|Subject:||Alabama S.Ct. makes interesting points re: Constitution & kids|
|Date:||Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:16:56 -0400|
|From:||Bruce Eden <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
In a case unrelated to abortion, the Alabama Supreme Court rendered a decision that could topple the legal spires of unholy abortions here in the United States.
The case involved Sarah Janie Hicks who used illegal drugs while she was pregnant. After her baby was born, the infant tested positive for drugs and Hicks was charged with a crime and ended up pleading guilty to violating Alabamas chemical endangerment statute. Her conviction was challenged and ended up before the Alabama State Supreme Court on the basis that the term child did not include the unborn.
In an 8-1 decision, the court upheld the conviction of Hicks. Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore wrote in his concurring specially part of the ruling (excerpts below taken from full document):
[B]ecause an unborn child has an inalienable right to life from its earliest stages of development, it is entitled ... to a life free from the harmful effects of chemicals at all stages of development. ___ So. 3d at ___. I write separately to emphasize that the inalienable right to life is a gift of God that civil government must secure for all personsborn and unborn.
I. Our Creator, Not Government, Gives to All People Unalienable Natural Rights.
According to our Nation's charter, the Declaration of Independence, the United States was founded upon the self-evident truth that all Men are created equal, [and] that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights. Declaration of Independence, ¶ 2 (1776). Denominated in the United States Code Annotated as one of the Organic Laws of the United States of America, the Declaration acknowledges as self-evident the truth that all human beings are endowed with inherent dignity and the right to life as a direct result of having been created by God. When it was signed by our Founding Fathers in 1776, the Declaration returned to first principles of God, His law, and human rights and government
In its views of law and life by the most influential legal treatise of the time, Sir William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765). See, e.g., District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 593-94 (2008) (recognizing Blackstone's work as the preeminent authority on English law for the founding generation (quoting Alden v. Maine, 527 U.S. 706, 715 (1999))). Blackstone recognized that God's law was superior to all other laws:
"This law of nature, being co-eval [beginning at the same time] with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this ...."
Therefore, as stated by James Wilson, one of the first Justices on the United States Supreme Court: Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine.
II. The Right to Life is an Unalienable Gift of God.
The first right listed in the Declaration as among our unalienable rights is the right to Life. Blackstone wrote that [l]ife is the immediate gift of God, a right inherent by nature in every individual; and it begins in contemplation of law as soon as an infant is able to stir in the mother's womb."
God's creation of man and woman in His own image, Genesis 1:27 (King James), together with the divine command, Thou shalt not kill, provides the baseline for the right to life. See Exodus 20:13 (King James). Exodus 21 provides express protection for the unborn: where fighting men hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her ... [a]nd if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life. Exodus 21:22-23; see id. (requiring that if no mischief follow then the offender must pay a fine). Both testaments attest to the sanctity and personhood of unborn life. See, e.g., Psalm 139:13-15 (For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.); Luke 1:44 (Elizabeth declaring that the babe leaped in my womb for joy)
III. All Governments Must Secure God-Given Rights.
Although not the source of our rights, governments are instituted in order to secure these rights given by God, the Declaration continues, and are fashioned by the people in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Thomas Jefferson identified the first and only legitimate object of good government to be [t]he care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction.
VI. States Have an Affirmative Duty to Protect Unborn Human Life Under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment provides that a state may not deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. U.S. Const. amend. XIV (emphasis added). [T]he framers [of the Fourteenth Amendment] attempted to create a legal bridge between their understanding of the Declaration of Independence, with its grand declarations of equality and rights endowed by a Creator God, and constitutional jurisprudence.
A plain reading of the Equal Protection Clause, therefore, indicates that states have an affirmative constitutional duty to protect unborn persons within their jurisdiction to the same degree as born persons. The purpose of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is to secure every person within the state's jurisdiction against intentional and arbitrary discrimination, whether occasioned by express terms of a statute or by its improper execution through duly constituted agents."
Under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, states have an obligation to provide to unborn children at any stage of their development the same legal protection from injury and death they provide to persons already born. Because a human life with a full genetic endowment comes into existence at the moment of conception, the self-evident truth that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights encompasses the moment of conception. Legal recognition of the unborn as members of the human family derives ultimately from the laws of nature and of nature's God, Who created human life in His image and protected it with the commandment: Thou shalt not kill. Therefore, the interpretation of the word child in Alabama's chemical-endangerment statute, § 26-15-3.2, Ala. Code 1975, to include all human beings from the moment of conception is fully consistent with these first principles regarding life and law.
FULL OPINION HERE: