The dissent of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the Supreme Court’s Gonzales v. Carhart decision on Wednesday rests upon the sheer ruthlessness of modern feminism. Not a word of concern is spoken in her dissent of the barbaric dismembering of the unborn child that partial-birth abortion entails. The child’s "health" is simply not to be mentioned.
Cut through all the pretentious padding and legal mumbo-jumbo and Ginsburg’s dissent amounts to this: abortion is the sacred foundation of feminism, and Americans must never touch it; if this means permitting the skulls of unborn children to be crushed, oh well.
"Women it is now acknowledged have the talent, capacity and right ‘to participate equally in the economic and social life of the nation,’" she writes, invoking the earlier Casey decision. "Their ability to realize this full potential, the Court recognized, is ultimately connected to ‘their ability to control their reproductive lives.’"
In other words, abortion is essential to obliterating differences between the sexes by emancipating women from nature so that they are the same as men ("equality," under liberalism, means making men and women the same not in dignity, but the same in all respects, no matter how irrational the results this understanding of equality produces). And access to abortion is essential to eliminating children as hindrances to careers — or as Ginsburg says, "equal citzenship stature."
On nothing more than her personal say-so, she in effect says that the organizing principle of the Constitution should be the modern liberal account of life which places feminism at its center. That ideology, not the document the Founders wrote, should determine what laws the people can and can’t pass. She speaks scathingly of "ancient" principles, as if simply using the word "ancient" suffices as an argument-ending proof. But truly “ancient” principles were – to put it mildly – much less protective of women than America’s Constitution.
What’s good for feminism is constitutional; what’s bad for feminism is unconstitutional. That’s Ginsburg’s jurisprudential principle. She complains of the majority relying upon an "anti-abortion shibboleth," namely, that abortion harms the mental health of women. But she allows herself a tissue of pro-abortion shibboleths. In a footnote, she reassures the nation that abortion is no more harmful to a woman than "parenting" a child "that she did not intend to have."
On display in Ginsberg’s dissent is a lavish and hypocritical deference to stare decisis, which translates as: rulings I and my liberal cohorts didn’t overturn. The willfulness of her dissent invites the question: Why are her assertions normative and her predecessors’ or dissenting colleagues’ not? If she doesn’t have to listen to the Framers and can dismiss their ideas as "ancient," why do we have to listen to hers?
Once again, liberal justices demand attention to their authority even as they sandblast the document that gives them that authority. Her references to the "Constitution" or "Court" are simply synonymous with her own will and ideology. Why can’t the people pass laws against ghoulish abortion procedures? Because the Founding Fathers wrote a document saying that they couldn’t? No, just because she happens to like a few previous rulings which touted feminism and opined that any law which interferes with feminist ideology should be regarded as unconstitutional.
Referring to a previous ruling, she lays this down as a jurisprudential principle: "the destiny of the woman must be shaped …on her own conception of her spiritual imperatives and her place in society." Elsewhere, she refers to "women’s autonomy." Where in the Constitution are these established as tests of constitutionality? Nowhere. But no matter: if she calls these concepts the "rule of law" or "fundamental rights," then they must be.
Ginsburg’s ideology (for that is what it is, not jurisprudence) is so dogmatic that in Wednesday’s dissent, she objects to the majority’s use of the word "baby" for fetus and "abortion doctors" for ob-gyns who perform partial-birth abortions.
Though always ready to disregard previous rulings which don’t correspond to her will, she accuses the majority of doing the same. Concluding her dissent, she says "they are engaged in an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this Court — and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women’s lives."
Reading Ginsburg is painful. But how much more painful will it be if our next president is someone who will appoint more just like her to the Supreme Court?