At SCOTUS, whose members outright lie about their intentions during confirmation, giving politicians like Senator Collins the cover they need to vote for someone they either knew, or should have known, would lead to this very moment.

At the Federalist Society who has waged an insidious, long-term, successful campaign to build a court that will happily enact their agenda.

At the Republican party who has abandoned every democratic principle our nation was founded on. They have cynically gamed the system to gain and keep power, with no regard to the cost it has imposed upon us.

They have succeeded by stoking fear and anger in those they now embrace, and it is long past time for the Democratic party to use this moment to do the same. It is time to instill fear and anger in every voter about the agenda of the radical and extreme GOP, and exactly where they will lead our country if given the reins of power.

1. A federal law banning abortion throughout the entire US.

2. A repeal of the Affordable Care Act, replacing it with something not affordable, and lacking the protections for pre-existing conditions.

3. The end to Social Security and Medicare.

I honestly don't want to hear from anyone about how they couldn't get these things passed without a 60 vote majority in the Senate or a Democratic President who would not sign them into law. It doesn't matter - it's where they want to lead us. Does anyone doubt that McConnell would end the filibuster or other Senate rules if it served his purpose? Does anyone doubt that Manchin or Sinema can be bought?

It's also long past time to stop putting the burden of women's rights on the shoulders of women alone. Men who love their wives, sisters, daughters and granddaughters need to start voting to protect their rights as well. If a woman is forced to give birth, it affects them, their brothers, their sons as well, because courts will still be in favor of exacting 18 years of child support from them.

It is time to mobilize the masses around our anger. It is time for each of us to be willing to stand in line for however many hours it takes to cast our votes. It is time for the younger generation, progressives, and minority voters to stop threatening to stay home because President Biden didn't pass legislation canceling student debt, or enacting universal child-care, or reforming the judicial system with a 5 seat majority in the House and a 50-50 Senate. If they want to threaten to stay home during the midterms, do it. See where that gets you and our country.

Expand full comment
May 3, 2022·edited May 3, 2022

The paragraph that says “Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion" is a brazen, flagrant, intentional lie.

The reasoning is intended as, and will be used as, the can opener to break open countless protections against the most egregious exercises of state power, and limitation on the ability of private groups and entities to harass and oppress other citizens.

Among the most obvious rulings that the reasoning in this reversal renders fair game for would be malefactors and self-appointed adjudicators of other people's habits:

Griswold vs Connecticut

Lawrence vs Texas

Eisenstadt vs Baird

Obergefell vs Hodges

But it extends far beyond that. The right of privacy is inextricably bound up in your right as an individual or group to have some control over, or at least recourse against, invasion by acquisition, deployment, and promulgation of personal information.

Someone here wrote "the deed is done" as if this was really about abortion and it's over. It hasn't even started. Abortion isn't the agenda. Its prohibition is just one waypoint on the journey to fulfill the agenda. The real agenda is to free up the government and private groups to combine and put the twentieth century, and the prospect of liberation from traditional "moral" tyrannies, back in the box they escaped from after WWII. To rephrase Rousseau: the Court finds humanity everywhere too free, and they need to put it back in chains.

America is descending into a future that may (and probably will) make societies like East Germany look like a libertarian paradise.

Expand full comment

Unfortunately, Roe was the compromise position. Not a perfect one, but one that attempted to balance the rights of the mother with the interests and viability of the fetus. It meant there could be some abortion, especially early on, but the longer the pregnancy the bigger the burden to leap over, the harder it was to justify until the only reason you had was a threat to the life of the mother. As someone who's pro-abortion rights, I wouldn't say this is perfect, but I'd say it's good enough to reflect the divisiveness of the issue.

Now, as Charlie correctly notes, that's gonna be gone. Does that mean there will be no abortion, anywhere? Potentially. Does it mean at least one state, maybe Mississippi, will make attempting or seeking an abortion a death-penalty crime? Almost certainly.

And this is what's important to understand, and that I've found in my life. Most Christians, if you sit them down and get them to speak rationally, understand you can't have zero abortion. Most of them don't think women should die in the midst of pregnancy. But that's not the politicians they vote for. The politicians they vote are fanatics who don't care, or feel they have to answer to fanatics. And that's what made this debate so dangerous to the republic.

Because while I am pro-abortion rights, and I strongly disagree with you that oppose me, I don't think most of those people are fanatics. They don't want the government in their bedrooms, they're okay with gay marriage, they think banning birth control is dumb. But that's not what fanatics think, and Republican politicians are either fanatics, or feel bound by them.

So either one of the 5 for tossing Roe reverses, or we're in deep trouble. I'm not sure which this leak portends, but I think it's deep trouble.

Expand full comment

I, for one, am looking forward to the raft of legislation that ought to come from republicans supporting pregnant mothers with healthcare, food security, housing, education, childcare and parental leave expenses.

Expand full comment

My GOD, not even an exception if the mother's life is at risk?! There is nothing, NOTHING that is "pro-life" about compulsory pregnancy. These people are sick, sick.

Expand full comment

I’m as pro-choice as they come, but the irony is that the number of abortions in this country is way way down and the vast vast majority are done in the first 6 weeks of pregnancy. A tiny tiny number are after the first trimester and even tinier after the second (most of which of no doubt medically necessary). My point is this happened during a time abortion was legal. So for folks —like you, Charlie— who sincerely believe that abortion is wrong — it would be better to look at what contributed to the significant decrease in abortion rates and do more of that. Because we all know making abortion illegal does not stop abortion, it just makes it less safe for mostly poor women. Alas, as you say, we don’t live in a world of compromise where people are actually interested in collaborating on solutions.

