Federalism? We Don’t Need No Steenking Federalism

Kos is rerunning a post from this past weekend because, as he said, he thinks it is very important. I do too, so I’m posting it, too.

Schiavo, Roe and Federalism by Armando
The Decembrist asks this question:
[T]his post from the American Constitution Society blog seemed worth noting:
If Roe Falls, Would the “Culture of Life” Trump Federalism Yet Again? by Sarah C. von der Lippe
Republicans acknowledged that the intervention was a departure from their usual support for states’ rights. But they said their views about the sanctity life trumped their views about federalism. (“Congress Steps In on Schiavo Case, Lawmakers to Pass Bill to Resume Feeding, Allow Court Review”, By Mike Allen and Manuel Roig-Franzia, Washington Post Staff Writers, Sunday, March 20, 2005; Page A01)
This piece of reporting highlights a terribly important bit of legal hypocrisy on the part of right-wing conservatives. Everytime they call for appointment of judges to the Supreme Court who will overrule or undermine Roe v. Wade, they assert that the matter should be left to the states. They assert that even if Roe v. Wade is overturned, it won’t eliminate abortion in the states in which the duly elected state representatives do not take steps to outlaw the practice. But the Schiavo case reveals the true priorities of the right: they are happy to abandon the principles of federalism if the issue is related to questions of “life.” . . . The actions of conservatives in the context of the Terri Schiavo case should give us pause as Bush nominates new justices to the Supreme Court — especially, given conservatives’ admitted goal of denying women’s constitutional right to privacy and reproductive choice.
Good question.

And the question answers itself. Of course federalism, or any other so-called “Conservative” principle, will be overthrown for political expedience. How could anyone doubt it? There is not a principle Republicans won’t shred, an ethic they won’t flout, an action they won’t take – to serve the wishes of the Extreme Right Wing of this Extreme Republican Party.

I suppose that I already knew the answer to the question, but it is still alarming to see it, because it reinforces the fact that we are in uncharted territory. None of the safeguards or the old arguments that have worked in the past are going to work now. There is only one thing that can stop the onslaught – the courts. That’s why Reid must be ready for the fight of his and our lives on Bush’s judicial nominees.