On April 29, 2007, on Meet the Press, he reiterated his stance against partial birth abortion - voting for the ban - but then criticized the US Supreme Court, saying:
"They upheld the ban, and then they engaged in what we lawyers call dicta that is frightening. You had an intellectually dishonest rationale for an honest justification for upholding the ban. I know this is going to sound arcane--they blurred the distinction between the government's role in being involved in the first day and the ninth month. They became paternalistic, talking about the court could consider the impact on the mother and keeping her from making a mistake. This is all code for saying, 'Here we come to undo Roe v. Wade.' What they did is not so much the decision, the actual outcome of the decision, it's what attended the decision that portends for a real hard move on the court to undo the right of privacy. That's what I'm criticizing about the court's decision."
By the way, "what we lawyers call dicta" are the sort of "asides" in a judicial opinion that have no legal weight. As an attorney, I cannot use dicta as support for my legal argument. Dicta isn't frightening, it's just . . . dicta. But it's nice to know Joe can "decode" the Court. Pretty soon I expect him to get the secret handshake as well.
Q: You have changed your position on abortion. When you came to the Senate, you believed that Roe v. Wade was not correctly decided and that you also believed the right of abortion was not secured by the Constitution. Why did you change your mind?
A: Well, I was 29 years old when I came to the US Senate, and I have learned a lot. Look, I'm a practicing Catholic, and it is the biggest dilemma for me in terms of comporting my religious and cultural views with my political responsibility.
Q: Do you believe that life begins at conception?
A: I am prepared to accept my church's view. I think it's a tough one. I have to accept that on faith. That's why the late-term abortion ban, where there's clearly viability.
I pledge this now - $100 in the collection plate of the church of any Roman Catholic priest who denies Joe Biden Holy Communion.