We know from the yuppie days of the ’80s that hot pink and green is supposed to be a pleasing combination, and it is — even if a few of the petals bear the marks of apparent rabbit nibbles.
Archive for June 11th, 2012
So-called “baby boxes” are locations, typically found outside a hospital, where a parent can leave an unwanted infant, ring a bell to summon someone to come to the child’s aid, and then vanish from the child’s life. There are almost 200 such “baby boxes” spread throughout Europe, and since 2000 some 400 babies have been left in them. Proponents of the practice say it is a regrettable, but nevertheless necessary, safety valve that protects a child’s life — apparently arguing that, without such an option, infants might die from neglect or an intentional act by a parent.
The UN contends that “baby boxes” violate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. That document says every child has a right to be known and cared for by his or her parents, and the state has a “duty to respect the child’s right to maintain personal relations with his or her parent,” even if they are separated. A UN Committee is writing to European governments that permit “baby boxes” to urge that the practice be outlawed and replaced by improved state family planning and unwanted pregnancy services.
I obviously don’t support abandonment of infants — I can’t fathom what might motivate a parent to take such a drastic action — but are “baby boxes” really a top priority in a world where outrages against children are sickeningly commonplace? At least the relatively few infants left in “baby boxes” are in a place where they will be found, and cared for, and ultimately made available for adoption. Consider, by comparison, the countless children who are left to die from exposure in countries where there are limits on how many children families may have, or are physically mutilated as a result of primitive beliefs, or are sold into sexual slavery, or are pressed into military service by tribal warlords, or are forced to work under horrible sweatshop conditions?
In a world of finite money and resources, wouldn’t every penny spent on the issue of “baby boxes” be much better spent on trying to end the many more widespread, life-threatening problems that are bedeviling unfortunate children around the world?
Posted in America, Politics, tagged America, Health Care Law, Healthcare Reform Act, law, Mitt Romney, News, Obamacare, Politics, President Obama, United States Constitution, United States Supreme Court on June 11, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Deep in the marbled chambers of the majestic Supreme Court building, members of the High Court and their clerks are hard at work on the opinion — or more likely, opinions — to be published when the Court decides the constitutionality of the “health care reform” legislation. The opinion(s) will be issued within the next week or two as the Court wraps up its work for the year.
The issues swirling around President Obama’s signature legislative achievement have dropped off the public’s radar screen recently, but you can bet that they remain front and center at the White House, the Romney campaign headquarters, and on Capitol Hill. Whether the Supreme Court upholds the statute, or strikes it down in whole or in part, its decision will be like a bomb going off in the middle of the presidential campaign. I can’t remember another situation like this, where the Supreme Court will decide the constitutionality of major, controversial legislation — and do so only a few months before a presidential election in which the Court’s decision itself will almost certainly be an issue.
The timing of the Court’s decision will be interesting for two reasons. First, both carefully scripted campaigns will be knocked off message, for a few days at least, and will be required to respond on the fly to the Court’s decision and the stated rationale for that decision. The unpredictability of the Supreme Court’s decision means we might just get an honest, candid reaction from a candidate or a Congressman for a change — before the talking points get drafted and everyone adheres to the accepted party line for their side.
Second, and more important, Supreme Court opinions are serious documents written by serious people. The Justices know their opinions will be carefully read and critiqued, for their intellectual and legal merit, immediately and for decades to come. They will be working to make those opinions as persuasive and carefully reasoned as possible. The opinions will address fundamental issues about the structure of our government and the extent of federal power, taking into account the language of the Constitution, the history of our republic, and the decisions of prior Courts. They will grapple with those issues in a sober, respectful manner, with the majority and dissenting opinions acknowledging, and responding to, each other. What a refreshing change from the shouting, bullet point blather that passes for political discourse these days!
This will be an exciting time for our country and our Constitution. It’s another reason for us to step back, admire the foresight of the Framers, and see that our 225-year-old Constitution still works, and works well.