Ken Connor

There they go again!

Like termites gnawing away at the foundation of a building, judicial activists are eating away at the foundations of representative government in America. The damage they cause threatens our ability to govern ourselves through our elected representatives and reallocates the delicate balance of powers which our forefathers were careful to distribute among separate branches of government.

The most recent example of judges usurping legislative authority comes from Alaska where that state's Supreme Court, by a narrow 3-2 vote, struck down the 10 year old Parental Consent Act. The Act required girls 16 years and younger to get a parent's permission before receiving an abortion. Typically, such children can't go on a school field trip, join a sports team or attend an "R" rated movie without parental consent. Ah, but this case involved an attempt by the legislature to encroach on what the political left regards as its most sacred of rites, the right to abortion! And even though Alaska's House and Senate passed the Act by substantial majorities, it only took three paltry judges to torpedo the law. The judicial sages held that the Act encroached on a minor's "fundamental right to privacy" protected under the state's constitution. Parental rights, which the legislature sought to protect, were jettisoned by the Court. The Court held that a minor's decision to abort, unlike all other medical decisions, cannot be hindered by a parental "veto power."

Never mind that Alaska's constitution doesn't mention the right to an abortion anywhere in its text. And never mind that the U.S. Supreme Court (comprised of a majority of judicial activists who genuflect at the altar of abortion) has approved parental consent statutes in other states. Of course, it is the parents of the minor child—not the judges of Alaska's Supreme Court—that will have to deal with the emotional and physical trauma of the child's decision to kill the baby resident within her womb. And—God forbid—if the procedure goes awry, it is the parents, not the judges, who will have to pay the medical bills for the costs of correcting the error. Nonetheless, the right to abort—even by a child who has barely reached estrus—trumps all. And it is not to be encroached without undergoing strict scrutiny by the high priests of radical feminism.

These potentates of privacy have incredible powers of divination. They are capable of discovering "emanations from penumbras" that are invisible to legislators and executives. They discern meanings in words that are incomprehensible to other readers. Indeed, they have the capacity to infuse words with new meanings that would boggle the mind of any linguist.

Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.