The Kansas Supreme Court’s recent Hodes & Nauser abortion decision, finding the right to abortion in our Kansas constitution, resulted in many changes — some ironic, and others alarming. The court ironically found the right to an abortion in the state constitution sentence that guarantees the right to life, Section One of the Kansas Bill of Rights. Section One reads: All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The court said this sentence grants substantive rights including the right to abortion. The court didn’t comment on the irony of finding the right to abortion in the same sentence that contains the right to life.
The Hodes & Nauser decision is part of an alarming legal fad that Judges are not limited by the actual words used by our founders in the constitution. No, now they call the constitution a living breathing document, which can be changed occasionally by their decree. The courts traditionally have been umpires and not lawmakers staying away from making policy. Since the early days of the republic, courts claimed the right to declare statutes unconstitutional, however, the courts were limited to the words of the constitution. In the past Judges saw that their primary duty, in deciding constitutional challenges to statutes, was to look at the intention of the makers and adopters of the constitutional provisions. Now it has become very fashionable to see the constitution as more flexible providing grounds for the courts to be more in tune with what they call the general march of progress.
Understanding the constitution as a living breathing document allows the courts to give new meaning to old words and find new rights, like the right to abortion. This new approach, explained by one of our Court of Appeals Judges, now allows them to “… go well beyond the apparent intent of its framers.” Other more conservative judges say Article 14 provides a process for the people to amend the Constitution, and there is no provision for change by judicial decree. Now unelected judges in black robes declare they will keep in step with the general march of progress, and in their words, breathe life into a lifeless document. It’s both Ironic and alarming they bring life to a dead document while bringing death by dismemberment to our live unborn boys and girls. This new fashion comes at too a high price.
In response to the court’s abortion decision actions, a new grassroots group has started called Save The Babies. You can find the group on Facebook at @SaveTheBabies.Life where they explain the court’s abortion decision, why you should be alarmed, and what you can do about it. You can get updates from the group by texting SAVETHEBABIES to 22828.
–Joe Patton | Special to the Metro Voice