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Old Nov 17, 2012, 10:29 AM   #1
PracticalMac
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Being Anti-Abortion undermining Republican party?

My question is not the arguments, but a fundamental issue.

If the Republicans champion small government and individual (and state) rights, isn't the very act of championing an Abortion ban completely undermines the platform they promote?

(They also refer strongly to religious reasons on why to ban abortion, but Amendment 1 clearly states separation of religion in politics, but its vagueness leaves some wiggle room)
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 10:31 AM   #2
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I agree with you PracticalMac but no party is ideologically consistent

"If the Republicans champion small government and individual (and state) rights, isn't the very act of championing an Abortion ban completely undermines the platform they promote?"

By the same line of argument, the Democrats championing personal liberty and the individual choices should champion economic freedom.

How I wish the libertarian wing of the Republican party would make a comeback!
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 11:03 AM   #3
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I really think it is. Not because of any libertarian issues but because people are fed up with the battles and it has come to be viewed as a necessary evil. The group that is battling it the strongest is also the group that is shrinking the fastest. Old While Males.
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 11:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by KirkL View Post
I agree with you PracticalMac but no party is ideologically consistent

"If the Republicans champion small government and individual (and state) rights, isn't the very act of championing an Abortion ban completely undermines the platform they promote?"

By the same line of argument, the Democrats championing personal liberty and the individual choices should champion economic freedom.

How I wish the libertarian wing of the Republican party would make a comeback!
True on no party ideologically consistent.

However, "Democrats championing economic freedom." is open statement. I am sure you do not mean to abolish safety regulations (extreme example, I am sure you mean more specific limits).
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 11:11 AM   #5
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By the same line of argument, the Democrats championing personal liberty and the individual choices should champion economic freedom.
So the Dems shouldn't be touting capitalism?
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 11:13 AM   #6
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I don't think its so much anti-abortion as it is anti-equal rights, ******* crazyness (the repub that claimed smurfs teach witchcraft comes to mind) and the fact more people are seeing republicans only want to cater to rich people.

I'm anti-abortion (the right to choose in my opinion ends when someone chooses not to use contraception, its not fair to kill a child because its inconvenient to have one*) but I did not vote republican. I think the goverment needs to keep their noses out of peoples personal business.

Republicans for smaller government? Pure BS. If they wanted smaller government they wouldn't be trying to rule everyones lives.

*And yes I understand there is rape and medical emergencies. In those cases I can most certainly understand it being justified.
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 11:37 AM   #7
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I don't think its so much anti-abortion as it is anti-equal rights, ******* crazyness (the repub that claimed smurfs teach witchcraft comes to mind) and the fact more people are seeing republicans only want to cater to rich people.
Yes. I'm sick of it being called a "pro-life" argument. Enough semantics.. tell it like it is. Like you said, it's being against civil rights for all. Nobody should have the right to make that type of decision for anyone but themselves.

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I'm anti-abortion (the right to choose in my opinion ends when someone chooses not to use contraception, its not fair to kill a child because its inconvenient to have one*) but I did not vote republican.
I don't think you'll find many people who advocate abortion as a method of contraception. But, isn't it something like 1/3 of all abortions are because another method of contraception was used but failed? Even the pill isn't a 100% guarantee.

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I think the goverment needs to keep their noses out of peoples personal business.

Republicans for smaller government? Pure BS. If they wanted smaller government they wouldn't be trying to rule everyones lives.
You hit the nail on the head here.

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*And yes I understand there is rape and medical emergencies. In those cases I can most certainly understand it being justified.
It should be up to the woman to make the decision after consulting her doctor and family. That's it. Every single time the circumstances surrounding an abortion are different so the woman should have the right to make her own decision based on her own specific circumstances, and it should be nobody's business but her own (and any family member/significant other she confides in to help with her decision).
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 11:57 AM   #8
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Yes, anti-abortion undermines the party. They have to at least support it being left up to the states, if not completely change to pro-abortion.
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 12:04 PM   #9
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Republicans want small government in the boardroom and big government in the bedroom.



