Sunday Ethics Fallback, 11/3/2019: Poisoning Children For Their Own Good, And Other Alarming Developments

Whatever time it is…

1. Not exactly a shock, but we now know Ruth Bader Ginsburg lied in her 1993 Senate confirmation hearings. At a Georgetown Law Center event last week featuring both Clintons and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Bill Clinton told the audience that he queried the Justice-to- be about Roe v. Wade before nominating her to the Supreme Court in 1993:

[Ginsburg] knew this perfectly well, that I was under a lot of pressure to make sure I appointed someone who was simon-pure, which I had said I thought was important. But I was fascinated by a—either an article I had read or something I had read on Justice Ginsburg saying that she supported the result in Roe v. Wade but thought Justice Blackmun should have decided the case on the equal protection clause not the right to privacy. And I asked her the question and she talked about it just as if it was any other issue, no affect: “This is what I think, this is why I think it,” and she made a heck of a case.

That’s odd, because one of the written questions she responded to in the process was…

Has anyone involved in the process of selecting you as a judicial nominee (including but not limited to a member of the White House staff, the Justice Department, or the Senate or its staff) discussed with you any specific case, legal issue or question in a manner that could reasonably be interpreted as seeking any express or implied assurances concerning your position on such case, issue, or question? If so, please explain fully.

And the now-revered Ginsburg replied,

It is inappropriate, in my judgment, to seek from any nominee for judicial office assurance on how that individual would rule in a future case. That judgment was shared by those involved in the process of selecting me. No such person discussed with me any specific case, legal issue or question in a manner that could reasonably be interpreted as seeking any express or implied assurances concerning my position on such case, issue, or question.

Yet the former President directly contradicted this, in Justice Ginsberg’s presence.

2. Further lives unborn ethics notes:

  • Wendy Ullman, a Pennsylvania state lawmaker, was seen on video describing early miscarriages as “just some mess on a napkin.” (Nice) during a state House Health Committee. Ullman was speaking at the hearing in opposition to a proposed bill calling for fetal remains to be cremated or buried, regardless of gestational age. Surprisingly, some people had a problem with her dismissive description of miscarriages, so she issued this apology on Twitter:

She struggled to find the right words, and came up with “some mess on a napkin,” but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t care. This is the “if a woman thinks its life, it’s life, and if she doesn’t, it isn’t” theory in practice.

  • Yesterday I was catching up on “The Bletchley Circle,” an excellent BBC series that follows the post-war adventures of five British women who worked as secret code-breakers during World War II. In Season Two, one of the women is confronted by the angry and bitter daughter she gave up for adoption when she was young, pregnant and unmarried. She was apologetic and remorseful, and desperately begged for her daughter’s forgiveness (which she received, but it was an intense scene.) Would such a scene happen today? Wouldn’t the daughter have to be grateful that she was just surrendered, rather than aborted?

I also found myself wondering that if it were appropriate for a mother to be that remorseful about giving up her living child, how should she feel about the child who never had the opportunity to live because it was aborted…

3. Halloween Assholes Dept:

  • In Brisbane, Queensland Australia, an anti-vaccination mother who calls herself “Sarah Walker” and claims to be a registered nurse posted on the private Facebook page of the group “Stop Mandatory Vaccination” that she was giving out chickenpox -tainted candy to children on Halloween. Her son, she said, had the illness, and  she planned to “help” other children in the community by spreading the virus to immunize kids without them having to face the deadly risks of vaccinations.

“So my beautiful son [redacted] has the chickenpox at the moment and we’ve both decided to help others with natural immunity this Halloween!” “Walker” wrote. “We have the packaging open and closing down pat and can’t wait to help others in our community.” When she took the predictable amount of flack in social media, she responded,

As will undoubtedly come as no surprise, this idiot probably didn’t infect anyone, since chickenpox virus is unlikely to survive on a lollipop. Still, when adults blithely talk about poisoning candy, attention must be paid.

  • Waterbury, Connecticut police received multiple reports of loose razor blades being found in the candy bags and baskets of trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. They arrested 37-year-old Jason Racz, who explained that the razor blades were somehow accidentally spilled or put into the candy bowl that he  used to hand out candy to the children. This comes very close to case of res ipsa loquitur, reminiscent of my favorite quote  regarding a lawsuit by someone who chomped down on a rotting human toe while trying to chew a plug of tobacco. Mississippi Supreme Court stated that it could “imagine no reason why, with ordinary care human toes could not be left out of chewing tobacco, and if toes are found in chewing tobacco, it seems to us that somebody has been very careless.”  Pillars v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. et al., 78 So. 365 (Ms. 1918).

4.  What do we do about people like this?…Myah Autry, who endangered herself and zoo animals by climbing the lion’s enclosure at the Bronx Zoo in September, spoke to reporters following  a court appearance for a shoplifting charge in Kearny, New Jersey. She said her reasoning for jumping into the lion’s den was “spiritual” and that she was never in fear during her illegal visit.

“I fear nobody. No animal, no human, no one. So no, I wasn’t fearing of the lion because the lion loved me,” she said. “That’s why he came to me and I let the lion know: Lion, I love you. I am the lion now. Can’t you tell? Have you ever heard of reincarnation? Do your history young man! Do your history, it’s called reincarnation. I am the lion now.”

No, that’s not what you are, dear.

7 thoughts on “Sunday Ethics Fallback, 11/3/2019: Poisoning Children For Their Own Good, And Other Alarming Developments

  1. Clinton has given the GOP a gift. Pelosi should be given a choice discontinue the never ending Trump impeachment investigations or the GOP will level the perjury charge against Ginsburg and demand an impeachment inquiry against her.

    Is it ethical? Absolutely not but when dealing with those with TDS a straight jacket is sometimes required.

  2. I’m sure Ginsburg would hang her hat on the phrase, “in a manner that could reasonably be interpreted as seeking any express or implied assurances concerning my position.” As described, Clinton wasn’t asking for any assurances. He was just fascinated by her intellectually interesting constitutional argument.

    Of course, no Republican could ever hang his hat on a hairsplitting distinction like that, but it’s more than good enough for a Democrat.

    • In law school, I was roundly mocked for arguing that Roe was not a First Amendment privacy case (the “penumbra of privacy rights was too vague as to be meaningless and left open a challenge by the unborn child that she/he had a Constitutional privacy right to life) but a 5th and 14th amendment equal protection issue. Who is laughing now?


      Ed. Note: I still think Roe is wrong on many levels (including judicial activism as one of them and the trimester argument would be upended by advances in technology and medicine, and that whole taking of innocent unborn life thingy). If you want to watch an interesting movie with a decided political slant, I recommend “Unplanned.” I am certain it us slanted but it is compelling.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.