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Saturday, May 6, 2017

New York's Attorney General Rewrites The Constitution

The Attorney General of the state of New York, Eric Schneiderman has always been guided by politics and rather idiotic as well.  Now, however, he has outdone himself.  He is threatening a suit against the just-passed bill to repeal and replace Obamacare as unconstitutional.  His reasoning (if you can call it that) is that the effect of the bill is to reduce funding for Planned Parenthood, so that threatens women's constitutional right to an abortion that was announced in Roe v Wade.  He also finds a provision in the bill unconstitutional which allows counties in New York to opt out of funding increased Medicaid costs.

I'm not familiar with the section regarding NY counties.  I tend to doubt that Schneiderman is either, given his past legal stances.  We can leave that for later.  Let's look, however, at the AG's view of funding for Planned Parenthood.  His argument is that Congress is required by the Constitution to fund a private organization, Planned Parenthood, in order to effectuate freedom of choice.  Think about that and you will quickly see it is a ridiculous position.  First, imagine we were discussing another right that is clearly covered by the Constitution:  freedom of religion.  Would Schneiderman argue that Congress has to subsidize churches, synagogues and mosques so that Americans can exercise their right to free exercise of religion?  Certainly not.  Would Schneiderman argue that Congress has to subsidize the purchase of guns to effectuate the right of each citizen to bear arms under the Second Amendment?  NOPE.  In other words, there is no requirement that Congress fund people or organizations of any sort.  What Congress decides to fund is up to Congress.  Second, the right of women to chose abortion is not in the Constitution.  What the Supreme Court has found in all of its decisions is a negative right, in other words, a prohibition against the government banning or limiting abortion depending on the circumstances.  That ban does not require Congress to pay for abortions.  Indeed, it could be more easily argued that by funding Planned Parenthood in the past, Congress has promoted abortion and thereby affected the right of women to choose not to have abortions. 

I wonder if Eric Schneiderman actually thinks his position has merit.  If so, he is a moron.  If not he is a demagogue.  That's some choice!

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