Monday, May 07, 2007

The Irish Justice Scores Again! Bob Thomas Kick Starts Abortion Law

Former Fighting Irish and Chicago Bear field goal kicker Bob Thomas scored one for the good guys once again. Thomas, now the Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, revived a dormant 1995 state abortion parental notification law by dotting the law's "I's" and kicking it off the "T" back to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, this time making sure she would enforce it.

This contest really began back in 1995 when the Illinois State legislature passed a law requiring an abortion doctor to notify the parents or legal guardians of a girl under the age of eighteen who was seeking an abortion and do so at least two days prior to the procedure. But the law also provided for exceptions (for example, if the girl had been sexually abused by the parent or guardian) and it left it up to the Illinois Supreme Court to decide the extent of such waivers. Unfortunately, the then liberal state Supreme Court did absolutely nothing with the notification law for a year, at which time the ACLU, citing the fact there were no specific rules on which to apply it, won a 1996 federal court appeal blocking the law from taking effect.

Flash forward ten years, to a time where the Illinois high court is once again filled with conservatives, including Thomas as their head. Bob, whom many Irish fans may recall as the man who kicked the winning field goal in Notre Dame's 1973 National Championship Bowl game victory over Alabama, took it upon himself to close the law's loopholes, and then issued the long awaited rules governing its legal waivers. But Attorney General Madigan, a pro-abort Democrat, went into a four corner stall, first claiming the state court staff was not properly trained or equipped to handle such waiver requests, then saying because the law had been in limbo for so long, "the courts might need some time to get up to speed."

Fed up with Madigan's delay tactics, Thomas responded with a "full court" press. In other words, Thomas sent Lisa a letter signed by all the justices saying her office was "in error," and that Madigan MUST "presume, and therefore assert that, as with any new law, our state courts are prepared." And, just to make sure Lisa heard the word, Thomas then followed up the letter with a personal phone call. Not wishing to be held in contempt, Madigan now had no "choice" but to comply, and the law is finally ready to be enforced.

"There is nothing unethical [about the Supreme Court's letter or Thomas' phone call] but it's highly uncommon ... it's extraordinary ..." said Lawrence Rosenthal, former supervisor in Chicago's Law Department. Indeed, while Thomas' action may be just a chip shot in the chipping away of Roe vs. Wade, I predict his action vs. Madigan will become just as memorable in time as his decisive short kick against the Crimson Tide. And it also proves the truth of that famous Notre Dame saying, "It's nice to have a Fighting Irish (especially a Fighting Irish Thomas) in high places."


JimAroo said...

My my my, it is enough to restore my faith in my home state. God bless your Justice Thomas - and whoever appointed him!

In the approximate words of an old song.... May Justice Thomas drop kick AG Madigan through the goal posts of life.

Pristinus Sapienter said...


Good sir, you now live in the state called the 'Land of the Fruits and Nuts' where so many have been trying to live up (down?) to the state motto. You give us Follywood, San-Fran-Nan's district and that enclave of celebrity boorishness, Malibu. To be sure, and confessedly, we have our local dipsticks - the Madigans, Dickie Durbin, B.O. - but we don't have whole towns of them. ;)

(And, yes, you can come back with the home bases of Catholic Exchange and Catholic Answers . . . but are they enough to counter the yet-one-more Catholic if distinctively Republo-Kennedy at your governor's helm?)