Dobbs finally arrived:
“The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives,” wrote Justice Samuel Alito for the majority. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
He was joined in the majority opinion by Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett. Justice Roberts filed a separate opinion concurring with the majority.
“With sorrow—for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent,” wrote Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan in a joint dissent.
The issue of abortion will now be returned to the individual states to regulate as each sees fit. Dark blue states are expected to impose the most radical pro-abortion policies while dark red states may ban all abortion. Many states may choose to allow abortion only under certain circumstances.
A few thoughts:
- I am Catholic. We walk by faith and reason. Both faith and reason point to why Catholics have always opposed abortion. In that sense, today is a great day.
- Now the battle really begins, and I do not mean the inevitable attacks and violence that will unfold over the coming days. The real battle is to win hearts and minds where possible. As long as Roe existed, all potential discussions about the morality and efficacy of abortion laws were always more theoretical than real, because 7 dudes said so. Now, for good and bad, the people and their elected representatives get to decide the matter.
- The Court’s decision is, at bottom, an admission of humility. Roe was always an exercise in raw judicial power, as Byron White said in his dissent nearly 50 years ago. And as is often the case, the best use of power is sometimes to refrain from wielding such power.
- Between this decision and the court’s earlier decision this week in the Bruen case, the court has at least started a necessary process of returning to first principles. And if the Court were to continue this process, I’d certainly like them to look at earlier abusive rulings. I’d start with Wickard v. Filburn.