[The Supreme Court in Roe] “ventured too far in the change it ordered and presented an incomplete justification for its action. … It stopped a democratic process that was already in motion.” Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1984)
“I do not view abortion as a choice or a right. I think it’s always a tragedy, … [W]e should … limit the number of abortions … [We] ought to be able to have a common ground and consensus to do that.” Senator Joe Biden (2006)
As Tammy Bruce just said on Fox News, “I haven’t seen the Democrats this mad since yesterday.” The occasion for their latest rage is that on June 23, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturned Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 SCOTUS decision described by revered iconic pro-abortion liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as poorly argued and undemocratic, that made a woman’s right to an abortion the law of the land. Dobbs does not make abortion illegal.
Dobbs simply returns the question of abortion rights to the democratic processes in the 50 states in order there to seek the common ground and consensus that President Joe Biden used to pretend to support until he was installed in the presidency by the Left in 2020. Biden now pretends that he can no longer understand how SCOTUS could make the “tragic error” of accepting precisely the same “extreme ideology” that he himself endorsed in 2006.
Vice President Kamala Harris is also furious: “This is the first time in the history of our nation that a constitutional right has been taken away from the people of America.” Alleged Roman Catholic Joe Biden agrees. In his speech to the nation on Dobbs he states,
“Today, the Supreme Court of the United States expressly took away a constitutional right from the American people … That’s never been done to a right so important to so many Americans.”
Stacy Abrams also agrees that Dobbs “eliminated the constitutional right to an abortion.”
Many in the propaganda wing of the Democrat Party (the mainstream media) also agree. CNN’s Jessica Schneider stated that overturning Roe “eliminated the constitutional right” to abortion. The perpetually outraged MSNBC socialist, Lawrence O’Donnell, stated that “we are witnessing the loss of a constitutional right.” Chuck Todd, always eager to do his bit for the cause, tweeted that “this is the first time I can think of that [SCOTUS] took away a constitutional right.” Fareed Zakaria states that with Dobbs “50 years of constitutional [abortion] rights” are “gone overnight”.
In fact, the SCOTUS ruling did not take away any constitutional rights from anybody. Consider the following analogy. Tom Brady throws the football to Rob Gronkowski in the end zone who cradles it as he steps out of bounds. The referees raise their arms and signal, “Touchdown”. However, upon review, it becomes clear that when Gronkowski went out of bounds, he was juggling the ball. The referees overturn the call and now signal, “No touchdown!”
The correct description of this reversal is not that Brady had a touchdown but the referees took it away from him. The correct description is that even though Brady, the referees and the fans thought for a time that he had a touchdown, the truth is that he never had one. So when the referees reverse their call they are not taking anything away from him that is rightfully his.
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Similarly, when SCOTUS overturns Roe, they are not taking away a right that the court had granted in 1973. The Supreme Court has no capacity to “grant” rights. That is a misunderstanding of its job. The Supreme Court’s job is to identify rights that are already present in the constitution. If the Supreme Court starts “making things up,” as they did in 1973 when they “discovered” a right to abort babies in a constitution that never once mentions abortion, then they are acting inappropriately. When, therefore, SCOTUS overturns Roe they are saying that the alleged right identified in Roe, like the hypothetical Brady touchdown, never existed. Many people thought it existed and acted as if it existed but it did not. In 1973, SCOTUS, riding the political waves of the time, just “made it up”. Biden, Harris, Abrams, Todd, O’Donnell, Zakaria, and Schneider are, therefore, wrong that Dobbs eliminated a constitutional right.
The lightly educated talking heads in the “news” media might be forgiven for not understanding this but Biden and Harris, each with a J.D., and Fareed, with a Ph.D., should be able to understand the logical implications of the fact if SCOTUS makes things up out of whole cloth, then there was no actual right there to be taken away.
Blonde-haired self-described “American Indian” Senator Elizabeth Warren, whose young career received a big boost when she was gifted with her tribe’s spot at Harvard Law, thereby taking the place from a real minority person, sputters that she is “spitting mad over this. We have six extremist justices on the Supreme Court who have decided that their moral and religious views should be imposed on the rest of America … [a]nd in a democracy on this issue, the Supreme Court does not get the last word, the people do.”
Unfortunately, although Warren’s emotionalism may be of utility in riling up the base to vote in November, that is, in manipulating them, it is of no legal significance whatsoever. Indeed, being “spitting mad” may not be the best frame of mind in which to evaluate anything rationally. For what Dobbs does is precisely what Warren now says she wants, namely, to return the decision on abortion to the democratic process in the 50 states and, using Warren’s words, give “the last word … to the people”.
Perhaps the problem with all these mistaken views is best illustrated in Fareed Zakaria view that Dobbs is “not conservative. It is “radical” because it “reverses years of precedent.” Yes, so did Brown vs Board of Education (1954) that overturned the even more longstanding Plessy v. Ferguson (1894) decision that established “separate but equal” public facilities for whites and blacks. The real “extremist” and “radical” SCOTUS decision was the activist Roe decision that conjured a new right out of whole cloth. Dobbs merely corrects that mistake and returns the issue to the democratic process.
In fact, there can be nothing less radical than returning the decision on controversial social issues to the democratic process as advised by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. What Dobbs did is tell the American people that the Supreme Court does not have the power to tell people how to live their lives. Only the democratic process in the 50 states, that is, the people.
The fact that Abrams, Warren, Fareed, and others view Dobb’s as extremist and radical exposes the fact that although the Left talks constantly about “saving our democracy” what they actually want is a handful of black-robed judges to circumvent the democratic process to give them the victories that the American people never willingly would – and that is the entire reason for the constant hysterical rhetoric, infantilism, threats, and violence from the Left.
By Richard McDonough
Richard Michael McDonough, American philosophy educator. Achievements include production of original interpretation of Wittgenstein’s logical-metaphysical system, original application Kantian Copernican Revolution to philosophy of language; significant interdisciplinary work logic, linguistics, psychology & philosophy. Member Australasian Debating Federation (honorary life, adjudicator since 1991), Phi Kappa Phi. Richard is a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative.
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Photo by Derek French: https://www.pexels.com/photo/protest-against-roe-v-wade-overturning-in-los-angeles-ca-12616196/