Anthony Kennedy on abortion: steady as Jell-O

This fall the U.S. Supreme Court will be tackling partial birth abortion again. Two cases overturning the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 will get a final hearing, and we’ll get to see where our two newest Justices stand on abortion. SCOTUSblog has posted a summary of what’s in dispute. I dug up the published opinions from both Courts of Appeals, so you don’t have to rely on the mainstream media to tell you what’s in them (both are Adobe PDF files):

8th Circuit:
Gonzales v. Carhart
9th Circuit:
Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood
(Kook Warning: this is a Judge Reinhardt opinion!)

Here’s the conventional wisdom on who supports the ban on partial birth abortions:

SCOTUS vote prediction

Kennedy is the wild card here. While he’s pro-abortion in general, he joined the conservatives in the Court’s first crack at partial-birth abortion (too bad there were only three plus Kennedy, because they lost):

The Court’s decision today, in my submission, repudiates this understanding by invalidating a statute advancing critical state interests, even though the law denies no woman the right to choose an abortion and places no undue burden upon the right. The legislation is well within the State’s competence to enact.

Justice Kennedy, dissenting
Stenberg v. Carhart

Kennedy’s dissent encourages pro-lifers and hints that he might join the conservatives again this time around. Unfortunately, it was also written six years ago. Kennedy has been sliding steadily leftward during his tenure on the Court, and it’s anybody’s guess how much “evolving” or “growing” he’s done since 2000. With Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s retirement, he has assumed the role of the swing voter, and that kind of power is very seductive to any Justice with no discernable judicial philosophy.
There’s plenty of reason to worry. In an abortion case eight years before he confronted partial-birth abortion, Kennedy penned this doozy:

At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.

The man’s unpredictable. He overturned a state constitutional amendment denying special rights for homosexuals because he deemed it “inexplicable by anything but animus.” Magic 8-ballHe overturned an anti-sodomy law. He agreed with Justice Scalia that juveniles should be eligible for the death penalty … but then he flip-flopped. He opposed the McCain/Feingold muzzle on free speech. He supported government redistribution of private property. He opposed a federal anti-gun-possession law. He supported ending the Florida recount in the 2000 presidential election. He upheld Oregon’s institution of doctor-assisted suicide.
Enough! My brain hurts. If anyone can assemble Kennedy’s opinions into a coherent judicial philosophy, it’ll be news to me. For all we know he uses a ouija board to help him decide.
So will Anthony Kennedy object to infanticide again? I can’t shake the sinking feeling that it all depends on how much his wife values those cocktail party invitations from Washington’s liberal “in crowd.”

Moonbat mating call

President Bush is coming here to the Cleveland area on the day after tomorrow, and the liberal barking moonbats are putting out the call to gather and agitate. Both the abortion industry and organized labor are running this show. In a blatant case of psychological projection, the moonbats have named Saturday’s protest the “Flip-Flop Forum.”

From: Debbie Kline [debbiekline@ppao.org]
Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2004 9:28 AM
To: Debbie Kline
Subject: Anti-Bush Rally we need your help!
Planned Parenthood will be participating in this event and would like to have a nice sized turnout of Planned Parenthood volunteers. Please let me know if you would be interested in attending because the location of this event has changed a couple of times. You can either email or call me at the phone number below. The organizers will be sending out a final email on Friday so I will pass the information on to you.
I look forward to seeing you there! Thank you!
Debbie Kline, Field Coordinator
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Ohio
216-695-7657
debbiekline@ppao.org

From: John Gallo [jgallo@clevelandaflcio.org]
Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2004 5:41 PM
To: John Gallo
Subject: Anti-Bush Rally this Saturday
The Rapid Response Network, a coalition of many organizations and leaders, is calling upon all people who oppose the policies of President Bush and want to see him retire in November to join together for a media action and rally.
When: Saturday, August 4,2004
Time: 8:00 AM
Where: Brecksville-Broadview Hts. High School, 6380 Mill Rd. in Brecksville.

George W. Bush will be speaking at the Brecksville-Broadview Hts. High School this Saturday at what is being billed as an oportunity to ask questions of the president.
Instead of attending this staged indoor event, we will hold an outdoor event called the “Bush Flip-Flop Forum.” With serious humor, we will have real people asking a fake president real questions about the war and terrorism, education and issues affecting working people, and hearing the answers from Fip and Flop, the two faces of Dubya.
We know 8 AM is a crazy hour for a media event/rally. But with only two months before Election Day, we must use every opportunity we get to get our message out.
We will send a final e-mail on Friday.

Come see the moonbats flocking, and bring a camera! Here are the directions.

Forecast: partly cloudy with TRO flurries

Now that the Unborn Victims of Violence Act is in effect, watch the news over the next few days and you’ll likely see some pro-abortion activist request a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against enforcing it.
The abortion industry plaintiffs (The National Abortion Federation, Planned Parenthood, and the ghoulish Dr. Leroy Carhart) got a TRO within hours of the enactment of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 (eventually they got three of ’em). They feared that public support of the ban was too strong to resist, and that posed a thorny problem. Solution? Shop around for a sympathetic federal judge with an itchy trigger finger, and bang! Keep those suction tubes a-hummin’ during the trials!
Now the abortion industry confronts a law that recognizes the personhood of the unborn, and they can read the writing on the wall. If they don’t gut this bill, the will of the people might actually be preserved … and that hurts the abortionists’ bottom line.
Watch this site and the plaintiffs’ Federal Abortion Ban Trials site for breaking news on the coming legal smackdown.