The ACLU is launching a campaign to challenge the death penalty in Kansas but is taking a strange approach — using a case that made abortion a state constitutional right.
In 2019, the Kansas Supreme Court found the “right” to abortion in the state constitution, in the Hodes & Nauser vs. Derek Schmidt case. According to the Kansas City Star, the ACLU is using that court decision to argue against the death penalty.
The ACLU is claiming that the death penalty violates the state constitution. “Government acts no larger than when it chooses to take the life of a citizen,” Henderson Hill, senior counsel at the ACLU’s capital punishment project, told the Star. “And when we have our doubts about whether government can deliver mail, educate its children, feed the hungry… Why should Kansas have confidence that its administration of the death penalty is constitutional?”
Under Hodes, the ACLU is claiming that a “strict scrutiny” standard was set for laws infringing upon fundamental rights, and that this means Kansas has to prove why the death penalty shouldn’t be eliminated.
“For the very same reasons liberty applies to reproductive rights, life should apply to the death penalty,” Hill said.
Hill is correct in arguing that government acts no larger than when it allows the taking of a life — yet by making abortion a constitutional right, that is exactly what they are allowing to happen. The ACLU’s argument is essentially that some lives are worth saving, while it’s acceptable for other lives to be taken.
The ACLU also argues that racial discrimination may play a part in the death penalty. “Far from severing its historical ties to racial violence and terror, the death penalty continues to perpetuate racial discrimination,” Bria Nelson, an attorney with the ACLU of Kansas, wrote in a legal briefing. “Racial bias drives jury selection, the use of discretion by prosecutors and police, and the imposition of jury verdicts.”
But where is the concern for how abortion disproportionately affects minorities? There is no concern whatsoever for how Black and Hispanic women are more likely to be exploited by the abortion industry, driven to death largely by circumstances beyond their control. But this seemingly does not concern the ACLU; instead, the organization works to promote abortion — which is the homicide of an undelivered human — while simultaneously decrying the death penalty.
The ACLU is arguing against the state-sanctioned killing of some humans, while supporting the state-sanctioned killing of others — all of whom are members of the human race from the moment they come into existence, at fertilization.