Are they compensating for something in the bedroom?
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 12:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by PracticalMac View Post
My question is not the arguments, but a fundamental issue.

If the Republicans champion small government and individual (and state) rights, isn't the very act of championing an Abortion ban completely undermines the platform they promote?

(They also refer strongly to religious reasons on why to ban abortion, but Amendment 1 clearly states separation of religion in politics, but its vagueness leaves some wiggle room)
As chrono1081 says, I don't think it is about 'big' or 'small' government, but is more a matter of rights, or rather, being anti equal rights. Actually, given the vehement tone adopted by the right on this issue, I'd go further. I think it is about control, the control of (sexually active) women.

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Originally Posted by chrono1081 View Post
I don't think its so much anti-abortion as it is anti-equal rights, ******* crazyness (the repub that claimed smurfs teach witchcraft comes to mind) and the fact more people are seeing republicans only want to cater to rich people.

I'm anti-abortion (the right to choose in my opinion ends when someone chooses not to use contraception, its not fair to kill a child because its inconvenient to have one*) but I did not vote republican. I think the goverment needs to keep their noses out of peoples personal business.

Republicans for smaller government? Pure BS. If they wanted smaller government they wouldn't be trying to rule everyones lives.

*And yes I understand there is rape and medical emergencies. In those cases I can most certainly understand it being justified.
Very good post.

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Yes. I'm sick of it being called a "pro-life" argument. Enough semantics.. tell it like it is. Like you said, it's being against civil rights for all. Nobody should have the right to make that type of decision for anyone but themselves.



I don't think you'll find many people who advocate abortion as a method of contraception. But, isn't it something like 1/3 of all abortions are because another method of contraception was used but failed? Even the pill isn't a 100% guarantee.



You hit the nail on the head here.



It should be up to the woman to make the decision after consulting her doctor and family. That's it. Every single time the circumstances surrounding an abortion are different so the woman should have the right to make her own decision based on her own specific circumstances, and it should be nobody's business but her own (and any family member/significant other she confides in to help with her decision).
Absolutely spot on.
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 02:33 PM   #11
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This article follows in the foot-steps of most opinions above.

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Senseless death of Irish woman exposes grim reality for women

A woman outside University Hospital in Galway protests the treatment of Savita Halappanavar. (Nov. 15, 2012)

For three days, Savita Halappanavar suffered agonizing pain, asking repeatedly that a 17-week-old dying fetus be removed from her body.

For three days she lay in a hospital bed getting sicker and sicker, until eventually she succumbed to septicemia.

While it sounds like a scene from the Dark Ages, this is what happened to Savita, a 31-year-old Indian immigrant living in Ireland, last month.

Everyone wants to know how could such a thing happen in a modern 21st-century nation. In a society much like Canada’s, with the same values, language, health and social structures.

That’s the question medical, legal and ethical experts will debate. They, the media and general public, will dissect the intricate details of this complex case, and package an answer to suit their own agenda.

Savita was reportedly told by doctors that they could not carry out the termination until the fetal heart had stopped because “this is a Catholic country.” This sound bite has been beamed around the world, and it’s a good one, but it doesn’t ring true.

Because the perception that Ireland is still firmly tied to the robes of Catholicism is a fallacy. The mass abuse of children by pedophile priests cut those attachments, and the decaying church, once all powerful, now holds little sway with the people or politicians.

Really, there’s a very simple reason why Savita died. It’s because she wasn’t listened to. She knew how sick she was, and begged doctors to remove the unviable fetus. They didn’t listen to her clearly expressed wishes, didn’t respect, what in hindsight, was her plea for life.

The real tragedy here is that, actually, doctors could have acted legally to abort the fetus. Within what is admittedly a very limited legal framework, obstetricians in Ireland can and do perform terminations in cases where the mother’s life is at risk.

By way of background: Ireland’s constitution officially bans abortion, but a 1992 Supreme Court ruling (known as the X case) found the procedure could be carried out in situations when the woman’s life is at risk.

