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Be Very Afraid

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Remember Clarence Thomas replacing Thurgood Marshall?

In case you had any doubt about whether the 2008 election is a high stakes one, Tom Goldstein has a GOP Supreme Court shortlist:

As things stand, my short-list for a first nomination is: Ninth Circuit Judge Consuelo Callahan, Florida State Supreme Court Justice Raoul Cantero, Sentencing Commission Chairman Ricardo Hinojosa, Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina, and Fifth Circuit Judge Priscilla Owen.

Yikes, imagine Priscilla Owen replacing Ginsburg or Stevens. In addition to being the bought-and-paid-for pro-business hack you would expect to emerge from the Texas bench, her jurisprudence is an object lesson in why the judicial bypass option for parental consent doesn’t work. She’s written several dissents — yes, dissents, she’s reactionary even for a Texas appellate court judge — arguing that young women haven’t received quite enough pro-life propaganda and religious instruction to demonstrate that they’re “mature.” Particularly remarkable was here unwillingness, contrary to the language of the statute, to grant a bypass given a likelihood that a young woman would be abused after telling her parents:

She further testified that she did not want to inform her mother about her decision to have an abortion because “her mother would tell her father and her father would become angry and physically take it out on her mother.” This was insufficient for Owen, who stated that “the evidence of physical abuse of Jane Doe’s mother was not so direct, clear, and positive that a trial court was required to conclude as a matter of law that if one of Jane Doe’s parents were notified, then Jane Doe may be emotionally abused.” Four justices disagreed, noting that, under the express terms of the statute, a judicial bypass “shall” be granted when the minor shows that parental notification “may lead” to her emotional abuse. [cites omitted]

Anybody who thinks that Kennedy’s opinion in Carhart II wasn’t quite sexist enough will love Owen. And, yes, she’s now on 5CA, in case you had any doubts about whether the “Gang of 14” agreement was anything bit a crushing victory for the GOP.

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