Rule of Law and Roe

There’s a Letter to the Editor in a recent Wall Street Journal that “explains” why his DAGA organization is against Pro-Life Attorneys General.  The man’s letter centers on the proposition that

Roe v Wade is settled law.

Wow. The hysteria is strong in this one. Of course, no law is “settled.” Not even our Constitution, in which Sean Rankin, the letter-writer, so piously cloaked himself, is settled; that’s clear in and from the existence of Article V and all those Amendments.

Regarding the relationship between AGs and the rule of law—absolutely, upholding the rule of law is the core of their role. Notice that, though: their role, their duty, is to uphold the rule of law, not blindly uphold any particular law—because no particular law is settled.  With respect to the present case, a subset of the rule of law is supporting the universal and inalienable law of the right to life of babies.

What Rankin also so carefully ignored is that Roe was a technologically oriented ruling, based entirely on the viability of the fetus outside the womb. Roe suggested, those decades ago, that the threshold for viability was the start of the third trimester. Medical technology advances have pushed that threshold sharply earlier in pregnancy. Defending additional restrictions on abortion, protecting babies’ lives, easily can be done from within Roe.

Beyond that, upholding the rule of law also includes challenging any particular law when facts come to light that alter, if not outright obviate, the conditions under which that law was written.  That includes challenging Roe.

Pro-Life AGs do far more for upholding rule of law than does any “settled law” AG; the latter obliviously puts laws above the rule of law.

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