votes, even if it is true that the two new justices would vote against Roe if they could.

I think, as a practical matter, that the premises of Mr. Russert's question are essentially bogus - the odds are nil that the next Virginia governor will have to decide what to do if the legislature passes an outright ban on abortion, because the Supreme Court just doesn't move that fast and right now the Roe majority is not moving at all.

At least Russert acknowledged that there would have to be a third Bush appointee for there to be any chance that Roe would be overturned; the Roanoke Times did not. Shame on them for their ignorance or incompetence displayed in this editorial.

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