Sunday, September 04, 2005

Opting Out?

Fascinating piece from the Sunday Times on judges in three states recusing themselves from cases seeking court consent for underage abortions:

Judge D'Army Bailey, another judge on the circuit court here, said in an interview that he had been hearing more than his share of minors' applications since Judge McCarroll and other judges began recusing themselves. Judge Bailey said he had considered "three or four" applications since June and had granted all of them. The proceedings are secret, to protect the minors' privacy.

"I can see good reasons why a teenager would not want to be saddled at that early age with having and raising a child," Judge Bailey said. "It can create a blueprint for disaster for both the mother and child."

He said he put aside his personal views in hearing the applications.

"I didn't swear to uphold all of the laws of Tennessee except for X, Y and Z," Judge Bailey said. "You're sworn to uphold the law whether you agree with it or not."

He said he worried that the varying approaches of the judges at his court could have political consequences.

"I hope that how I handle these questions of allowing these young women to get abortions does not lead to my defeat in the next election," in 2006, he said. "If it does, so be it. I can't keep a job constantly fearing that I'm going to lose it."

Here in Pennsylvania, we elect our judges... This could well become an election issue in the next go-round. And guess which side would win the day at the ballot box....



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