Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

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.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our July expenses ($15,992 to go):
$35,000.00 $19,008.29
46% 54%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • 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.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Sons of Dominic Prepare for Family Synod 3 hours ago
Dominican theologians assess proposals for divorced and remarried 4 hours ago
The ‘Pope Francis effect’—changing the way the world sees the papacy 5 hours ago
Renewal with God Behind Us: Man Determines All July 28
Introducing the Church Fathers July 27

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21