So, the doctors could have acted. They chose not to, they didn’t listen, instead carrying on their paternalistic pursuit of what they believed was best, or perhaps so as not to put their own necks on the line. This is not a new narrative, and it’s why Savita’s story should transcend the emotive abortion debate and stand as an acknowledgment of all the women who regularly are not listened to when it comes to decisions about their own bodies.

Every day women are not treated, consulted, or taken seriously. Young girls are forced into marriages, to have babies they don’t want; women die due to a lack of basic health care.

According to the World Health Organization, every year, 99 per cent of the planet’s approximately half a million maternal deaths occur in developing countries.

Pregnancy-related complications are a leading cause of death among girls aged 15-19 years in developing countries; unsafe abortion — provided by unskilled people in unhygienic conditions — contributes substantially to these deaths.

Ironically, on the same day that news of Savita’s death surfaced, the UN published a report declaring that legal and financial barriers to accessing contraception and other family planning measures are an infringement of women’s rights. A very fine idea, but with no legal standing the push and pull over what are, and should be treated as, very personal choices carries on.

In Ireland, the push to legislate for life-saving abortion has been growing slowly but surely. In Canada, there is a pull in the opposite direction; the pro-life campaign is alive and well, and simmering beneath the liberal surface, protesting the current laws, the way pro-choicers protest it in Ireland. But what law has the right to tell a woman what she is feeling, what her body is telling her, what she wants for her life? Her health? Her unborn child?

What’s really becoming clear in this modern age is that women are sick and tired of the power that legislators, lobby groups, religious zealots, and indeed the culture of medical paternalism, exercise over their bodies.

In recent years, polls taken in Ireland have found that public opinion supports legislating for abortion in cases where the mother is at risk. But those in power have consistently refused to legislate. Like Savita’s doctors, the politicians aren’t listening.

So while interest groups have seized on this story to twist it in their favour, it’s really a tale about the politics of health.

Countless charities and NGOs work hard to reform health policies in the developing world. Plan International’s Because I am Girl movement uses the optimistic marketing slogan “It only takes one girl to change the world.”

This week, that tagline took on real meaning in the developed world, where clearly there is work to do too.

Over the past few days, thousands of people have taken to the streets in Ireland. It’s heartening to see, but unless some real change comes from this senseless death, Savita will be just another girl who didn’t change the world.
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 06:20 PM   #12
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How I wish the libertarian wing of the Republican party would make a comeback!
Please use a capital L unless you are talking about anarchism. As far as I am aware, the Republican party has no "libertarian wing".
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 06:44 PM   #13
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There is this thing where neither party is really against the prevalence of abortion. Democrats and Republicans frame it as a rights issue (women's health rights vs. fetus's rights), but the reality is that abortion rates are similar in countries where abortion is legal and where it isn't. I don't pretend to know how you could reduce unwanted pregnancy at a societal level (I know how you can at a personal level), but whoever wants to reduce the frequency of abortion (and I think that would be almost everyone) should look at that as the main issue. Whether it's legal or not is a distraction from our societal attitudes about abortion. Personally, as someone who is progressive, I don't think it's a progressive solution to unwanted pregnancy. And I think that attitude could be a starting point for getting society to care about preventing unwanted pregnancies.

As far as political gain, I'm not sure. I know social issues certainly seemed to help Republicans in 2004, but helped Democrats in 2012. And because Democrats weren't on defense about abortion, they were more outspoken about Planned Parenthood and supporting the legality of abortion rather than the more conservative stance of "safe, legal, and rare."

I'm not sure where the Republicans can go though on the issue. Both parties want to reach the middle while keeping their bases, but it's an issue that doesn't seem to have much of a middle. So, again I hope, that there could be a meeting of the minds that we have a societal goal of reducing unwanted pregnancies and reducing the rate of abortion without having to reduce the access to it. To me it seems reasonable, but I could be wrong. There is a strong part of me that feels it should be illegal (I don't even believe routine circumcision should be legal), but then I see the statistics that the legality doesn't affect prevalence, and I also consider the people who support its legality, and my hope is just that we could reduce the rate of it. The rate of it by the way has been decreasing since the 1980s in the US.
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 07:52 PM   #14
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Anti-abortion, anti-contraceptive coverage, and denying that woman are often paid less for the same job... All of it has undermined Republicans when it comes to the female vote.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 07:43 AM   #15
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In his post, the OP has posed a very interesting question with an intriguing perspective on this particular issue.

