Friday, April 29, 2005

It's Judicial Activism!

In my previous post on the GOP's new abortion-restricting law, I wrote that one of the key problems with an otherwise reasonable proposal was that it would essentialy only effect girls who had reason to fear their families knowing about their pregnancy or abortion. In that context, I also touched on the point that these girls predominantly will reside in places where the judiciary is likely hostile to their objectives, so any "judicial bypass" exception is likely to be virtually meaningless.

Now, Scott Lemieux provides the empirical proof:
In addition, however, there is the question of how waivers to parental notification laws work on the ground, and here the picture is even more dismaying. The political scientist Helena Silverstein was written a series of terrific articles studying how these laws--which inevitably give a great deal of discretion to judges--are actually applied on the ground. Studying the application of these laws in Pennsylvania and Alabama, she found courts that were ill-equipped to enforce the statutes, unwillingness to provide necessary information to young women who wanted to exercise their rights, extremely wide disparities in how the laws were applied, and a number of judges who simply refused to apply the law and grant waivers. Nearly half of the juvenile courts in Alabama were unable or unwilling to grant waiver hearings.

Sounds like a disturbing example of judicial activism to me. Better get the FRC on the case right away!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is getting kind of annoying.

I keep coming to The Debate Link for debates. You know, two thoughtful subject matter experts, each with sincere and well-reasoned but opposing beliefs, debating the merits of their respective principles and policies in the context of the issue of the moment.

Instead, I get the same sort of lukewarm commentary found on thousands of second-rate blogs.

On a good day, I get sarcastic second-rate lukewarm commentary.

Kydzinc said...

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David Schraub said...

I'm sorry, anonymous. I am but one man, so I can't really debate myself all too effectively. If you know any drugs which might give me schizophrenia and/or a split personality, I'd be happy to try them for your edification.

In the mean time, perhaps you should check some of my more legal oriented posts (like the one immediately prior to this). At the very least, I don't think it is what you'd find on all the other second-rate blogs (whether or not it is lukewarm, I can't really say).

Cheerfully yours,
David
Top Rated of the Second Raters