Expand full comment
May 3, 2022·edited May 3, 2022

The court SHOULD be pressured. If they're going to ignore half a century of constitutional law and completely throw out the window 50 years of precedent, then no decision is safe.

If centuries of constitutional law mean nothing and the justices are openly saying previous courts were wrong, then they're saying the court is not a neutral arbiter of the law. If the only thing that has changed is the members of the court, not the actual arguments.... I don't know about you, but that sounds a whole lot like a legislature to me, rather than a neutral court of law. Unelected legislators no less.

We pressure members of congress all the time. As recently as last year, Trumpists told us that an attempt to kill legislators was a great and patriotic event. We should treat the justices as legislators because they've decided that is what their role is, a lifetime super legislature.

If we can't pressure unelected justices with lifetime appointments when Republicans are trying to kill actual legislators, then American democracy is a dead man walking.

Expand full comment

"...a Democratic party that seems to have lost its ability to put the left-wing of the party in its place, rather than yielding to it on a regular basis."

Hogwash. As JVL wrote:

"And pretty much every conservative fear about Biden failed to materialize:

"Packing the SCOTUS. Nope.

Socialism. Nope.

Defunding the police. Nope.

Immigration amnesty. Nope.

$5 trillion in new spending. Nope.

"In fact, if Biden had some generic, center-right pol as his chief-of-staff, I’m not sure how different this past year would have been in terms of passed legislation. It’s almost like some conservatives are looking for an excuse—any excuse—to crap on Biden."

Also JVL, from a different newsletter:

"...I suspect what people mean is that they want 'the left' to stop doing things which are not broadly popular—and then they conflate 'the left' with the power structure of the Democratic party."

To paraphrase the man, conservatives are looking for an excuse-any excuse-not to vote for Democrats. I know, it's scary to think about what 4 more years of Dem power may look like. Guaranteed 2 weeks of maternity leave? A slow, incremental, multi-year slog to raising the minimum wage to $15/hr? Lowering the age of Medicare eligibility to 50? The horror of it all!

Expand full comment

To the Republicans who claim to be pro-life, no one said it better than Sister Joan Chittister back in 2004 in an interview with Bill Moyers:

"I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is."

So the rest of us need to start calling them what they are - pro-birth. That's all they are. Even their response during the global pandemic showed they are not "pro-life", even when it comes to their own constituents.

Expand full comment

Tucker said the war in Ukraine is designed to cause regime change in Moscow? Putin started a war to cause regime change in Moscow?

Our system is not a great system, unfortunately. In our system, a Senate Majority Leader can shut down a President's SCOTUS nominee. In our system, a candidate who got 3 million fewer votes than another candidate can mold fully one third of the the SCOTUS with life time picks. Ours is a leaky ship, and we have people trying to plug the holes, and people who are shooting the folks trying to plug the holes. And of course, when you shoot at people on a ship, you just create more holes, and fewer pluggers.

Expand full comment

While I would not want ( not even a possibility, I’m way past that) to have an an abortion I DO NOT believe or want the government to regulate my ability to have one. I felt ill last night listening to the news of this leak. I agree that someone leaked this draft to try and influence the court. If SCOTUS overturns Roe it will destroy Americans confidence in the court. I thought “The Handmaid’s Tale” was a scary dystopian novel but it appears more and more to be the potential future of America.

Expand full comment

The court was crafted to do this. Now the deed is done (or nearly so). What we have is the turning back of a right that may have been created by a court - but we rely on case law for so much. so really? Turn back a right after almost 50 years?

And please don't tell me about the rights of the unborn.

By the way, if you know anything about the history of other issues - like corporate rights, you will know that the court has created many rights over time. Thus we have corporate speech et all. The earliest corporations were hardly persons in any way. They may have been "artificial persons" but that was so far from personhood as to be unrelated to my personhood. Yet conservatives are happy to expand rights if it involves business or if it is to expand the power of the state. But when human rights are at stake, they clamp down.

Expand full comment

I reject the court's authority on this. Didn't we all just agree that no one has any obligation to another person's health or safety, and that no one can be forced to undergo medical stuff they object to, and that even minor inconveniences like wearing a mask in Kroger are explicit violations of a person's right to bodily autonomy?

I'll keep a pack of Plan B in the freezer for any young person in my life who might need it, and this court can go to hell.

Expand full comment

Justice Alito, egregiously wrong from the start.

Expand full comment
May 3, 2022·edited May 3, 2022

Dear Charlie,

Like millions of others in the months and years to come, my wife and I will now be moving West. In doing so, we're leaving families and friends (along with a sizable inheritance had we stayed) behind because we have two daughters, 9 and 11 and will NOT raise them under a Southern governor in a nation that, gender-wise, will soon be half-slave and half-free.

For us, and untold numbers of parents like us, this isn't just another issue in the culture wars. It's the moment when the levee broke.

Expand full comment

So the always popular answer of never overturning "settled law" has proven that the current crop of conservative justices lie and disemble with alacrity.

As Catholics, they know being a lying-sack-of-shit is only a venial sin.

Expand full comment