Re the recent Presidential election, I think that there are two issues here; one is the general one, posed by the OP, a party with a rhetoric of small government, essentially making the argument 'get the state out of the boardroom, but into the bedroom so we can legislate on anything to do with women's bodies'. Logically, of course, this is a nonsense, but logic has rarely had much of a say in any discussion on abortion. The second is the general debate on abortion, per se.

Then, there is the fact that since the 1980s, the right had 'won' the ideological and cultural battles, which meant that any sort of (political, social, cultural) discussion took place on terms decided and defined by them. That worked until this year, when, fortunately, their rhetoric on abortion related issues was so incredibly insane, so gratifyingly crazy, so utterly ludicrous that they gave rise to a backlash in voter behaviour (and thankfully failed to win the seats they were contesting). Those offensive and fatuous comments on rape mercifully proved to be something of a deal-breaker and a huge turn-off for significant sections of the female electorate (and, I can only assume, some of the male electorate as well).

Again, a small reminder of these bon-mots which carry the unique Republican DNA footprint of ideological insanity and which proved such an inexplicable turn-off to female voters: there were Todd Akin's infamous remarks on how the female body has ways of dealing with pregnancies which might result from 'legitimate rape'; then, we had Tom Smith, wittering on about how pregnancy as a result of rape was really like 'having a baby out of wedlock'; next up, are the justly notorious comments of Richard Mourdock, who suggested that pregnancy as a result of rape was 'something God intended'; and then, of course, we had John Koster, whose insights included the observation that 'the rape thing' was not a good enough reason to have an abortion. I think the results showed that most women disagree with such an interpretation.

So, I'd argue that there has been something of an attitudinal shift on abortion, which is part of a wider attitudinal shift, which means that this time, this particular election, for the first time in 30 years, in addition to losing the electoral contest, the Republicans also lost the ideological and intellectual conflict, and will now have to fight on intellectual battlefields not of their choosing or devising.

Given the vehemence with which debate on abortion is generally conducted, I'd say that it is not so much that 'being anti-abortion undermines the Republican Party', but rather the stunning intolerance of the tone in which the debate was conducted (which barely masks an ill-concealed desire to reassert control over women and roll back the gains of the civil rights & feminist movements), which 'undermined' the party. Of course, the upshot of all this is that a new line in the sand has been drawn, which represents a defeat for them. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that I think Roe v. Wade is fairly safe for the immediate future....
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 08:00 AM   #16
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Please use a capital L unless you are talking about anarchism. As far as I am aware, the Republican party has no "libertarian wing".
Clearly you don't know enough about the party's history
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 08:49 AM   #17
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Yes, anti-abortion undermines the party. They have to at least support it being left up to the states, if not completely change to pro-abortion.
Kinda hard to leave something up to the states when the Supreme Court already decided on it 40 years ago. The abortion issue is not up in the air, it's long decided. The GOP just needs to accept it and get over the fact that they won't overturn a Supreme Court ruling
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 09:12 AM   #18
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Kinda hard to leave something up to the states when the Supreme Court already decided on it 40 years ago. The abortion issue is not up in the air, it's long decided. The GOP just needs to accept it and get over the fact that they won't overturn a Supreme Court ruling
And yet, by defunding planned parenthood and making up other excuses to shut down abortion clinics (such that some large states have only one in the entire state) they've nonetheless made it prohibitively difficult for many women to get abortions, whether that abortion is elective or life-saving.

End result will be women dying from pregnancies gone wrong, and women dying from coat hanger abortions gone wrong.

They may never be able to finish the job, but much of the damage is already done, in ways that will cost women's lives, and that makes me furious.

