Whatever crap you might hear from this day forward about how conservatives will not tolerate “judicial activism” or “legislating from the bench,” think of this day when the Supreme Court did exactly that with its decision striking down a woman’s constitutional right to obtain an abortion.
The U.S. Constitution, said the court in a 6-3 ruling, does not guarantee a woman’s right to an abortion, and it now hands the issue over to the states to decide individually.
This is a dark day in American judicial history.
The SCOTUS has struck down the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that declared women had a right under the Constitution to terminate a pregnancy. Previous court rulings had upheld that right.
No longer. The Supreme Court, with its super-conservative majority, has acted in a fashion that used to be anathema to judicial and political conservatives. It has exercised extreme judicial activism in tossing aside what had been considered “settled law.”
Didn’t conservatives once frown on such activism? Didn’t they excoriate progressive judges for crossing that line?
Roughly half the states already have laws on the books that will now take effect. They will make abortion illegal. In Texas, for example, doctors can be charged with felony crimes and sentenced to decades in prison if they perform an abortion. Texas even allows its residents to reap bounties if they tattle on their neighbors who they know have obtained an abortion.
It might not stop with just criminalizing abortion. There well might efforts to overturn other SCOTUS decisions legalizing gay marriage, which the court has ruled is protected under the Equal Protection clause in the 14th Amendment.
Does this hideous decision end abortion? Hardly. Women will continue to terminate their pregnancy, even if it puts them in serious — possibly mortal — danger.
The Supreme Court, moreover, has just furthered the cause of conservative judicial activism. Those on the right-wing fringe, therefore, can spare me the highly dubious argument that the court merely called “balls and strikes” from the bench.
Oh, no! It weighed in with a ruling that denies women a basic right that had been protected under settled law … and the U.S. Constitution.