The Northern Virginia Daily's Political Depot

A service for our readers outside the Northern Shenandoah Valley... a sampling of The Daily's political coverage, plus unofficial, 'reporter's notebook' stuff. And occasional dry humor...

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Location: Strasburg, Virginia

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

More from Attorney General Bob McDonnell...

Part of the Bob McDonnell story that had to be abandoned for space issues included questions about Virginia's constitutional stance on abortion rights. Although the question is moot at the moment, it may become a matter of serious discussion in the not-too-distant future --GS

With two new faces on the U.S. Supreme Court, South Dakota legislators have issued what is likely to be the first direct challenge to Roe v. Wade in years.

While there’s still a five-vote majority that supports Roe on the high court, Supreme Court membership can change quickly.

Should Roe ever be overturned, the issue of abortion rights would once again be an issue of state, not federal, constitutional rights and laws.

Legislators in Tennessee, reacting to a ruling from that state’s high court which held that the state constitution was more protective of abortion than the state constitution, have introduced a constitutional amendment that says simply that there’s no right to abortion in the state’s charter.

Where does Virginia’s constitution come down on the issue? That’s a good question, McDonnell said.

“I don’t think anyone has looked at that issue yet in the commonwealth of Virginia,” he said.

“The Virginia constitution is very close to the U.S. constitution, because the same guys wrote it,” he said. “Our bill of rights is pretty strong in the protection of fundamental rights, but it doesn’t address the subject of abortion in any way.”