"The consciousness of good intentions disdains ambiguity. I shall not, however, multiply professions on this head. My motives must remain in the depository of my own breast. My arguments will be open to all, and may be judged of by all. They shall at least be offered in a spirit which will not disgrace the cause of truth."
-'Publius' The Federalist No. 1
Before realizing the nature of this beast, it was a personal enigma as to why the abortion issue was the preeminent issue of Democrats/liberals in the selection of nominees to our nation's highest court. However, it has become apparent as to why this issue is at the forefront every single time a vacancy arises.
Why is abortion the absolute litmus test for liberals? Out of all of the issues surrounding modern jurisprudence, of all the toils and strife this nation has endured and continues to endure in the ongoing war on terrorism, must we always fight the battle of abortion in our legal system? Is the issue of abortion that important? Why has it been so important in our judicial decisions since 1973?
Abortion's prominence directly correlates with its emotional, intimate connotations. Without delving into the issue, it is given and understood the intimate importance of pregnancy and what this event means in the lives of all of those involved. But those emotional issues should not cloud our intellect on this issue. Unfortunately, it does. Democrats of all stripes embrace this abortion-bastion as though it is a clear, black and white issue such as child molestation (dare I say murder?). Democrats go about believing the majority of Americans believe that abortion is justified in it's on-demand status. However, with a good-faith approach to this delicate issue, poll after poll illustrates that this issue is not embraced in this same light by all Americans. There is a great deal of 'gray.' Democrats/liberals tend to be dogmatic on the issue, just as there are dogmatic "pro-lifers," though I find it unfortunate that anyone somewhat against the on-demand issue, or for rolling back abortion is brandished as uncivilized with no rationale or credence given to their position. Therein lies the beauty of the abortion issue defining a nominee for liberal, most Americans wish to go about living their everyday routines and do not wish to engage the issues, to be in the trenches so to speak on political issues, then taken one step further with the intimacy of abortion, most people cringe wishing to forego the intimate aspects and the reality of what is actually being discussed. It is far easier to succumb than it is to take a position....
However, this 'gray' cannot easily be resolved, but-for an open and healthy debate amongst the citizens, not 9 individuals dressed in black robes. Personally, human life begins with conception and the basic tenets of this nation protect 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness..." However, our founders envisioned a mode by which we, as a patient, understanding nation could work together to reach resolutions on intimate, and difficult matters. Justice Scalia aptly describes what Roe v. Wade has done to our process:
"'[B]y foreclosing all democratic outlet for the deep passions this issue arouses, by banishing the issue from the political forum that gives all participants, even the losers, the satisfaction of a fair hearing and an honest fight, by continuing the imposition of a rigid national rule instead of allowing for regional differences,' the Court has profoundly disrupted the proper functioning of the American political system"
With an understanding that this 'gray' area cannot easily be resolved, would it not make more sense to subscribe to the same tenets that our founders did? Let us debate, let us petition, and then let our voice be heard. It should not be the will of nine individuals, it should be the collective will of those within a federalist system. It should not be advocated that abortion is to be overturned and banished completely. Let us restore what Roe took away, let the states on an individual basis decide.
Most importantly, let us stop engaging in an abortion debate every single time a nominee is brought forth for nomination. Is this the only issue that they will rule on or are their other matters that they will decide? The answer is contingent upon who you would ask...