... one to go:
After fiery debate, the South Dakota House passed a bill 54-15 Tuesday that would outlaw most abortions in the state.
Supporters hope the measure will prompt the U.S. Supreme Court to finally decide when life begins. The bill proclaims that life starts at conception.
"There is quite simply no justification for taking a guiltless human life," said Rep. Matt McCaulley, R-Sioux Falls, chief sponsor of the bill.
All life, both born and unborn, should be protected, he said.
"There is a wrong in society, and that's the intentional taking of human life," McCaulley said, adding that he has worked on the legislation for a year.
I haven't seen a lot speculation about how well this will do in the Senate, but passage in the house is encouraging.
I want to respond to something in this story:
Olson, who is the House Democratic leader, said abortion has been ruled constitutional, and legislators who vote to make it illegal would be violating their oaths of office. Lawmakers are required to uphold the entire constitution, not just the parts they agree with, he said.
The last part of this Olson's argument is absolutely correct. Lawmakers are bound to uphold the entire constitution. The first part of his argument is absolute bupkis. Just because the Supreme Court says something is unconstitutional doesn't make it so. The Supreme Court's decisions create legal precedent, but they're neither absolute nor permanent. For one, the court can be wrong. Also, the court sometimes changes its mind.
As far as I know, all oaths of office are pretty much the same: "Preserve, protect, and defend" the Constitution. (State oaths usually say state and US constitutions.) But those oaths don't require them to preserve and protect someone else's interpretation of the Constitution. When you take into account that the Court can make mistakes, it becomes evident that many legislators may believe that their oath requires them to go against the Court's decision. Further, the Court will never have a chance to change it's mind if people don't challenge their rulings.
I'm not sure how clear that was and I wasn't talking specifically about abortion, but courts and legislatures in general. Just something I wanted to get off my chest.