Interpreting the United States Constitution is an extremely thorny job, not to be undertaken lightly by anyone, and most certainly not by amateurs. Indeed, the job of interpreting the constitution is so difficult that American society has only deemed a grand total of 9 lawyers capable of doing it at any one time.
Unfortunately, even those lawyers haven’t always come to conclusions that follow from the document. Which has, in turn, led many confused people to believe the Constitution actually says things that in actuality were only dreamed up by judges. For instance, the “right” to an abortion appears nowhere in the text of the Constitution.
However, even the judges who supported that particular “right” probably wouldn’t have gone as far as MSNBC host Alex Wagner, who more or less implied that the “right to choose” implies the right to choose a child’s gender by systematically terminating any fetus that develops the wrong set of sex organs. Mercifully, GBTV’s S.E. Cupp was there to call her on it:
The brief, 30 second exchange can be summed up as follows. Wagner and Democratic strategist Patti Solis Doyle accuse the GOP of “fear mongering” by raising the subject of sex-selective abortion, claiming the fight over this was settled “20 years ago.”
In response, S.E. Cupp replies, with more than a hint of sarcasm, “I don’t remember having this fight. The fight over, ‘can you kill babies,’ yeah, but ‘can you kill them because you wanted a boy?’ I don’t remember having this fight.”
“The fight over a woman’s right to choose was settled by the Supreme Court,” Wagner replies with enough smugness to kill a small animal.
“To choose the gender?” Cupp fires back.
“It’s about a woman’s right to choose,” Wagner repeats, as though speaking to a child.
Now, one fact should be noted regarding this particular exchange, which occurred in a debate over a law that would have banned sex-selective abortions, and which failed to pass Congress today. However, had it passed, then it’s far from clear that Wagner’s monomaniacal reliance on an existing Constitutional right would convince a court to strike the law down. This is hardly the first time an established constitutional right has been curtailed in the name of fighting private discrimination. In fact, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned businesses from discriminating on the basis of color, did precisely the same thing in curtailing the rights to assembly and property (rights which actually appear in the Constitution) as a method of fighting segregation. No Constitutional right is absolute, and it’s silly for Wagner to pretend that this one is.