Roe May Be Dead; Republicans Hope We Don’t Notice

I got tickled at Dave Weigel’s column today. The intro — “The only newsletter that isn’t about Joe Manchin today, this is The Trailer.”

Many people are pissed at Manchin, who is acting up again. He wrote an op ed for the Wall Street Journal saiyng that Democrats should “hit the pause button” on the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. This is especially infuriating at the very moment the nation is suffering from fires in the West and a super storm in the South and East. Climate change, bro. But Manchin doesn’t want to spend money addressing it.

Just see Joe Manchin’s Dirty Empire by Daniel Boguslaw at The Intercept. Manchin is corrupt as hell. See also Joe Manchin’s new threat to destroy Biden’s agenda is worse than it seems by Greg Sargent at WaPo and Joe Manchin Has Put Biden’s Presidency in Mortal Danger by Jonathan Chait at New York.

Dave Weigel goes on, ignoring Joe Manchin:

Donald Trump’s victory five years ago created, and later fulfilled, the possibility of a 6-3 conservative majority on the court. That emboldened conservatives, especially antiabortion activists who favored so-called “heartbeat” legislation — ending legal abortion at six weeks, when they say first flutter can be detected in embryos. And after Ginsburg’s death, while conservative activists had never felt closer to the end of Roe, Republicans in competitive races said Democrats were overhyping the potential effect on abortion rights.

“I think the likelihood of Roe v. Wade being overturned is very minimal,” Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said in a debate days after the justice’s death and one day after Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to replace her. “I don’t see that happening.” In his first debate with Biden, Trump scoffed at the idea that Roe was “on the ballot,” telling the Democrat that he didn’t know how the potential justice — who yesterday joined the majority in the Texas case — would rule.

And we all remember Sen. Susan Collins assuring us that Kavanaugh believed Roe v. Wade is “settled law.” This is the line Republicans have walked for a long time. They’ve promised their base they would criminallize abortion while reassuring the public at large that they wouldn’t.

Even given the events of this week, the conservatives on the Supreme Court seem to want to maintain the fiction that they are not hardline ideologues.

Mary Ziegler, The Atlantic:

The justices who allowed Texas’s law to go into effect hardly seem to love the thought of that backlash. Their order tried to reassure the public by spelling out what was not being decided—and tried to signal that the Court takes all of this very seriously. And even before this particular question arose, during their confirmation hearings, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett repeated that when it came to Roe, they would keep an open mind. After all, they are neutral arbiters of the law, not pre-committed ideologues.

The justices desperately want the public to believe that is true, even though similar procedural hurdles did not stop the Court from blocking COVID-19 stay-at-home orders that affected in-person worship, and even though the Court’s overnight order made a laughingstock of what is still supposedly a constitutional right. The message was clear: Texas wanted to pass a legal-consequence-free abortion ban, and the Supreme Court wanted to find a political-consequence-free way to uphold one. …

… The Supreme Court may want to reverse Roe, but it is afraid of what will happen when the decision is gone. This fear makes it attractive to hem and haw, to deny and obfuscate. Clarence Thomas may not miss a chance to denounce Roe, but his colleagues are less keen to do so.

They don’t seem to be fooling anyone, however. So Democrats are mostly speaking out and vowing to fight the Texas law. Given their narrow hold on Congress there doesn’t seem to be much they can do, but we can hope it will help inspire a big turnout in the midterms. Republicans, though, are being strangely quiet and pretending that Roe v. Wade isn’t really dead.

6 thoughts on “Roe May Be Dead; Republicans Hope We Don’t Notice

  1. I'm on a long, slow burn over the Supreme Court, which has made one disastrous decision after another, over the last few decades.

    Josh Marshall:

    ..the Supreme Court is both corrupted and corrupt. One of the court’s nine members sits illegitimately. At least five of the current conservative majority have opted for a parodic version of what the judicial right once denounced as “judicial activism.” The conservative majority’s jurisprudence is a results-oriented approach abandoning both precedent and the more basic interpretive traditions to arrive at the preferred outcomes of either the Republican party or conservative ideology generally. A 6 to 3 Court doesn’t require extraordinary measures to overrule Roe. It seems prepped to do so next year in a case from Mississippi. The overnight decision – which rather overstates what the Court did – is another example of the injudicious exuberance to use the Court to remake the nation’s laws in ways that mere democracy will not allow.

    The Court’s corrupt. The solution is to expand the number of justices on the high court to at least thirteen in order to break its power. I don’t know when this will be possible. We don’t know the future. But it is important to know what the correct and proper solution is.

    Adam Serwer:

    …Neutralizing Roe through normal channels would have taken time, and the Supreme Court’s conservatives did not want to wait. Thanks to the shadow docket, they didn’t have to. Five conservative justices invalidated the constitutional right to an abortion simply because they could, because they felt like it, and because they don’t believe anyone can stop them.

  2. Hurricane Ida hit 16 years to the day at nearly the same spot at nearly the same level of force. In NO (and it's still a preliminary count) we might have a dozen fatalities instead of the 1,800 from Katrina. What happened? Infrastructure.

    I'm fine about double-checking the priorities but let's wait? No. Climate change is going to kill…and I won't project numbers in the next decade. Things will get worse as global warming makes draughts worse, fires worse, hurricanes worse.  We have to strengthen our electric grid, our water sources, strengthen bridges, prepare for epic storms. Yesterday would have been good. Next year will guarantee disasters.

    • Preparing for disasters caused/exacerbated by AGW Climate Change is important, but IMO, it's more important that we stop pumping Carbon into the Atmosphere/Hydrosphere – NOW.  "Remediation" is only expensive now because GOP & the Corporate Cabal that funds them chose short-term profit over long-term survival of our "civilization".  I only wish we could hold them responsible for the death & destruction caused by Ida & other storms.

  3. The thing that strikes me is the way the texas law depends on fanatics and venal extremists to enforce the law. Deputizing vigilantes to terrorize women and clinic staff and even uber drivers is a jaw dropping lawlessness

    Who thought the taliban won here also…

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  4. So let’s make this a property rights issue (because Texas already has made women’s reproductive rights a property issue): a woman should contend that because the ‘living entity’ within her womb has signed no lease nor paid no rent, it is in effect a squatter on her property, and any law that denies her right to evict that squatter is an unconstitutional infringement on her property rights. How will a Texas judge rule on that?

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