“Dred Scott” means “Roe v. Wade”

“Dred Scott” means “Roe v. Wade” in Right-to-Life-speak.

A reader writes:

Bush’s intentional and calculated reference to Dred Scott was a “coded” reassurance to his anti-choice base that any Supreme Court appointee will have to pass an anti-Roe v. Wade litmus test. Discussion of Bush’s understanding of the historic/legal underpinnings of the Dred Scott decision is simply irrelevant. This crucially important point has been lost of the media and everyone else not in the anti-choice know.

In case you’re skeptical, just Google “Dred Scott” and abortion. You’ll be shocked! But people need to be informed what Bush’s reference was really all about. Moderate Republicans and swing voters will care. And you can bet the ranch that Bush and his minions are having a great laugh today that everyone’s talking about slavery.

That’s right, of course: the comparison of Roe v. Wade to Dred Scott is a staple of anti-abortion rhetoric.

Pretty clever, no? Bush winks to the right-to-lifers in a way that no one else even notices.

Now if they were only this clever about Iraq…

Update: Paperwight had this first.

Second update: A reader points out that comparing pro-choice women to slaveholders is one of Alan Keyes’s standard tropes: when he’s not comparing them to terrorists, that is.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

One thought on ““Dred Scott” means “Roe v. Wade””

  1. Dred Scott, abortion, and originalism

    Paperwight and Mark Kleiman are, of course, correct: the President's bizarre invocation of Dred Scott is about abortion. Lest you think this is a reach, let's turn it over to Nino, in his dissent in Stenberg v. Carhart…

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