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that was then, this is now

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 02, 2005

Justice Scalia, in his dissent on Roper v. Simmons, draws our attention to the remarkably fortuitous retreat in juvenile moral capacity attested by the human sciences.

As petitioner points out, the American Psychological Association (APA), which claims in this case that scientific evidence shows persons under 18 lack the ability to take moral responsibility for their decisions, has previously taken precisely the opposite position before this very Court. In its brief in Hodgson v. Minnesota, 497 U. S. 417 (1990), the APA found a "rich body of research" showing that juveniles are mature enough to decide whether to obtain an abortion without parental involvement.

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  • Posted by: - Mar. 03, 2005 2:26 PM ET USA

    I was unaware that the words under 18 had been added to God's covenant with Noah: "If anyone sheds the blood of another, his blood shall also be shed for man is made in my image and likeness."

  • Posted by: sparch - Mar. 03, 2005 10:12 AM ET USA

    Although the decision made by the court was morally correct, the means and logic the court used is disturbing. The reliance on doctored statistics and international law shows that the courts themselves do not use the U.S. Constitution to frame laws other than those that match their morality. The Supreme court is out of control. It will be interesting to see how the logic of this decision will domino to future erred decisions that the court will hand down.

  • Posted by: Pablo71 - Mar. 02, 2005 11:24 PM ET USA

    That's a pretty impressive dissent! Australia's High Court judges would love to let loose at each other with judgments like that, I'm sure. Although, this one sentence was disappointing: "Whether to obtain an abortion is surely a much more complex decision for a young person than whether to kill an innocent person in cold blood." One day, hopefully, the US Supreme Court will come to understand that they are one and the same thing.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 02, 2005 8:52 PM ET USA

    ah, but they ARE old enough to make the decision without parental consent to abort their babies? arrgghh, the duplicity...

  • Posted by: patriot6908 - Mar. 02, 2005 3:50 PM ET USA

    It certainly seems like a contradiction unless one thinks of these young people as too young and immature if they vote for conservative Republicans, but old and wise enough if they vote for liberal Democrats. It has to do with scientific evidence and the rich body of research that we as non-psychologists just cannot access.

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