Monday, December 13, 2004

The Religious Right Makes Its Move

The religious right spent the weeks after the election loudly claiming responsibility for Bush's victory. Now they have unveiled their strategy for cashing in on that spurious claim: an assault focused on state legislatures, where they believe their influence is strongest—predicated on the hope that Bush will provide a friendly federal judiciary that will refuse to enforce the separation of church and state on the states.

"Christian Conservatives Turn to State Houses," Neela Banerjee, New York Times, 12/13/04

"One state where liberals and conservatives expect a bold step is South Dakota, where conservatives were instrumental in unseating the Senate minority leader, Tom Daschle. Last year, the State Legislature passed a bill banning abortions, except when a woman's life is in danger or she might suffer irreparable harm. The bill was vetoed by Gov. Mike Rounds, a Republican, because of imprecise language, liberal and conservative advocates said. The wording was changed accordingly, and the bill will probably be reintroduced and signed this time by the governor, they said. Kate Looby, the state director for Planned Parenthood, said conservatives might feel more confident this time because they expect Mr. Bush to appoint Supreme Court justices who will eventually overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a woman's right to an abortion. 'If Kerry had won, there would not be the momentum there for this bill,' said Rob Regier, executive director of the South Dakota Family Policy Council, an affiliate of Focus on the Family, a national evangelical Protestant group."