Week in Review
Representative government transferred the power from the privileged few to the people. And once they did things got better for the people. Because the government started serving the people instead of the people serving the government. And to keep it that way representative governments introduced separations of powers. And checks and balances. They created legislative bodies to write laws. Where legislators represented the people in proportion to the population. So laws represented the will of the people. And not minority interests.
Of course, this made it difficult to pass some laws. Especially those that went against the will of the people. So some found a way to get around the will of the people. By legislating from the bench. Where instead of needing a majority of hundreds of legislators you only needed a majority of a handful of judges. Which has been the legislative tool of choice for liberals to write laws. Using the judiciary to write law that they could not write in the legislature. Violating the separation of powers. And going against the will of the people. Such as making abortion legal in countries where the majority oppose it. Like the United States. And Ireland (see Ireland Takes Up Bill on Abortion Access by DOUGLAS DALBY posted 4/18/2012 on The New York Times).
One of the most deeply divisive issues in Irish society was reignited Wednesday night when the Irish Parliament began debate on a bill that would provide for limited access to abortion.
As in the United States, it was the Supreme Court here that legalized abortion, although in strictly limited circumstances. But in the 20 years since the decision in the “X Case,” successive governments have shied away from enacting the legislation needed to carry out the order…
“We believe that it is only a first step for abortion to be legalized in Ireland in all circumstances. We have waited long enough,” Ms. Daly said. “Over 100,000 Irish abortions have taken place in Britain for many different reasons, none of them easy, all of them valid. The hypocrisy, injustice and expense of having to travel to England for terminations, away from family and friends, is a disgrace.”
But in this conservative and Catholic nation, sentiment against abortion runs strong, and over the past few months anti-abortion groups have been pressuring politicians to oppose the bill, and are confident it will be defeated.
Governments shy away from putting abortion in the hands of the legislature. Especially in countries with large Catholic populations. Which is why there are no abortion laws on the books in the U.S. or Ireland. Just Supreme Court rulings that created an abortion law from the bench. As Supreme Court justices typically serve for life they don’t have to worry about the political fallout of their decisions. Which gives some a green light for judicial activism. Giving them leeway to disagree with laws they don’t like. Or creating laws they like that the people don’t. They can do this. Legislators can’t. Which is why they shy away from abortion law. Because a legislator usually has another election to try to win. And that isn’t easy to do when you go against the will of the people. As many found out in the U.S. after they voted for Obamacare. And lost their jobs in the 2010 midterm elections. Because they not only acted against the will of the people but against their own constituents.
Ireland is a Catholic country. And they take their Catholicism pretty seriously. Which is why so many Irish hate the English. Who are Protestant. If you’re not familiar with this history read up a little on it. Perhaps looking up some names like Elizabeth I, James I or the Earl of Stafford. Then you’ll get a feeling for the love between Irish Catholics and English Protestants. So the Irish are Catholic. And fiercely so. They stay true to their Catholic beliefs. Which includes an absolute opposition to abortion. Which is why there is no abortion law in Ireland. Only a Supreme Court decision. Until now, perhaps. As the Irish legislature is now debating this subject. What will the Irish Catholic do? Whatever they do one thing is for certain. It won’t make the issue any less divisive.
Tags: abortion, abortion law, Catholic, Catholic nation, Catholicism, checks and balances, England, Ireland, Irish, Irish Parliament, judges, judicial activism, legislating from the bench, legislators, legislature, Protestant, representative government, separations of powers, Supreme Court, will of the people, write laws