Judge Richard Conway Casey: RIP

By Dave Andrusko

This story from the April 2007 issue of National Right  to Life News, is part of a year-long  “Roe at 40” series in which we are reprinting some of the best stories and editorials from NRL News. If you are not a subscriber to the “pro-life newspaper of record,” please call us at 202-626-8828.

Judge Richard Conway Casey

Judge Richard Conway Casey

The name, Judge Richard Conway Casey, will probably be vaguely familiar to many readers of National Right to Life News. But as soon as I say, “partial-birth abortion,” the light will go on for most of you.

Judge Casey passed away March 22 of an apparent heart attack, the Associated Press (AP) reported. The irony of the AP’s lead sentence is hard to miss: “NEW YORK–Richard Conway Casey, who was the nation’s first blind federal trial judge and presided over high-profile cases including an abortion-law challenge and the Peter Gotti trial, has died at 74.” Gotti, of course, was the boss of the Gambino crime family.

The ink had not dried on the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act before pro-abortionists took the 2003 law to court. One of the challenges was heard by Judge Casey.

Judge Casey refused to allow the abortionists and their assorted apologists to hide behind euphemisms. His unrelenting questioning evoked some of the most incredible testimony that has ever come out the mouths of abortionists. It made for spell-binding exchanges.

As the AP reported, “Casey had to overcome skeptics when he took on a load of 300 to 400 cases beginning in late 1997, using computer and audio technology while studying documents and preparing to speak in court.” Some questioned, according to the AP, “Whether a blind judge could accurately assess the credibility of a witness he could not see.”

Judge Casey’s answer? “Casey said truth could be found by following the facts to see if they string together in a coherent, logical way.”

Which is exactly what he did in the challenge to the law brought by the Abortion Establishment. Casey’s provocative questioning dragged out the truth–the grisly, painful, truth–from people accustomed to talking in antiseptically-clean language.

In the final analysis, Judge Casey ruled against the federal law, concluding that it was in conflict with the 2000 Supreme Court’s Carhart decision. But the wording of Judge Casey’s opinion was no less candid than his blunt questions:

“The Court finds that the testimony at trial and before Congress establishes that D&X [partial-birth abortion] is a gruesome, brutal, barbaric, and uncivilized medical procedure,” he wrote, “[and finds] credible evidence that D&X abortions subject fetuses to severe pain.”

Last November the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two challenges to the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

It would be most fitting if the Justices could remove the blinders that have prevented the Court from seeing the constitutionality of the law and the humanity of the littlest Americans.

Editor’s note. The Supreme Court did uphold the federal law in “Gonzales v. Carhart.”

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