The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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Conservative is a bad word

When exactly did the term “conservative” become so evil? I suppose it could be traced back to Reagan, when “peace through strength” and “trust but verify” were way too confrontational for the leftover 1960s anti-war Left. Perhaps it was during the vilification of Barry Goldwater when he lost to LBJ in 1964, and we missed a golden chance to save ourselves from the “Great Society” that was to come. I fully expect that the portrayal of conservatism as horrific, regressive and evil could be traced back even further. This week, as President Bush chose Samuel Alito from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, it was again evident that the PR campaign would once again spring into motion to portray this reputable, upstanding judge as a right-wing extremist who would turn back the clock on the U.S. Supreme Court.

If, in fact, a confirmed Justice Alito does move the Court to reverse some of its previous decisions, I say, “So be it.” The Supreme Court has moved in recent years from protecting the U.S. Constitution to destroying it by making up “rights” that never existed. Let us start with the most hotly debated of topics: abortion. Roe v. Wade in 1973 boldly fabricated a “right of a woman to choose” in the Constitution. Call it the mystical 11th Amendment in the Bill of Rights. In case you’re wondering, I believe life begins at conception, and that makes abortion tantamount to murder. Notice that if you kill a person inside your home, it is no different than killing someone out in the middle of the street. The government has NOT granted a right to privacy in such cases. If there was a difference, imagine the chaos that would ensue. Why, then, is the location important in an abortion case? It shouldn’t be. Killing a person inside the womb is just as wrong as killing a person outside the womb.

The Supreme Court has also recent severely damaged citizens’ private property rights. Property rights are of integral importance to this nation, because without private property citizens are virtually at the mercy of the state for their well-being. In its decision regarding Kelo vs. New London, the Supreme Court ruled that a municipality had the right to take private property from unwilling citizens and give it to other private entities for commercial use. In this case, the property stolen was from residences and small businesses, and New London wanted the land to give it to Pfizer to build an office, among other uses. Eminent domain in the Constitution was intended to allow governments to condemn portions of their cities for the better good of the community in very limited cases. The uses should be limited to city infrastructure. A conservative can reverse these decisions.

Ed Board seems downright frightened that this justice has an opinion. Ed Board is asking the wrong question. The real question is this: Will this nominee agree to uphold the Constitution as it is written and avoid inserting his or her own beliefs into opinions?

I don’t think that Judge Alito has inserted his own beliefs into his decisions. The decision Ed Board cites regarding notification of the husband before a woman has an abortion is hardly a case of judicial activism. If abortion is to remain legal, the least a woman can do is notify her husband before making such a monumental decision. After all, he did help create the situation.

Ed Board has not realized that the current Supreme Court, including Chief Justice Roberts and outgoing Justice O’Connor, is far from conservative.

Note: Republican does not automatically equal conservative. Justices Scalia and Thomas are the only reliable conservatives on the Court. Roberts, hopefully, will join them. After his decision against private citizens in Kelo and his previous consent to Casey vs. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Justice Kennedy is not as solid as he once appeared. Justices Ginsburg, Souter, Breyer and Stevens form a somewhat solid liberal bloc on the Court. I would argue that Samuel Alito will help balance the Court instead of permitting it to lean leftward.

Perhaps the most outraging comment from the Ed Board is that Bush is wrong because he hasn’t picked the moderate that would “fully represent the entire nation.” I would like to remind Ed Board that President Bush won reelection last fall running on a fairly conservative platform. He promised to select conservative justices who believed in a strict interpretation of our nation’s Supreme Document. What happened? He received over 62 million votes, which is the most ever and the first outright majority since his father’s election in 1988. The people spoke with their ballots and they voted for conservatism. It’s about time Bush fulfilled a campaign promise.

Reed Hanson is a junior engineering major. He may be contacted at [email protected].

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