The coming Roe v. Wade showdown

On May 30, Louisiana's Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, signed into legislation a fetal heartbeat bill that bans abortion at six weeks of gestation.  This made the Pelican State the fifth one just this year to enact such legislation.  The other four states are Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Mississippi.  Then there's Alabama.  It enacted a near total abortion ban, while Missouri passed legislation to ban abortion at eight weeks of gestation.

The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute says in addition to this that there are ten other states where a heartbeat bill has been introduced this year.  Guttmacher further laments that 27 abortion bans of one sort or another have also been enacted thus far in 2019 across the country.  And the Planned Parenthood Action Fund complains that more than 250 bills restricting abortion have been filed in 41 states.

Obviously, there has been a blossoming of anti-abortion activity in 2019.

One or more of these recently enacted anti-abortion laws will surely be declared unconstitutional per Roe v. Wade by a lower federal court.  From there, it's on to the Supreme Court.  Again the Guttmacher Institute:

The fact that states are advancing radical abortion bans that are clearly in violation of Roe v. Wade is part of a deliberate strategy to advance these cases to the U,.S. Supreme Court, in hopes that an increasingly conservative Court will undermine or even overturn Roe.

This sounds right, but timing here is important.  Right now, there are four implacable pro-abortion votes on the Court.  This makes the margin of error for those supporting life (and the Constitution) slim.  That margin shrinks even more, given that John Roberts is the chief justice.  Many Court observers feel he is a weak and unreliable vote when it comes to interpreting the Constitution.  He earned this reputation by his disgraceful vote and convoluted reasoning when Obamacare came before the Court.  In that instance, Roberts unquestionably bowed to liberal pressure. 

William McGurn writes in the Wall Street Journal that an effort is already being made to essentially intimidate Roberts.  McGurn says the drumbeat is starting with the message: "If the chief justice does not produce the desired progressive outcome [on abortion], the Roberts court will find itself attacked as institutionally illegitimate."

The argument that overturning Roe would make the Supreme Court illegitimate is a sad joke.  Leftists label any impediment to their quest for political power "illegitimate" — the Electoral College, the U.S. Senate, congressional districts, the 2016 election, etc.  As to abortion, progressives, as the liberals now like to call themselves, know that smoke and mirrors were used to come up with the Roe decision and that there is zero basis for it in the Constitution.  So, as much as they hate hearing this, the fact is, Roe itself was the paramount example of Court illegitimacy, and overturning it would restore integrity to the Court.  

Proof of this is 1) the constant resistance to abortion since it was legalize nationwide in 1973 and 2) that many states are trying as best they can to ban or restrict it.  That's representative democracy in action as opposed to the dictates by a mere seven unelected justices with lifetime tenure.  Hence, the liberal establishment is appealing to Roberts to genuflect at the altar of stare decisis with deference to precedent in the form of Roe v. Wade.  To do otherwise, the progressives argue, would render the Court illegitimate — at least in their eyes.

As said previously, timing is important.  Basically, it comes down to this.  Given how the court is presently constituted and that John Roberts could be the swing vote, it would be best to revisit Roe v. Wade after President Trump can make another appointment or two.  That's the insurance needed for a proper, legitimate reading on Roe.  Hopefully, that will come to pass.

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