My only trepidation in writing this article now is that I may be stealing the biggest political story of the week from Sunday’s article yet it will go largely uncovered in the press.
On Monday the Supreme Court announced it would hear Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization next term which begins in October. This is a huge win for the radical right and does not portend well for America, especially its women. The case centers on the constitutionality of a Mississippi law currently ruled unconstitutional which, with minor exceptions, makes abortion illegal after the 15th week. This is in clear violation of Roe and that was its entire purpose. It was one of a series of laws enacted by red state legislatures hoping to reach the Court and ultimately overturn Roe.
If successful expect laws, many of which are already enacted, that will effectively outlaw abortion in red states including with no exceptions for rape and incest. This has long been the Republicans intent.
The case can’t be heard until next October. I would expect a ruling in June but it could come earlier. The Trumpublicans are probably hoping it will be perceived as a promise delivered by the base and increase turnout. It very well may. Conversely a ruling that effectively kills Roe should spur activism and turnout on the Democratic side. One of my fears is that by 2024 it will be largely lost in the cloud of other developments. In reality it should spur women’s marches that will make January 21, 2017 look like a non-event.
Make no mistake that Roe is in serious jeopardy with the current Court! Under Trump Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanagh and Amy Coney Barrett were all added and all can be expected to vote to uphold the Mississippi law. Add to that Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito and you have the needed five. In all likelihood John Robert will join that quintet.
The Republicans have been at war with women for decades and this is their deciding battle. Ironically the circumstances of both Gorsuch and Barrett’s appointments are shall we say suspect. Add to that the credible rape and sexual assault accusations Kavanagh faced during his confirmation and the irony is worthy of a world class play with a revolting plot.
I have often criticized the right’s use of the term pro-life. It is ridiculous! The antithesis is pro-death. Do you know anyone who is pro-death? The Republicans are pro-fetus but as soon as the fetus becomes a living person it’s on its own. This is the Party that is anti-health care, anti-child care, anti-food programs and anti-public education.
Earlier the Court also decided to hear a gun rights case next term. Where do you think that is headed? How is exacerbating America’s gun problem pro-life?
There is a preemptive solution which I doubt will be taken. There is nothing in the Constitution to stop Joe Biden from nominating enough additional Supreme Court justices to neutralize the threat. Under the current rules nominees can be confirmed by a simple majority vote in the Senate. The Democrats have 50 in their caucus and Vice President Harris as the tie breaking vote.
Acting after the decision will be too late for some if not all. I expect women to take to the streets after Roe has effectively been relegated to history’s trash bin. That is too late! Despite right wing mythology to the contrary abortions aren’t planned events. They are most often reactions to an unanticipated reality.
Currently the female vote skews Democratic except for one sub demographic: white women; and that is by a slim, albeit astounding to me, margin. I think it is mission impossible but it, along with its male friends – and there are many – needs to mobilize now. This is a case where an ounce of prevention is worth more than pounds and pounds of “cure”! Remember the name Dobbs; sans preemptive intervention it will loom large in American history.
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