More on the Dobbs Decision
Washington, D.C., June 29, 2022
I need to say something about Chief Justice John Roberts, and his recent opinion on the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. I intentionally didn’t post about this last week, but now it’s time…
Constitutional conservatives have had plenty of gripes with Justice Robert’s opinions over the years. Add this decision to the list.
As many of you know, the major ruling last week from the Supreme Court is known as “Dobbs v. Jackson.” (Or the “Dobbs decision” for short.) In this case, an abortionist in Mississippi had sued over a state law banning abortions after 15 weeks. There were two major components to the Supreme Court’s ruling on this case last week:
FIRST, in a 6-3 majority which included John Roberts, the Court held that Mississippi was, in fact, within its power to establish such a law on the state level. Roberts agreed with that decision; he was one of the six. However…
SECOND, and more importantly, within this ruling, the Supreme Court also struck down its own 1973 decision on Roe v. Wade, calling its prior decision “egregiously wrong and deeply damaging,” and saying its “constitutional analysis was far outside the bounds of any reasonable interpretation” of the Constitution. Striking down Roe v. Wade does not ban abortions on the federal level, of course, but instead simply returns abortion policies to the various states.
Justice Roberts did NOT agree with striking down Roe v. Wade. He wrote his own separate concurrence on the Dobbs decision essentially agreeing that Mississippi could establish its own laws restricting abortion, while simultaneously trying to say that conflicting federal precedent under Roe v. Wade should be left standing.
The young kids would call this being a “squish” – which means easily swayed and having no real direction of one’s own.
The Dobb’s decision will probably be one of the most important, consequential cases during Robert’s entire tenure on the Supreme Court; perhaps even more so than his questionable decision upholding Obamacare. And he essentially muffed it.
To nobody’s surprise, the remaining 5 justices in 6-3 Dobb majority took Roberts to the WOODSHED over his “completely unworkable” position, saying “nothing like it was recommended by either party” and that Roberts made “no attempt to show [his logic] represented a correct interpretation of the Constitution.”
Two important takeaways from all this:
One, the Constitutional conservative majority on the Supreme Court is not 6-3, as some people claim. It’s difficult to include Roberts in that group. Instead, it’s probably better to assume the Constitutional conservative majority is just 5-4.
And two, THANK GOD President Trump and the Senate Republicans were not “squishes” when it came to getting Justice Amy Coney Barrett confirmed to the Court. Without them, there would not have been this tremendous win last week.