President Obama has nominated Indiana University Law professor Dawn Johnsen to head the department's Office of Legal Counsel. Among her qualifications, Johnsen is a Yale educated, ACLU trained veteran of the Clinton administration (nothing surprising so far) who also happened to work as Legal Director of NARAL. During her tenure there, Johnsen argued before the Supreme Court of the United States in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, a case that involved a Missouri law that restricted the use of state funds and resources for abortion (note: the law did not ban abortion), that any restriction that makes abortion less accessible is:
tantamount to "involuntary servitude" because it "requires a woman to provide continuous physical service to the fetus in order to further the state's asserted interest [in the life of the unborn] ... [a woman, therefore] is constantly aware for nine months that her body is not her own: the state has conscripted her body for its own ends ... such forced pregnancy" violates the Thirteenth Amendment. (Source: National Review, 3/9/09 p.17)If you don't have your Constitution in front of you, you may have forgotten that the Thirteenth Amendment is the one that prohibits slavery.
But that's not all.
Along with equating pregnancy with slavery, Ms. Johnsen opposes: 24-hour waiting periods, parental consent requirements for minors, and all laws against partial birth abortion. In fact, Johnsen believes that agreeing with her on these issues should be a litmus test for judicial nominees because "the notion that legal restrictions [are] some kind of 'reasonable compromise' -- perhaps to make abortion 'safe, legal, and rare,' prove nonsensical."
Is this the Obama adminstration's version of moral neutrality in the law?