Edited to add: and if they'd won this presidential election and gotten to appoint a few supreme court justices, roe v wade might not have been so safe. The supreme court has reversed its stance before -- for instance, decisions made about slavery or discrimination in the 19th c being overturned in the second half of the 20th c.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 09:25 AM   #19
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Edited to add: and if they'd won this presidential election and gotten to appoint a few supreme court justices, roe v wade might not have been so safe. The supreme court has reversed its stance before -- for instance, decisions made about slavery or discrimination in the 19th c being overturned in the second half of the 20th c.
Interesting.

So, you think Republican Supreme Court appointees would not flip-flop, just like their party of choice?

As an outsider, I consider that once you have a life-time appointment to a position, you are free to vote your conscience, and hopefully be representative of changing times.

See, I'm not only a Pessimist. I can also be a Pollyanna.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 09:28 AM   #20
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Edited to add: and if they'd won this presidential election and gotten to appoint a few supreme court justices, roe v wade might not have been so safe. The supreme court has reversed its stance before -- for instance, decisions made about slavery or discrimination in the 19th c being overturned in the second half of the 20th c.
So, yet another compelling reason (as if one were needed) to be profoundly grateful for the outcome of this election.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 10:00 AM   #21
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Yes. I'm sick of it being called a "pro-life" argument. Enough semantics.. tell it like it is. Like you said, it's being against civil rights for all. Nobody should have the right to make that type of decision for anyone but themselves.



I don't think you'll find many people who advocate abortion as a method of contraception. But, isn't it something like 1/3 of all abortions are because another method of contraception was used but failed? Even the pill isn't a 100% guarantee.



You hit the nail on the head here.



It should be up to the woman to make the decision after consulting her doctor and family. That's it. Every single time the circumstances surrounding an abortion are different so the woman should have the right to make her own decision based on her own specific circumstances, and it should be nobody's business but her own (and any family member/significant other she confides in to help with her decision).
And yet you live in a state that voted down a persons right to die with dignity. Clearly it wasn't perfect but the hypocrisy of stating a woman should have the right to decide what to do with her body yet a terminally ill adult can't. Baffling to me. Unless of course the vote was split right down the male female population.

As a republican I wish the party would ease up on their abortion stance. I voted yes on question 2.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 10:01 AM   #22
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So, yet another compelling reason (as if one were needed) to be profoundly grateful for the outcome of this election.
Yes, President Obama will likely be appointing two Supreme Court Justices during his second term. This election has a major effect on Supreme Court rulings for decades to come.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 10:36 AM   #23
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Clearly it wasn't perfect but the hypocrisy of stating a woman should have the right to decide what to do with her body yet a terminally ill adult can't. Baffling to me.
The difference is that you need a lot of safeguards in place for terminally ill adults to avoid exploitation by their families.
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 10:46 AM   #24
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Kinda hard to leave something up to the states when the Supreme Court already decided on it 40 years ago. The abortion issue is not up in the air, it's long decided. The GOP just needs to accept it and get over the fact that they won't overturn a Supreme Court ruling
They need to leave these types of issues up to the states
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Old Nov 18, 2012, 11:20 AM   #25
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So, you think Republican Supreme Court appointees would not flip-flop, just like their party of choice?

As an outsider, I consider that once you have a life-time appointment to a position, you are free to vote your conscience, and hopefully be representative of changing times.
The Supreme Court isn't about voting one's conscience, it's about interpreting the law. Granted that the law is in some ways subjective, but a justice who made decisions primarily based on his or her "gut" would seriously disturb me.

And a Supreme Court justice who "flip-flopped" would be even worse than a politician, IMO. These are supposed to be people with integrity, FFS.

High-flying ideals about the Supreme Court aside, the justices appointed by the Republicans in the past couple decades have been consistently hard-right (hello Mr. Scalia), whereas the Democratic appointees are fairly moderate (with the right-leaning exception of Clarence Thomas and the arguable left-leaning exception of Sotomayor).
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