Friday, August 22, 2008

First Obama Legal Writing Surfaces

It seemed unreal. Sen. Barack Obama had been president of the Harvard Law Review and taught constitutional law classes at the University of Chicago School of Law for years. Yet, Obama appeared to have never authored a single piece of legal work. Alas, Politico has uncovered Obama's lost law review article. The subject? Abortion. The case that was the subject of his article was an Illinois fetal rights case, which decided there was no civil remedy for a fetus in a tort action against a negligent mother. Obama opined that the government may have more important concerns than "ensuring that any particular fetus is born."

9 comments:

Wilson46201 said...

Jim Bopp and Eric Miller must be sooo proud of AdvanceIndiana for trotting out the "Obama is a baby-killer" campaign theme!

Advance Indiana said...

I have no problem with Obama being pro choice. My issue is the extreme position he takes in the case of late term abortions. To take the position that a fetus born alive following an abortion proceeding is not entitled to any rights is unconscionable in my opinion. That's exactly what he did as an Illinois legislator. But as he said, that's "above my pay grade." I don't know how a doctor could get around his Hypocratical Oath on that one.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

Actually, what the people want is the TRUTH. Something that is IMPOSSIBLE to get from a liberal democrat.

Nick said...

If Dr. Josef Mengele was still alive, he'd probably be at the top of Obama's list for Surgeon General.

indyernie said...

"Obama is a baby-killer"

What a great idea for a bumper sticker.
Thanks Wilson, I'll have three or four thousand printed..

artfuggins said...

Some of the people on this blog get sicker and sicker.

Amy said...

I write this not entirely as a political matter, but also as a law review editor whose pet peeve is intellectual dishonesty.

Advance Indiana said: "Obama opined that the government may have more important concerns than "ensuring that any particular fetus is born.""

The author of this blog either misunderstood Obama's piece or intentionally implied that it was advocating for abortion. The above quote was part of Obama's recognition and analysis of both sides of the (then) debate over whether or not to grant a fetus a cause of action against its mother for negligence; it was not about abortion.

Obama (correctly) understood that allowing a baby’s father to sue the mother for the baby would be unwise and against public policy, because it would actually tear families apart and encourage abortion. His conclusion was not based on the proposition that fetuses have no rights; it was based on the normative idea that babies and moms should not be legal adversaries at birth, and we should be encouraging expectant mothers to be careful and safe NOT through the courts, but rather through the legislative and educational processes.

In the entire passage from which the quote was taken, Obama is acknowledging that there are arguments on both sides of the debate that may or may not justify letting the baby sue. On one hand, it might result in too much government meddling and interference with the mother-baby relationship. On the other hand, the state's interest in making sure babies are safe might be even MORE compelling than its interest that they are not aborted, thus justifying the suits.

What it was NOT was a piece that advocated for abortion. I whole-heartedly embrace a healthy political dialogue and debate, even on socially divisive issues. As such, I have no problem with the fact that the author and others are pro-life, or with their inclinations in the voting booth. However, I do take issue with misconstruing facts to prove a desired point, especially in an academic context. While Mr. Obama is pro-choice, and he likely would nominate judges with whose opinions you would disagree, it does not follow that his article on fetal negligence torts is a staunch advocacy for abortion. Please give credit where it is due, and debate the issues with honesty.

Advance Indiana said...

Sorry, Amy, but it is a direct quote. The only person who has been intellectually dishonest about his position on abortion is Obama.

Amy said...

With all due respect, it was not a direct quote. A direct quote would have used the entire sentence, or provided the context of the words in reference to the article. This was a partial quote, and it was dishonest.