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The Latest Kagan Non-Scandal

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For the reasons cited by Barbara, this would-be Elena Kagan “scandal” about changed wording in an American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists position paper — being promoted by the likes of world’s-phoniest-“libertarian” Glenn Reynolds — is a complete joke. There’s no contradiction between the two drafts, because D&X abortions are, in fact, not medically necessary in a majority of cases. But this fact doesn’t mean that they are never medically necessary, and indeed the original statement implies that there are cases where D&X abortions are necessary or preferable for a protecting a woman’s health. Adding a statement to clarify what was implicit in the first draft doesn’t “distort” anything, and of course if ACOG didn’t think the statement was accurate Kagan had no power to get them to change it. There’s nothing here.

And since the only point of this feeble “smoking gun” is to allow Senate Republicans to mention the phrase “partial birth abortion” a lot, I should note once again that for reasons Judge Posner and Justice Stevens have explained the entire issue is a farce. The distinction between D&X abortions and other abortion procedures is wholly arbitrary, and for people who have supported irrational laws making such a distinction to pretend to care about rigorous medical science is nothing but comedy of the lowest form.

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  • Incontinentia Buttocks

    Is the Ol’ Perfesser really the World’s Phoniest “Libertarian”?

    Don’t get me wrong. He’s certainly a very phony “libertarian.” But he has a whole lot of competition for that title these days.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Well, I have a formula in mind that multiplies Potemkin libertarianism with influence. There may be “libertarians” who are even bigger Republican hacks than Reynolds — although there may not — but do they have his platform?

      • R. Johnston

        How about Ron Paul?

    • Hogan

      At this level of competition, just being nominated is the real honor.

    • DrDick

      Frankly, I have to ask if there is (or ever was) any other kind of libertarian, because I have never seen or heard of one in actual practice.

      • Scott Lemieux

        Well, compare Reynolds to Radley Balko. There was a week last month where I’d click on a link and wonder why Reynolds was actually making serious arguments, only to find every time that it was Balko guest-blogging….

        • witless chum

          I think the Lew Rockwell crowd would have to qualify as principled libertarians. Crazy? I’d say so, but probably not Republicans in Libertarians’ clothing. Whereas Reynolds, I bet, doesn’t even like pot.

    • manwith7talents

      Since actual Libertarians are a myth, like leprechauns, this is a meaningless question.

  • mark f

    But John Hinderaker says this shows Kagan perverted science, and he knows science!

    • DrDick

      I thought it just proved Hinderaker was a pervert.

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  • DrDick

    Come on, this has always been about pandering to the base and blocking any and all Obama initiatives. If he nominated Alito’s clone they would manufacture a controversy and a scandal out of thin air.

    • Halloween Jack

      Of course–you just think it’s an exact clone of Alito, see, but really it’s been genetically manipulated by those godless evolutionist stem-cell wranglers to be part of the Obama Collective.

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