The news hit like a thunder clap on a cloudless day the other evening, when an alleged Supreme Court draft opinion (which has subsequently been authenticated) was leaked to the
establishment corporate media which immediately published it. The writing, if officially adopted by a majority of justices and issued by the Court, would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision from forty-nine years ago.
Reaction from both sides of the issue was easily foreseeable. Conservatives and Republicans were relieved that the heinous and life-snuffing abortion legal precedent was about to be tossed into the trash bin of history where it belongs, while liberals and Democrats initiated what promises to be a very long hissy fit, freak out, childish temper tantrum and unmitigated and untreatable spasm of grief.
The fact that the news arrived via a leak from someone within the Court was nothing less than shocking. The authorities are investigating the source. One hopes the individual -- or individuals -- suffers serious rebuke and a career ending professional injury. But it was the opinion’s content that really got folks debating. This episode will reverberate for a long time. Byron York wrote at The Washington Examiner:
“…The decision will turbocharge existing Democratic and progressive anger at two critical checks on majority rule that are built into our constitutional system: the Electoral College, by which presidents are elected, and the structure and workings of the Senate. And that will, in turn, lead to Democratic challenges to the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, whose justices are nominated by presidents and confirmed by the Senate...
“Remember that as far as some Democrats are concerned, GOP Senate control itself was illegitimate because it did not represent a majority of the population. And Senate rules, made by the illegitimate majority, forbid liberals from eliminating the filibuster that frustrates Democratic hopes of remaking the Supreme Court. And all of that to confirm nominations made by presidents who did not win the popular vote.
“And now, the Roe decision. Even without the leak, a decision overturning Roe would have caused an explosion inside the Democratic world, fueling long-standing anger about the nature of our political institutions. Now it has happened. What comes next is difficult to predict.”
I’m a big fan of Byron York’s reporting and opinions, but I’d have to disagree with him on his last point. What comes next isn’t all that unpredictable at all. With history as a guide and decades’ worth of observations of political behavior, we can make educated guesses on what will ensue from here forward.
The trillion-dollar question (used to be million-dollar question and then billion-dollar question, but now, with Biden inflation being what it is, it’s the trillion-dollar question) is, what political effect will a Supreme Court action overturning Roe v. Wade have this November and in future years?
I’ve made the argument before, and I’ll make it again: the answer is little or nothing. Yes, abortion is an important motivator of voting behavior, but it’s only one of a full slate of very imperative issues in any election. Put it this way, even after the Roe decision comes down, what percent of people would rank “abortion” as the number one concern in America? This is culture and core beliefs we’re talking about, but they’re basically apart from the political arena unless people choose to make them front and center.
I say this for several reasons. First, the “mushy middle” that tends to decide close elections doesn’t care that much about abortion. To activists at both ends of the political spectrum, the abortion issue could be paramount over everything else. These are what’s commonly referred to as “single issue” voters, those citizens who will almost always vote but are already firmly entrenched in one or the other extremes. They won’t change their political affiliations no matter what. I don’t have statistics to support my assertion, but I’m guessing there are just as many firm single-issue pro-lifers as there are angry, noxious, Equal Rights Amendment-supporting, screeching, angry, 60’s-70’s vintage, bra burning, radical “women’s rights” enraged feminists. This must be a very small club, since there are only so many human beings who are sufficiently pissed off to carry a grudge for a half century. Let’s just stipulate for the record that lots of things have changed in those 49 years.
The rest of the population has moved on, largely because of life’s experience, a better education on the abortion issue or simply common sense. Let’s not forget that the Roe decision was written before there was any such thing as an ultrasound machine, the magic instrument that shows prospective parents and grandparents that the “tissue mass” inside a mother’s womb is an actual baby with a beating heart, not some construct of a Women’s Studies professor’s wild imagination.
If it could be argued that the socially conservative generation that grew up in the years after World War II is declining due to Father Time, so are the radical hippies of the sexual revolution from the 1960’s. I don’t see many septuagenarians wearing tie-dyed shirts, donning headbands, smoking tons of reefer and staging sit-ins to protest government action of any kind. If anything, many of these former free-spirits have wised-up and become more conservative over time.
Put it this way, at the last dinner party you attended, did anyone propose going around the table and talking about each person’s abortion views? Sounds to me like a great way to start a rip-roaring argument. You might be better off suggesting a conversation on the world’s true religious faith or whether firearms take or preserve life. Everyone has an opinion and no one wants to have self-appointed “experts” shouting and telling them what to believe otherwise.
Second, as Justice Alito reportedly wrote in the leaked draft, Roe was wrongly decided from a constitutional standpoint. Recalling from my law school days, the ruling was divided into three main sections, roughly separated by the trimesters of gestation. During the first trimester, states, under the new federal order, would have little or no compelling interest in protecting innocent life and would have to allow virtually unrestrained abortion. Bingo! The abortion mongers were set loose to stifle as many pregnancies as they possibly could get their suction tools on in the first twelve or thirteen weeks.
The Court then said a state starts having a say during the second trimester and can impose restrictions on abortion, with the “magic” line being at viability, the time when an infant can purportedly live outside the womb. Thanks to improvements in medical science, the viability line has been moving steadily backwards ever since, meaning younger and younger babies can survive birth and be kept alive in intensive care units.
During the third trimester, when viability is assumed, states could ban abortions entirely, hence the political tug-of-war in the past few decades over partial-birth abortion and outlawing late term abortions. This issue is in every federal and state political campaign. Now, perhaps the answers office-seekers give under duress will have some real substance.
It should be pointed out that liberal abortion lovers don’t give a crap about viability and the artificial dividing line. Any politician who seeks to remove all abortion restrictions on a timeline couldn’t care less whether a baby can live outside the womb, inside it or on a poolside lounge chair at Club Med. They simply want that child dead if the mother decides to kill it for any reason whatsoever.
Third, abortion is a brutal, disgusting procedure. Let the liberals go to extremes to defend a practice that ends a life in just about the most revolting way possible and also have politicians get out from behind their “abortion should be safe, legal and rare” phony platitude smokescreens and show people what the process really involves. Avert your eyes, people.
To paraphrase Barack Obama, let those in the pro-life community use this as a “teachable moment” to educate and change minds, to win converts to our cause. Liberal Democrat hypocrisy on this issue knows no boundaries. Earlier this week a number of Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and chief Trump impeachment interrogator Adam “Shifty” Schiff visited Ukraine. As everyone knows, Democrats are seeking 33 billion in “aid” to Ukraine to help the Ukrainians resist Russia. If they’re truly concerned about preserving eastern European lives, how do they then justify their willingness to kill American babies in the womb?
If not for hypocrisy, Democrats would have nothing at all.
Lastly, Supreme Court precedents are made to be overturned. Anyone recall from their history class what happened in the infamous Dred Scott case? The Court ruled that black slaves weren’t humans, basically. The civil war overturned that decision. Then there was the “separate but equal” racial segregation doctrine as devised in the case of Plessy vs. Ferguson (1896).
Last time I checked, there’s no great clamor to resurrect that one, either. Liberals only revere precedents when they agree with them, the Constitution be damned. Abortion can now still exist, but the people we elect are going to have to sanction it through the legislature. Let them fight it out there… it will still make plenty of headlines, trust me.
Here's thinking, someday, the scuttled Roe v. Wade decision will burn on the funeral pyre of ill-considered and wrongly reasoned Supreme Court rulings that were subsequently overturned. It will take time -- perhaps a long time -- but eventually folks will calm down and get to work legislating on abortion at the state level.
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