Monday, October 31, 2005

Scalito II (updated)

(Update: Everything I wrote after the quote seems to have disappeared on the way to posting. It is now restored.)

Here’s Scalito’s reasoning in Casey:
The Supreme Court has held that a man has a fundamental interest in preserving his ability to father a child. The Court’s opinions also seem to establish that a husband who is willing to participate in raising a child has a fundamental interest in the child’s welfare. It follows that a husband has a “legitimate” interest in the welfare of a fetus he has conceived with his wife. ... This interest may be legitimately furthered by state legislation.
So what does he mean by “interest”? One definition given by my computer dictionary is “the state of wanting to know about something or someone,” but I don’t think that’s what he meant, but something more like “a share, right, or stake in property or a financial undertaking.” And you have to ask how the man’s property rights in a fetus may be “furthered” by notification.

(Update: Billmon notes that Alito, to give him his proper name for once (I’m taking bets, though, on who the first senator or tv anchor will be to accidentally call him Scalito, assuming it hasn’t already happened), condescendingly compared the burdens Pennsylvania’s legislation put on adult women to those the Supreme Court was willing to place on minor children. The line I quoted in my last post positing that wives may just need their pretty little heads straightened out about “perceived problems” like economics – the little lady just can’t balance a check book – is also not a little bit condescending.)

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