opinion | The Supreme Court’s anti-democratic actions extend far beyond Ru

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If the Supreme Court adopts the substance of Justice Samuel Alito Jr.’s bill to end the constitutional right to abortion, the radicalism of the conservative majority will deepen the crisis of American democracy and divide an already fractured country.

There is a paradox in this because Alito’s opinion is, in principle, about democracy. He writes: “It is time to pay attention to the constitution and to return the issue of abortion to the elected representatives of the people.”

The backlash against Alito’s approach is certainly a case of democracy at work. An unintended consequence of a resolution like what he is proposing is the mobilization of pro-choice voters angry at the sudden shift in the legal status of abortion.

As long as abortion rights are seen to be protected safely ru vs. valley And family planning v. CaseyThe abortion issue was often a stimulus for opponents, who have repeatedly voted for Republicans promising anti-Ro Supreme Court nominees.

Helen Olin: Businesses need to talk about reproductive rights — now

But even as they garnered pro-life votes, conservatives have engaged in two deceptive moves. With the exception of Donald Trump, who has said explicitly “I will appoint pro-life judges,” Republican politicians usually hide their intentions behind abstract promises of support for “tough builders” who will not “legitimize from the bench.”

The judges themselves were equally circumspect during their confirmation hearings. They never told us they thought Ro It was decided wrong. On the contrary, they spoke of their great respect for precedent, very often. Whether you call this a lie or not, it sure was a deliberate misrepresentation and an evasion. The last thing Trump appointees wanted was a long discussion about what would turn out Ro Means.

So far, most Republican politicians don’t want to talk about it Ro. This is because they know how unpopular abortion rights will be. So they focus instead on how horrific it would be for a draft opinion to be leaked out of court.

David von Drel: Alito’s speech on Roux is a smokescreen that obscures true extremism

Not to mention, a conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board hinted at what was going on inside the court days before Politico published the draft. I think a small leak that serves conservative interests is a good thing. But the big leak showed just how political this majority on the court was — and reminded people of the anti-democratic power grab that created it.

Conservatives hate it when anyone points to this fact: Three of the five are said to be anti-Ro The judges were appointed by the president who lost the popular vote by 2.9 million and was confirmed by senators who represent a minority of the country’s population.

Or that one of the vacancies was created by then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell against the nomination of Merrick Garland in the final year of Barack Obama’s presidency. Then came McConnell’s opposite on the question of allowing elections to take place before justice was assured. Connie Barrett was nominated for an Emmy in 2020 just days before voters chose Joe Biden.

The significance of this court takeover was already evident in decisions regarding voting rights, religion, the environment, and more. Demolition Ro It would engage the public in a way that no other resolution would; A Washington Post and ABC News poll last month found that 54 percent of Americans would support sticking Ro; Only 28 percent said it should be flipped.

Thus the problem of the question posed by Alito’s apologists: Could it be undemocratic to bring the abortion issue back into the state legislatures? It’s not just that most people clearly disagree with the ending Ro. It is also the extreme selectivity of jurisdiction in relation to democracy.

For the past 30 years, conservative Supreme Court nominees have testified about abortion rights during Senate confirmation hearings. (Video: JM Rieger/The Washington Post)

The Court’s conservative majority has subverted all sorts of laws that have been democratically enacted: environmental and labor laws, and restrictions on the role of money in politics. Court decisions on voting rights and electoral manipulation are ostensibly anti-democratic because they allow minority rule in states that would legislate abortion. The judges refused to be outspoken about their designs Ro issues. They prioritized their own assertions of the imperative for a national dialogue about the flaws and virtues of a controversial rule they apparently intended to abolish.

On a personal level, I understand surveys that show many Americans have complex opinions about abortion. Mine is complicated, too. Here’s what’s not complicated: The best way to reduce the incidence of miscarriage is to provide more support to women, both during pregnancy and while raising their children. By moving away from child loans, and expanding childcare and paid parental leave, our nation has signaled indifference to their struggles.

Michelle L. Norris: Republicans are screaming about abortion. Then they abandon the children.

But the sudden fall RoAnd criminalizing abortion on a large scale would be disastrous. It will not end the abortion. It would put the lives of many women at risk and put a special burden on the least fortunate among us.

Conservatives (as Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. tells his colleagues) must understand that a radical change such as Alito’s contemplates always explodes in the faces of his authors.

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