More of This Question the legitimacy of the Supreme Court
Two events occurred Monday night — one historic, the other rather insignificant — which placed an unflattering spotlight on the Supreme Court of the United States.
The historic event was that Politico published an unprecedented leak of a draft majority opinion, by Justice Samuel Alito, which would overrule Roe v. Wade and permit state lawmakers to ban abortion in its entirety in the US. Alito’s draft opinion is not the Court’s final word on this case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, but the leaked opinion is the latest in a long list of signs that Roe may be in its final days.
The other event that also occurred last night is that I sent two tweets. One praised whoever leaked Alito’s opinion for disrupting an institution that, as I have written about many times in many forums, including my first book, has historically been a malign force within the United States. And a second celebrated the leak for the distrust it might foster in such a malign institution.
Read the story on Vox
Less of This The Supreme Court wants to repeal the 20th century
If you are an American with a young daughter, she will grow up in a world without the right to choose when and where she gives birth, and in which nothing restrains a state from declaring her womb its property, with all the invasive authorities that implies.
That is the significance of the draft Supreme Court opinion leaked to Politico, which shows that the right-wing majority on the Court intends to discard Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, landmark precedents guaranteeing the constitutional right to abortion. The justices can change their minds before judgments are issued, but their opinions are drafted after they’ve taken an initial vote on the cases themselves. The draft likely reflects the direction of the final decision, even if the scope of that decision changes.
The draft, written by Justice Samuel Alito, is sweeping and radical. There is no need to dwell too long on its legal logic; there are no magic words that the authors of prior opinions might have used in their own decisions that could have preserved the right to an abortion in the face of a decisive right-wing majority on the Court. The opinion itself reads like a fancy press release from a particularly loyal member of the GOP Senate caucus. Alito’s writing reflects the current tone of right-wing discourse: grandiose and contemptuous, disingenuous and self-contradictory, with the necessary undertone of self-pity as justification. Alito, like the five other conservative justices, was placed on the Court by the conservative legal movementfor the purpose of someday handing down this decision. These justices are doing what they were put there to do.
Read the Story on The Atlantic
Speaking Of… The rights that could unravel next
Robert L. Tsai is professor of law at Boston University and the author of Practical Equality: Forging Justice in a Divided Nation.
By now, Americans will have awakened to the disclosure of a draft Supreme Court opinion by Justice Samuel Alito that erases Roe v. Wadeand Casey v. Planned Parenthood from the Court’s jurisprudence — and with them, a pregnant person’s constitutional right to reproductive autonomy. There are reports that Chief Justice John Roberts initially voted against overruling precedent but wanted to find a way to uphold the Mississippi law at the heart of the case, which bans abortion after 15 weeks, and now plans to dissent.
Beyond what Alito’s draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization portends for the future of abortion rights is the striking method of analysis he employs in the reported draft. Despite his many efforts to reassure that the opinion “does not undermine” other constitutional rights “in any way,” it actually outlines a roadmap for the withdrawal of other cherished constitutional rights.
We should not take Alito at his word that the court might go no further after eliminating abortion rights, and a careful reading of his draft suggests a number of reasons to be concerned the current court could target other rights.
Read the Story on Politico
Perspective It’s time to rage
Dr. Roxane Gay is the author of the books “Ayiti” and “An Untamed State,” as well as the best sellers “Bad Feminist,” “Difficult Women” and “Hunger.”
My wife’s stepfather began raping her when she was 11 years old. The abuse went on for years, and as Debbie got older, she was constantly terrified that she was pregnant. She had no one to talk to and nowhere to turn.
Her stepfather often threatened to kill her younger brother and her mother if Debbie told anyone, so when the fear of pregnancy became too consuming, she told her mother she was assaulted at school. Her mother took Debbie to a doctor, who said that because of her scar tissue, she was sexually active and must have a boyfriend. It was the early 1970s.
A pregnancy would have, in Debbie’s words, ruined her life. Today, she is 60 years old. She is still dealing with the repercussions of that trauma. It is unfathomable to consider how a forced pregnancy would have further altered the trajectory of her life.
I was sexually assaulted by several young men when I was 12. I have told the story and am tired of telling it, and the story is not the point. I had not yet had my first period. And still, in the weeks and months after, of course I worried I was pregnant. I worried I would not know who the father was.
If I had been pregnant, I don’t know what I would have done. I was Catholic. Abortion was a sin. But a 12-year-old is not equipped for childbirth or parenthood. The trauma I endured would have only been compounded by a forced pregnancy. And the trajectory of my life, too, would have been further altered.
It is stunning that a draft of a Supreme Court ruling that would overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked before the justices planned to announce their decision, likely next month. It is also telling. Whoever leaked it wanted people to understand the fate awaiting us.
At least, that is what I am telling myself. And thank God somebody did, so we know. So we can prepare. So we can rage.
Read the story on NY Times