Gardeners of Evil

Alan Keyes

April 27, 2007


Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Gonzales v. Carhart (the case that involved a challenge to the federal law restricting so-called partial birth abortion), I received an email reporting the decision with a copy of the ruling attached. Unlike many whom the media identify as leaders in the pro-life movement, I felt no inclination to leap for joy at the news that the Court's opinion upheld the constitutionality of the law.

In the first place, I have never been convinced that the legislative action in question had much significance for the pro-life cause. I believe it was mostly intended to provide cover for pro-abortion Republican politicians, who could offer their vote for the PBA restriction as a fig leaf to cover the shame of their supposedly pro-life supporters who put partisan politics above their obligations of conscience. In the second place, it seemed unwise to react to the decision before carefully considering the argument that produced it.

Abominable affirmation

Having done so, I cannot join in, or even understand, the approbation which others have expressed for this decision. It is in fact an abominable affirmation of the Court's unconstitutional decisions in Roe and Casey. With grotesquely meticulous care, the man whose pivotal vote preserved so-called abortion rights in the Casey decision (Justice Kennedy) carves out an exception intended to prove and strengthen the rules set forth in Roe and Casey.

As my good friend Judie Brown put it recently (at a Colorado Right To Life dinner in Denver), Kennedy played the part of a skillful gardener, cutting back the evil planted by Roe/Casey in order to strengthen and extend its roots, hoping no doubt to make it harder to overturn in any subsequent ruling. While allowing for a state interest in restricting one brutal way of murdering the nascent child, he makes it clear that this restriction is tolerable under Roe/Casey only because abortionists still have access to other equally brutal modes of killing.

At one point, with what seems like dogged satisfaction, Kennedy describes such an alternative in almost clinical detail, no doubt because he knows that in doing so he implicates all the justices who join his reasoning in explicit support for the right to use this alternative to kill the child, even though it is just as horrendous as the one restricted by the "partial birth" legislation.

Arcane logic

This reminds me of the careful logic that I'm told is often characteristic of serial killers, psychopaths who follow arcane rituals in order to distinguish their killings from anything so profane as ordinary murder. In like fashion, Kennedy makes clear that the abortionists who rip the child limb from limb while it is still within the womb are doctors helping a woman to exercise her "right to choose" while those who mangle the child when it has emerged past a certain point are violators, subject to the restrictive force of law. Though the child is in principle the same person in both situations, the Court's glassy-eyed observance of its own fanatically arcane and ritualistic logic is supposed to establish some invisible line of demarcation separating one act of murder from the next.

This decision is not a harbinger of hope for an end to the Court-imposed reign of terror in the womb. It is evidence of a legal elite gone mad, hopelessly lost in the maze of its own psychopathic logic. We might think them pathetic if we did not have to live in a nation whose conscience is compromised and confused by the holocaust their insanity has unleashed.

Compromised abettors

After reading the text of the decision, my heart sank at the thought that all four of the supposedly pro-life appointees to the Court had voted to accept its lethal implication. Then I saw the saving grace of Justice Thomas's brief but clarion concurring opinion, in which he stated simply that although he voted for the decision's result, he continues to reject the Roe/Casey regime it relies upon, in the conviction that "the Court's abortion jurisprudence, including Casey and Roe v. Wade, . . . has no basis in the Constitution." Justice Scalia joined in this morally and constitutionally essential declaration.

But these two stood alone. Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito, the two G. W. Bush appointees who supposedly offer hope for an eventual return to constitutional sanity, were silent. They let the Gardener of Evil speak for them, with the clear and tragic implication that they concur in his mad, immoral effort to make Gonzales v. Carhart the exception that firmly proves and establishes the murderous rule of so-called abortion rights.

Since all things are possible with God, we must hope that events will disprove this implication. As things now stand, however, Gonzales v. Carhart offers clear evidence that G. W. Bush's appointees to the U.S. Supreme Court are the compromised abettors of unconstitutional abuse that some of us feared they might be, rather than the constituents of constitutional restoration for whom we still pray.

It points to the sobering probability that the Supreme Court now has a 7-2 majority in favor of persisting in its unconstitutional assertion of the right to murder our posterity. It confirms the truth that I have long asserted, that we cannot expect the restoration of the Constitution to come from the usurping branch of the federal government whose ambitious members have engineered its overthrow.

Ultimately up to us

If we want constitutional rule, we must act so that the other branches can unite to restore it. We must elect to Congress and the Presidency only those candidates who pledge to respect the constitutional imperative "to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity," and to abide by the oath of office that requires them to use their constitutional powers to that end.

We need representatives in Congress and the White House who will say "yes" to the Constitution and "no" to the judges and justices who discard it. And we need fervently to pray for God's help in finding the courage, discernment, and faith to be the kind of citizens who will vote for and support them, no matter what.

We will finally get the leaders America needs only when we resolve to become the citizens of conscience and principle that we ought to be. For God and our posterity, now is the time.

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