Thursday, November 22, 2007

Huckabee and the Human Life Amendment

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was on Fox News Sunday recently explaining that his support for the Human Life Amendment is in keeping with "the logic of the Civil War". Huckabee is claiming that just as slavery is wrong and was therefore wrong everywhere, so too is abortion wrong and is wrong everywhere. Merely overturning Roe-v-Wade will only create a condition where babies are still being killed in some states, and anybody who could live with that (like Fred Thompson) is in moral error.

This sort of argument does have a certain point, but by that logic we should also have one national policy on the death penalty, gay marriage, cousin marriage, divorce, age of consent, etc. The idea that we should have completely uniform views and laws across this diverse nation seems to fly in the face of reality and the Constitution.

This circle cannot be squared. There will always be a tension between morality and the law because some part of the population will disagree on what is morally acceptable. The federalist solution doesn't make this problem go away, but it does have the tendency to diffuse the problem by allowing people to make decisions along more or less culturally significant lines. Issues like slavery are the exception rather than the rule.

The National Right to Life Committee seems to have some sympathy for this position as they have dropped support for the Human Life Amendment as a condition of endorsement and they have endorsed Fred Thompson.

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