Opinion: Roe leak underscores this Supreme Court’s history of hypocrisy

Opinion: Roe leak underscores this Supreme Court's history of hypocrisy

Roe v. Wade was a constitutionally suspect ruling. It converted an ongoing contentious moral debate into a fixed social policy that a majority of the Supreme Court happened to prefer. One can be a supporter of lenient abortion rules (I am) and still believe the justices in 1973 should have stayed out of the debate (I do). But that’s a wholly different matter than whether the court should now overturn Roe. If the justices now do so, as the draft opinion leaked last week suggested they will soon do, the decision will be the most radical product of constitutional law in a hundred years. In that sense, abortion is almost beside the point. The court’s resulting loss of legitimacy will be a catastrophe — far more than whatever harm the leak caused. Demonstrators protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court after the leak of a draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito preparing for a majority of the court to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision later this year, in Washington, D.C., May 4. (Michael A. McCoy/Reuters) The loss has been a long time in coming. For more than two decades now, going back to Bush v. Gore, the court has been altogether too willing to ignore the prerogatives of other branches of government. In Bush v. Gore, it was a state supreme court that the justices chose to snub, as well as commands in federal law and in the Constitution itself that disputed presidential elections […]

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