What Comes After the End of the Roe Era?
Plus, why the Politics of Overturning Roe Are Bad for Republicans.
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CATHY YOUNG: What Comes After the End of the Roe Era?
The culture wars were already cranked up to somewhere around DEFCON 2 before the leak of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s draft majority opinion completely overturning Roe v. Wade. Whether the opinion—reportedly supported by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett—will reflect the ultimate outcome of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization remains to be seen; it may have already been revised in the months since it was circulated among the justices in February. Most commentators theorize that the leak was intended to galvanize the opposition—an effect already achieved—perhaps with the aim of pressuring one of the justices in the anti-Roe majority into switching sides. This may yet happen, although the opposite effect seems plausible, too: firming up the resolve of the justices on each side.
For the moment, though, it is safe to assume that Roe will be overturned—which means the regulation of abortion will be returned completely to the states, and an issue that has dominated our political landscape for five decades will be recast.
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WILLIAM SALETAN: The Politics of Overturning Roe Are Bad for Republicans.
On Tuesday, at a Republican press conference, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked three times about the big story of the week: A draft Supreme Court opinion, leaked to Politico, that exposed the Court’s intention to overturn Roe v. Wade. McConnell was furious about the leak. But each time reporters asked him to talk about abortion, he refused to engage.
Morally, this reticence seems bizarre. For half a century, Republicans have campaigned on promises to expunge Roe. They said millions of unborn lives were at stake. Now victory is at hand, but McConnell won’t talk about it. Why not?
The answer is simple: He knows this issue is bad for his party. Roe infuriated pro-life Americans and made pro-choice Americans complacent. Republican candidates could use the issue to rile up their base without risking an electoral backlash. But if Roe goes down, Americans who want to keep abortion legal will have to vote that way. And those Americans are a political majority.
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MONA CHAREN: Climate Catastrophists Need to Chill.
The Supreme Court building is currently surrounded by crowd-control barricades after the leak of a draft decision in the Dobbs case. The plaza was clear however on April 22, Earth Day, when Wynn Bruce of Boulder, Colorado sat down next to a fountain. At 6:30 that evening, he set himself on fire, and though police were able to douse the flames, he later died of his injuries. His friend, climate scientist Kritee Kanko of the Environmental Defense Fund, explained that “This act is not suicide. This is a deeply fearless act of compassion to bring attention to [the] climate crisis.”
Bruce’s extreme deed, an echo of the Buddhist monks who self-immolated in 1960s Saigon, is not as mystifying as it could be, because we are steeped in climate catastrophism. A 2021 international survey found that beyond worrying about climate change, 56 percent of young people believe that “humanity is doomed.” The survey, which included ten thousand 16 to 25-year-olds in 10 countries, found that 75 percent thought the future was frightening and four out of ten said they were reluctant to bring children into such a world. Celebrities like Prince (ex-prince?) Harry and his wife Meghan Markle have announced that they are limiting their family to two children for the sake of the planet, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez warned that “The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.” Sweden’s Greta Thunberg has become an international symbol of innocence betrayed, her angry denunciations of her elders treated as Delphic pronouncements.
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