President Dr. Wanda Franz presents Rep. Henry Hyde with a Lifetime
Achievement Award from National Right to Life.
Henry J. Hyde: One of the
Genuine Heroes of This or Any Era
BY Dave Andrusko
It would be hard to go wrong--a pro-life event honoring Rep. Henry
Hyde. After all (as Tim Goeglein, special assistant to President
George W. Bush and deputy director of the Office of Public Liaison,
put it), Rep. Hyde is to the pro-life movement what William
Wilberforce was to the anti-slavery movement in Great Britain.
But on April 25, when National Right to Life celebrated the 13th
annual Proudly Pro-Life Awards Dinner by honoring Rep. Hyde, there
was a special, almost indescribable something in the atmosphere as
we gathered at the historic Willard Hotel. (Jacki Ragan, who wears
so many hats for NRL, did her usual magnificent job in arranging the
One after another, congressmen and senators paid their respects to a
man who has been a towering force in the battle to win back legal
protection for the littlest Americans.
right) NRLC Chairman of the NRLC Board Geline Williams;
board member Charles James; and Maggie Disney, office
manager for the Virginia Society for Human Life.
Sharing the good fellowship were (left to right)
Holly Gatling, executive director of South Carolina Citizens for
Life; Wayne Cockfield, an alternate to the NRLC board of
directors from South Carolina; and Irene Walsh, a member of the
Goeglein, special assistant to President George W. Bush and
deputy director of the Office of Public Liaison
Henry Hyde -- A Force of
Nature for Good
BY Tim Goeglein
Editor's note. The following are remarks delivered at the Proudly Pro-Life
Awards Dinner. Mr. Goeglein is special assistant to President George W. Bush
Thank you. This is always one of the best nights in Washington because you are
always in the presence of people who know that their vocation is also their
avocation. Although we are in different foxholes, we are all part of the culture
of life mission.
Henry Hyde has been a force of nature for good for a very long time. I thought
of this just yesterday when I was reading a copy of a speech that had been
delivered in New York City 50 years ago. The person who was delivering the
speech was telling the story of the great Russian novelist, Leo Tolstoy, going
to the furthest reaches of Russia, the furthest reaches in a country spanning 11
He went in to the company of a tribe of people whom he had thought were
completely unaware of Western history. One of the leaders of the tribe said to
the great Leo Tolstoy, who, by the way, had no idea who Tolstoy was, "Tell us of
great men." Tolstoy thought this was a remarkable opportunity. He began with
Alexander the Great. (I have to say, being Macedonian, I was proud to read this
Tolstoy began to tell of Napoleon. But before he could get his words out, there
was a person who was sitting in the back of this troupe. She said, "Tell us of
Lincoln. Have you heard of Lincoln?" And Tolstoy thought, "Alexander the Great,
Napoleon Bonaparte. All this way, and they've heard of Abraham Lincoln!"
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Vol. 33, No.
From the President
Wanda Franz, Ph.D.
Precedent Subverts the Constitution
Respect for precedent means not only
that the justices should follow the specific outcomes of prior cases but
also that they must follow their logic. The logic of cases demands that
judges second-guess legislative and executive decisions on the most
sensitive moral and political issues and that judges decide for themselves
on the appropriate means for achieving preferred policies. The simple fact
is that constitutional law as set out in the cases now requires judges to
legislate from the bench. Nominees to the [Supreme] Court can repeat
endlessly that judges should interpret, not make, law. But unless they are
willing, once on the Court, to rethink the logic of prior cases, they will
have to make law.
This displacement of political decision-making has had deeply harmful
consequences for our society….
So [Senator] Specter's questions [at Justice Alioto's nomination hearing]
about stare decisis [i.e. following precedent] were not tangential or
--Robert F. Nagel, in The Weekly Standard, 4/17/ 2006
It is fair to say that Senator Specter is in favor of abortion "rights" and
that he looks at the Constitution as a malleable "living thing" that
"represents the values of a changing society." It is also fair to assume
that when it comes to abortion, he--like pro-abortionists in general--expects
"progressive" justices to make law and conservative justices to "respect
precedent" and question neither the legitimacy nor logic of such judge-made
Judges below the level of the Supreme Court are, of course, obliged to
follow the precedent of a Supreme Court decision. Some courts, such as the
"progressive" 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, venture beyond Supreme Court
precedent. This lack of judicial discipline has earned the 9th Circuit the
highest reversal rate among appeal courts.
More typically, appeal courts bow (sometimes grudgingly) to the authority of
the Supreme Court. Thus in a terse amendment to a previous decision the 4th
Circuit Court of Appeals (that originally had gone against a group of
abortionists), Judge J. Michael Luttig wrote (8/22/2000), "I understand the
Supreme Court to have intended its decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey
(1992) to be a decision of super-stare decisis with respect to a woman's
fundamental right to choose whether or not to proceed with a pregnancy. And
I believe this understanding to have been not merely confirmed, but
reinforced, by the Court's recent decision in Stenberg v. Carhart ."
Read Dr. Franz's Entire Column
NRL News 2006 Subject Index
January 22, 1999
February 19, 1999
March 15, 1999
April 8, 1999
May 11, 1999
June 10, 1999
July 6, 1999
August 10, 1999
September 14, 1999
October 12, 1999
February 11, 1998
March 11, 1998
April 14, 1998
May 7, 1998
July 8, 1998
June 9, 1998
August 12, 1998
September 28, 1998
October 12, 1998
November 17, 1998
December 10, 1998
Today to NRL News