Further Proof that Judges are Not Good Scientists

I recently cited a US Supreme Court decision to indicate that judges often do not make good scientists. Two cases do not a certainty make, but the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals went a great way toward substantiating my theory today.

The State of South Dakota appeared in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
today to defend its requirement that a doctor remind a woman prior to her receiving an abortion of the following:

  1. That abortion takes a human life
  2. That women have a right to continue the pregnancy
  3. That abortion may cause psychological harm to the mother
It might have been billed as an excellent waste of time brought on by the bullying of Planned Parenthood--who sees its main livelihood reduced as more and more women become more contemplative--simply because it can. Remind me again how Planned Parenthood has any standing in this case?

But then the following conversation ensued (a recording of which I heard on the CBS radio news at 6:00 PM mountain time this evening):

Chief Justice Loken: This compels the preaching of ideology.

Assistant Attorney General: Sir, we don't feel that this is ideology.

Chief Justice (with great fervor): It's not science!


Item 2 is a generally understood and agreed-upon tenet of political science, but I don't think that's the sentence the judge was referring to anyway.

Item 3 has been statistically and anecdotally proven to occur at least sometimes, but I don't think that was the issue he was looking at either.

Which leaves us with Item 1--which deals the non-science of ultrasound technology. Which deals with the non-science of reproductive biology.

The judge needs to go back to high school. And if he sticks to his guns that abortion cannot be scientifically proven to be the taking of a human life, then he shouldn't be a judge.


  1. The legal issues here are not as simple as you think.

  2. You're right. I think he has a good point that feticide with an exception for the mother would be a good thing. The story of the mentally disabled woman who is pregnant because of rape is particularly troubling, but if she clearly cannot support the child and would be endangered to take the baby to full term and deliver it (which I imagine she would) this is a probably a case where the baby's life should be taken.

    However, my original point is that the science of whether a human life is being taken during an abortion is indisputable. I suspect (hope) the judge wishes he hadn't blurted out what he blurted.


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