As you are no doubt aware by now, on Monday, 2 May 2022, at roughly 8:57pm Eastern, there was a near-unprecedented leak from the Supreme Court of the United States regarding the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organisation case published by POLITICO, which seems to indicate that the Court has voted to overturn the landmark rulings in Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey. The next day, Chief Justice John G. Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the document published by POLITICO in a press release from the Court.
The Trumplican Party would like you to believe that the Real Story™ is the leak itself and have, to a member, bent over backwards in front of the media to make that argument. Their NRSC-issued talking points memo, which is full of lies for Trumplicans to repeat in front of cameras and microphones, has been repeated verbatim by every Trumplican Senator and Congress-critter at this point, and was also adopted by their media-handlers over at Fox News. In fact, so pernicious has been the Trumplican Party’s disingenuous rhetoric about The Leak, even other, non-Fox affiliated journalists have tried, at times, to conflate the issue, presenting The Leak as the Story™ rather than the contents of the draft opinion from Justice Samuel Alito.
The Draft Opinion (a.k.a. The Actual Story)
In Alito’s absolutely abhorrent and disgraceful, 98-page draft opinion—which is not yet a decision—the George W. Bush-appointed Justice, cites an English jurist from the 17th century, ignores the 9th Amendment to the United States Constitution, and evicerates the Fundamental Right to Privacy which the Roe decision recognised. Alito also relies on an argument that rights afforded the People must be “deeply rooted in […] history and tradition,” which is a ludicrous argument that could be used to argue that women, African Americans, and the LGBTQ+ community have no rights under the Constitution.
‘We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely—the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. That provision has been held to guarantee some rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution, but any such right must be “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition” and “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.” Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U. S. 702, 721 (1997) (internal quotation marks omitted)
Justice Alito, a self-described “practical originalist,” uses inappropriate, inflammatory language, critical of prior Justices, and conflates the Roe decision with the hyperbolic and histrionic anti-abortion campaign by the American Right since the 1980s. Nevermind that Roe has been upheld over 14 times and strengthened by Casey.
Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.
It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives. “The permissibility of abortion, and the limitations, upon it, are to be resolved like most important questions in our democracy: by citizens trying to persuade one another and then voting.” Casey, 505 U.S. at 979 (Scalia, J, concurring in the judgment in part and dissenting in part).
Nevermind that the foundation that Roe built has been cited time and again in other cases where the Fundamental Right to Privacy was at issue, the undermining of which will be disastrous for the entire country.
Alito, who, again, describes himself as a “practical originalist,” very clearly has no respect for stare decisis. He, like Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barret, lied under oath in his Senate confirmation hearing with regards to the Roe decision. And the evidence of that lie is woven throughout the draft opinion leaked last week.
This is precisely why elections matter, every time.
The Right’s Campaign Towards a Regressive Society
Trumplicans want to turn the United States into Gilead. Make no mistake, once they’re done with abortion rights, they’ll turn to contraception, marriage equality, personal privacy, interracial marriage, and women’s suffrage. There is already chatter on all of these fronts, and the Mississippi decision hasn’t even been handed down in its final form yet.
As I have discussed before, the Right is obsessed with power and in order to get it and keep it, they will enact regressive policies on taxes, education, equity and equality, and privacy. It has taken a mere 50 years for them to successfully game the system to its breaking points in order to overturn Roe.
Every strategy they’ve employed, from the egregious gerrymandering of House Congressional districts to the division of the Dakota Territory into two states (which granted four Senators instead of two), from McConnell’s hypocritical abrogation of his Oath of Office when he literally denied the President of the United States’ Article II authority to appoint a Supreme Court Justice in 2016 to the undignified and treasonous enabling of the 45th President’s illiberal, authoritarian actions in office, the American Right is steam-rolling the country towards a regressive, and decidedly less free, future.
Vote, dammit. Every time, in every election. Vote for the candidates who will actually work for your interests, not their own.