Was the Abortion Decision Narrow or Broad?:
It's interesting to see how different commentators are reacting to Gonzales v. Carhart. When I skimmed over the opinion, it struck me as pretty much the narrowest ground to uphold the ban; it applied Casey, did not overrule the recent Stenberg decision and did not foreclose a later as-appled challenge. Other commentators are calling the ruling "sweeping," though. For example, over at SCOTUSblog, Lyle Denniston offers this charactization:
Dividing 5-4, the Supreme Court on Wednesday gave a sweeping — and only barely qualified — victory to the federal government and to other opponents of abortion, upholding the 2003 law that banned what are often called "partial-birth abortions." The majority insisted it was following its abortion precedents, so none of those was expressly overruled. The dissenters strenuously disputed that the ruling was faithful to those precedents.
  It's interesting that Lyle and I would have such different reactions about the scope of the opinion. Of course, a great deal of that may be the difficulty of trying to skim 70 pages of legal writing in 20 minutes so you can offer some instant commentary; often it's hard to tell the scope and significance of a complex legal opinion without reflecting on it for a few hours. Which I guess means that I should read over the opinion again . . .

  UPDATE: The comment thread quickly turned into a heated debate over abortion, so I closed up the thread and deleted those comments. Instead I'll open up a thread on abortion generally so readers can debate that elsewhere.