They overthrow Roe. We should overthrow their power.


Before James Bopp led the fight to deregulate campaign finance law which resulted in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in 2010, the conservative lawyer had another role: general counsel for the National Committee for the Right to Life, the largest national anti-abortion group in the country.

Bopp’s twin interests – flooding the electoral system with undisclosed sources of money and policing women’s bodily autonomy – converged earlier this week after a leaked draft notice signaled the impending end of Roe vs. Wade. The provisional majority in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was signed by five conservative judges, three of whom are direct products of the justice network fueled by right-wing black money, and four of which were nominated by presidents who lost the popular vote.

The plutocratic funding that built the modern conservative legal movement and effectively produced this anti-majoritarian ruling lays bare the court’s undemocratic core — and the urgency to strip the Robed Nine of their extraordinary power.

The leaked opinion, written by Samuel Alito, an appointee of George W. Bush (a president who lost the popular vote and entered the White House as a result of Bush versus Gorea 5-4 seal of approval from an ideologically divided court), would overturn the landmark 1973 decision Roe vs. Wade and his court-clarifier, Family planning c. Casey (1992), both of which relied on broad constitutional interpretations of privacy and personal liberty.

“We hold that deer and Casey must be reversed,” Alito wrote in the ninety-eight-page draft. “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion and this right is not implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of deer and Casey rely primarily on the Due Process Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment.

Disregarding years of precedent and considerable audience Support for the right to abortion, Alito relies on a constrained and formalistic version of the founding document which only protects the rights “‘deeply rooted in the history and tradition of this nation’ and ‘implicit in the concept of freedom ordered'”. This reactionary to see rights holds under the knife not just access to abortion, but other ostensibly entrenched freedoms that large swaths of the electorate have come to accept, embrace and rely on.

“Judge Alito’s draft opinion in Dobbs is a radical repudiation of the Court’s libertarian precedents on abortion,” said Samuel Nelson, professor of political science at the University of Toledo. Jacobin. “But [the decision] goes much further than that to suggest that all of the rights considered in prior cases to be fundamental under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, such as the right to contraception, same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, protection from forced sterilization and the right to educate one’s children are now subject to cancellation.

If the Supreme Court is unchecked, it will continue to advance the interests of right-wing groups and roll back popular gains.

In Family planning c. Casey, Alito’s conservative ancestor Antonin Scalia argued in his dissent that it was wrong for the court to rule on the contentious issue of abortion, instead insisting that “allowing the Abortion, and its limits, must be resolved as the most important issues in our democracy: by citizens trying to persuade each other and then voting. Decades later, Alito echoed that argument, writing in Dobbs that “it is time to respect the Constitution and to refer the question of abortion to the elected representatives of the people”.

Democratic Party leaders also invoked voters in their response to the leaked ruling. In a statement, President Joe Biden said, “If the Court overturns deer . . . it will be up to voters to elect pro-choice officials in November. . . . At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to pass legislation that codifies deer.”

Aside from the inanity of conservative justices posing as proponents of electoral democracy — Scalia and Alito personally helped gut the Voting Rights Act — the voters’ solution to the judicial problem falls short. A clear majority of voters have long opposed the cancellation Roe vs. Wade, yet anti-majoritarian American political institutions prevented the decision from being incorporated into law. Just this year a measurement codify deer passed the House, only to stall in the Senate in the face of the filibuster (and conservative Democrat Joe Manchin). Nor should we trust Biden or the Democratic Party, which has proven far better at using the specter of a reactionary court to bludgeon leftist critics than actually protecting abortion rights.

Instead of pushing a purely electoral solution, we should advocate a complete restructuring of the court and its place in American politics.

As jurist Samuel Moyn wrote in his testimony last year to the Presidential Committee on Judicial Reform:

The problem to be solved is not that the Supreme Court has lost its legitimacy, understood as the current confidence of a sufficient number of observers, but that it thwarts the democratic authority which alone justifies our political arrangements. It is one thing to insulate and protect the interpreters of our Constitution and our laws from certain types of short-term democratic control. It is quite another to cede the final say over much of our national political conversation – not to mention the power to change and reject major laws – to powers less accountable and, to add insult to injury , to claim that this is either mandated by our Constitution or essential to democracy.

Moyn suggests disempowering the court by stripping the body of jurisdiction or requiring that only a supermajority of judges can strike down an act of Congress. Another reform proposal, advocated by jurist Jamal Greene, would limit “the disproportionate amount of power each judge wields” by expanding the court to include every appellate judge on the federal bench.

Whatever the precise solution, after the leak of an opinion that would destroy widely popular precedents and harm the health and bodily autonomy of millions of people, it is now clear that the tribunal cannot continue in its form. current. We must plunder the power of the court.


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