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And Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., a prominent abortion rights supporter who has gathered the signatures of more than 40 representatives who refuse to back a health bill that contains the restrictions, said the bishops had been allowed to overstep their bounds.

“No one group should get to dictate the outcome of legislation in Congress,” DeGette said. “Every group should be listened to, but I don’t think one group should be given veto authority over what we do.”

Read the full story here. Well I do. And would our esteemed legislator say the same thing about the auto unions – who hijacked the bailouts of GM and Chrysler to turn our laws into something less respectable than a $2 prostitute? Doubtful. The larger point of course is that the system of checks and balances supposedly built into the constitution implies that several groups have veto authority over what the sages in Congress do. What is the role of the Presidential veto? The Supreme Court? And what about that group called, “the majority of voters.” If we take a less utilitarian view, ought not minority groups also have veto power over what those in Congress do? If the majority votes to regularly oppress a small minority of voters, is that OK too?

Finally, it is interesting to see the Catholic bishops use up so much political capital on this one. It probably makes sense as this is an issue that unites the Catholic community – but I sure would like to see a similar movement to end public control of the K12 education system. The biggest losers in that whole shenanigan have been the Catholic schools, their potential students and parents, and the long-term health of the Catholic community. I wonder why this is not a hot button issue? In fact, I can never recall a single homily at church where the priest said a word about this invasion of public funds. And couldn’t the Catholics argue against public schooling on the same grounds they argue against public funding for abortion? That Catholic taxpayer funds are being used to teach ideas that stand in contrast to church teaching or strongly held beliefs by many of its adherents? So what gives?

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