Court Decision Reactions from the Right and Left in Montana
‘This ends a long national nightmare’.
‘I’m just appalled. It’s a sham and immoral what they’ve done.’
‘Our prayers have been answered finally after 49 years’.
Reactions from Montanans over Friday’s decision released by the U.S. Supreme Court that overturned the Roe v Wade right to abortion law came swiftly from several camps.
KGVO reached out to Rob Natelson from the Independence Institute in Denver, speaking on his phone while vacationing with his family in Grass Range, Montana.
“This ends a long national nightmare,” began Natelson. I mean, over the last 50 years or so, a big point of contention in American life has been abortion, and that's been due to the federalization of the question of abortion, and the fact that it's been removed from the democratic process now instead of litigating against each other in court, the advocates for the different views can reason together with each other, with state legislatures, and now the state legislature of each state can determine the appropriate balance for abortion policy within that state.”
Natelson said the decision removes the issue from the U.S. Supreme Court and places it back with the individual states.
“I think they recognized that this was hurting the legitimacy of the court,” he said. “It was greatly hurting the democratic process. It certainly was poisoning the process of nominating and approving Supreme Court justices. They needed to cut their losses and get out of this issue and return it to the state legislature where it belongs.”
Natelson said Justice Brett Cavanaugh emphasized that the Supreme Court’s decision was actually neutral on the abortion issue.
“Justice Cavanaugh, who I believe to have been the target of the campaign that resulted from the leak, wrote a concurring opinion in which he said this decision doesn't abolish abortion or make it illegal. The Constitution is neutral on the question. He pointed out that some of the people who presented ‘friend of the court’ briefs actually argued that the court should use the occasion to make abortion illegal nationwide. However, he reiterated the Constitution is neither pro-life on this issue nor pro-choice. It is neutral on the issue.”
Natelson said he is eagerly anticipating action by the states on the issue over the next few years.
“This has been a long national nightmare and let's hope it's over,” he said. “Divisions on abortion will continue, but at least they won't continue to poison every aspect of national life. It will be something that Americans work out in their state legislatures. There may eventually be a national consensus on abortion, but it will be much more acceptable to far more people if we go through the democratic process over the next few years.”
Also commenting on the decision was Missoula Democratic State Senator Ellie Boldman who provided a much different take on Friday’s Supreme Court decision.
“I'm sure like all women in this nation who believe that they are a woman and not a womb, that 50 years of Constitutional and Supreme Court precedent, gave us an individual right to make our own medical decisions, and not to leave them in the hands of political ideologues to think that they can make medical decisions for women,” said Boldman.
Boldman expressed her anger and disbelief in the reversal by the U.S. Supreme Court and encouraged voters to take action.
“I just I'm appalled,” she said. “I think we will do everything in our power to ensure that the people that put the Supreme Court justices in there are voted out. I know that you still have the right to travel, there will still be plenty of states where they recognize and have half the electorate that recognizes your right to make medical decisions. I know at the Montana legislature this November, you have a lot of choices to make. And I hope that your individual rights are first and foremost when you cast that ballot.”
Boldman wrapped up her comments with a strong personal opinion on the decision.
“It's a sham,” she said. “It's immoral what they've done and I think this legacy is going to speak for it. I do think that this is just going to be a short time before we can get some federal legislation and some other things going on to protect the rights of all Americans and all women in this country.”
Another take on the decision came from a Christian political action group called the Montana Family Foundation. President Jeff Lazloffy expressed his opinion to KGVO News as well.
“It's actually a day that we've been praying for and working toward for 49 years,” said Lazloffy. “The United States Supreme Court today I think did a service to women to children and actually to the court themselves as they took the opportunity to revisit this decision that was so wrongly decided almost 50 years ago and actually render a decision that now is actually based in Constitutional law rather than a made-up right to privacy like the original Court did.”
Lazloffy addressed the widely held view that the Montana Supreme Court has already ruled that the ‘right to privacy' in the Montana Constitution would allow women in Montana to legally seek an abortion.
“Because the Montana Supreme Court in 1999 rendered its Armstrong decision, they basically took the issue of abortion which the Constitutional Convention in 1972 had discussed and said we are not going to place in the constitution,” he said. “We want to leave it up to the legislature. They took the right to privacy clause that the Constitutional Convention did put in the legislature and they applied it to Roe v Wade, or they applied it to the issue of abortion, using the same logic as Roe v Wade.”
Lazloffy was asked about possible violence that may occur throughout the country over Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision.
“People need to understand that the thing that separates us from third world countries is our ability to debate issues in legislative chambers, where our only weapons are words are not guns,” he said. “We debate the arguments and then we settle the arguments based on words and not bullets and that's the way it ought to be. There's no place for violence in a civilized society, and it's a shame to see what's going on in Washington D.C. right now.”
KGVO News has reached out to University of Montana Law Professor Dr. Anthony Johnstone for a comment, but the call has not yet come in.
Other comments from prominent Montanans have also been released.
‘For nearly 50 years, women have been able to make their own healthcare decisions without interference from the government. The Supreme Court’s ruling now means women and doctors will be put in jail when exercising this long-held right in states across the country. No judge or politician should be telling women how to live their lives or undermining their fundamental right to privacy.’
‘SCOTUS’s decision in Dobbs today ends a historic injustice, and returns the power to the American people, through their elected representatives, to protect unborn children and their mothers from the violence of abortion’.
‘Today marks a historic win for life, families, and science,” Gov. Gianforte said. “With this monumental decision, the Supreme Court has restored power to the American people and their elected representatives. I'm in discussions with legislative leaders on next steps as we work to protect life in Montana.’
Congressman Matt Rosendale:
‘Today's ruling is a historic victory in protecting and defending the sanctity of life,” Representative Rosendale said. “I have always been a staunch advocate for the lives of the unborn, and today the United States Supreme Court has finally redressed a grievous wrong. Now state legislatures, elected by their constituents, will be able to pass meaningful laws that protect life. Our fight, however, does not end today. Certain states in the union will continue adopting radical abortion measures. Because of that, we must stand united to be a voice and advocate for all lives and do so until every unborn life in the United States is protected.’
Montana Legislature; Montana Senate President Mark Blasdel, and House Majority Leader Sue Vinton:
‘Today we celebrate the Supreme Court's historic decision to correct a constitutionally wrong decision from decades ago that has harmed so many. As the debate over abortion shifts to the states, all eyes in Montana need to be on our own judicial branch of government. Montana judges should rule based on the text of our state constitution, which doesn't mention abortion at all, and overturn the activist and erroneous Armstrong decision. Unlike Montana Democrats who support abortion on demand until the moment of birth, Legislative Republicans are committed to proceeding strategically to protect pre-born Montana children.’
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