This week, a draft of the proposed Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade was leaked to the public.
The text, which has been confirmed by the court as authentic, shows a majority of the justices are planning to vote to overturn this landmark abortion rights legislation–first upheld as law in 1973.
This has been a political hotbed for years. Donald Trump and many Republican politicians have focused on this as a major campaign issue for a number of years. However, surveys consistently show that nearly 2/3 of Americans support a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body.
That doesn’t mean all these people support abortion. It just means they don’t feel the government should make this type of decision for its citizens. If the government can’t force people to wear masks to prevent the spread of a deadly disease, then they shouldn’t be able to legislate what happens to a woman’s uterus either. Overturning Roe v. Wade won’t make abortions go away–just the ones that are safe and legal.
What’s most disturbing is that the three most recent Supreme Court nominee were clear in their confirmation hearings that Roe v. Wade was the rule of law and it has precedence: It’s been upheld and reinforced in subsequent rulings, and they each would respect that.
Regardless of how we feel about this particular issue, the idea that the Court can toss legal precedent to pamper to political interests should be terribly frightening. Does this mean any decision a political party disagrees with can be thrown out as well? What’s next–outlawing interracial marriage or dismantling civil rights rulings?
We can see from what’s going on in Europe now what happens when a leader becomes powerful enough to control all aspects of the government–when opponents are afraid to speak out against him because they may be poisoned or exiled.
Our democracy was designed to have three separate branches of government, each of which would operate without political pressure from the others.
To turn the American judicial system into a political machine that executes the will and whims of either political party is unprecedented. And it should stir us all to ask, if this can happen, what’s next?
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