Well, we have finally reached the last installment of the trilogy of articles covering the biggest political stories in America last week. This one took place in the only branch of the federal government clearly under Republican control. I know it’s not supposed to be or designed that way, but that is the reality. I take you to last Friday at the Supreme Court.
On Friday the Court announced some moves that are perplexing many. I think I’ve seen right through them. Texas’ abortion law is clearly unconstitutional as the Constitution is currently interpreted. That is not an opinion; it is simple fact!
The Court announced it would hear two cases challenging the law. It is giving it unprecedented expedited status hearing the cases on November 1st. The last time the Court acted that quickly in hearing arguments was in 2001 in Bush v Gore. What it glaringly did not do is stay the law pending arguments and decision. How can that possibly be justified?
One case is to determine if the federal government has the right to sue a state when the state violates the Constitution. The other is to determine whether the Texas law is constitutional in the first place.
If the federal government cannot enforce the Constitution, then who can? Why have a federal government in the first place? Who is supposed to take on a state; some indigent woman working for minimum wages? Instead of the Court this should be decided by Captain Obvious. That being said, I expect this Court to rule against the Justice Department. I hope I am wrong because if my prediction is correct it opens up a can of worms with chaos written all over it.
When this term’s calendar was announced I, like many others, circled December 1st, the date the Court was to hear arguments in Dobbs, the Mississippi case challenging Roe. Again, I’m being a pessimist, (I’d call it a realist considering the Court’s current makeup), and expect the Court to overturn Roe this term. My initial thought was that the decision would be announced on the last day of the term at the beginning of summer with the Court conveniently leaving town immediately. My opinion has somewhat changed.
The politics – and make no mistake the current Court majority is an arm of the Republican Party – would be bad for GOP, anti-choice candidates if the decision were announced at the traditional time. The collective memories of the American electorate are short and June/July is too close to November’s mid-terms. Wouldn’t it be better for GOP candidates to announce a decision overturning Roe sometime around the 2021 holidays? There are many days where the news could almost be buried and it would be difficult to organized a massive and visible public outcry at that time. Legally it is impossible to uphold the Texas abortion law without overturning Roe – although the law and the Constitution have never constrained the current Court majority before.
The Republican Party is convinced they can take back the House and/or the Senate in 2022 and they could be correct. I’m not prepared to make a definitive prediction on either at this point but GOP takeovers certainly appear possible as of today. Five of the justices are clearly Republican political operatives and Chief Justice Roberts is anti-choice. I can see a 5-4 or 6-3 ruling overturning Roe. In fact, that is the smart money bet.
As to Dobbs, that case may become moot and never even be heard.
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