Today’s Dobbs Supreme Court Leak Freakout Update

As discussed here many times, the abortion issue is an ethics conflict, meaning that there are legitimate and important interests at stake on both sides of the controversy. One way advocates or activists signal their lack of qualifications, intellect and integrity to discuss the issue is by denying or ignoring one interest or the other. That’s proving a benefit of the current freak-out over the leaked draft of what might be a total reversal of Roe v. Wade (and Casey, but that’s intrinsic in overturning Roe). People are revealing who and what they really are–phonies, idiots, liars, demagogues, hypocrites, opportunists, irresponsible fools, or nascent totalitarians.

The depressing, indeed frightening aspect of the freakout is the degree to which it demonstrates that most Americans (and a shocking number of the people whose job it is to inform and guide them through complex issues) are so ignorant of the basic civic facts about what the Supreme Court is. Thus the Dobbs leak freakout is to a great extent another indictment of our public school system, its teachers and administrators, and education in America generally. It should, but won’t, make the point to school boards and legislators that before students are instructed in the complexities of gender dysphoria and critical race theory, the priority should be instructing them in the essentials of the Constitution so they can function as citizens.

Another basic principle, this one of life and being a competent and responsible member of society, is also missing among a vast number of the public. A Politico poll claims that 50% of the public opposes the end of Roe. How many of those have read Roe v. Wade or the leaked Alito opinion? My guess would be less than 1%. They literally don’t know what they are talking about. Most think that ending Roe “bans abortion.” It does nothing of the kind. Most, though (I hope) nothing like 99%, also think the Supreme Court is some kind of appointed super legislature that passes laws. Democrats and media hysterics either share that inexcusable misconception (proving stupidity) or are deliberately exploiting it (proving maleficence)—yes, it’s another Hanlon’s Razor problem.

“As we’ve warned, SCOTUS isn’t just coming for abortion – they’re coming for the right to privacy Roe rests on, which includes gay marriage + civil rights,” tweeted Rep. Ocasio-Cortez. Yes, we have an elected member of Congress with huge power within the Democratic Party who thinks “civil rights” and same sex marriage rely on privacy rights. (They don’t; she’s not even close.) People who know nothing assume members of Congress know something.

They also once could assume Presidents could be trusted not to spout complete nonsense. How many assume that now? Biden’s reaction (above) to the leak was historically irresponsible. A President of the United States criticizing the Supreme Court before it renders its opinion? Wait, wasn’t it Donald Trump who didn’t conform to “democratic norms” and who threatened “democratic institutions”? Biden is also a lawyer: what the hell is he talking about with the hysterical claim that the draft opinion “questions” every private decision? He’s a Catholic, and his own religion claims that life begins at conception…and what does religion have to do with a legal ruling anyway? The Supreme Court doesn’t, and can’t, consider religious formulas in its deliberations. Doesn’t the President of the United States know that? Either the answer is no, or Biden has deteriorated to the point of disability, or he’s a liar beyond anything Donald Trump was accused of. Whatever the answer is, the leak episode at least is showing us what kind of leader we have right now.

Back to the House: One of the worst of the worst, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Cal), the serial liar still under fire for having a sexual relationship with a Chinese spy, tweeted: “The Republicans won’t stop with banning abortion. They want to ban interracial marriage. Do you want to save that? Well, then you should probably vote.”

When have Republicans said the they want to ban inter-racial marriage? How deranged does one have to be to say something like that, never mind believe it?

Of course, the immediate reaction of Democratic leadership was to “put court-packing back on the table.” As John Daniel Davidson writes in an excellent (if ominous) piece in The Federalist,

We know already that President Biden and the Democrats are willing to pack the court if they conclude they have lost control over it. They admitted as much during the 2020 election. “Packing the court” is just a euphemism for destroying it, as it would then become just another political branch of the federal government. This should not surprise us. Whenever the left feels they have lost control of an institution, they try to destroy it.

While the metaphorical projectile vomit from Democrats has been the most alarming (and yet revealing of just how little that party respects the rule of law), it is the celebrities who have made the biggest fools of themselves (except that they were fools already.) On “The View,” Joy Behar actually said the overturning Roe meant that SCOTUS might reverse Brown v. Bd. of Education. Then Whoopi, who in 2017 said that Roe couldn’t be overturned because “it was now part of the Constitution” (Uh, no…), explained why the draft was wrong by saying,

“Getting an abortion is not easy. Making that decision is not easy. It’s not something people do lightly…If you don’t have the wherewithal to understand that … then you’re not looking out for me as a human being … and that is not okay.”

Hiring a contract killer to knock off your spouse isn’t easy either: so what? What does the fact that a decision is difficult have to do with whether it should be a right?

Yet against all odds, Bette Midler’s critique would be hard to top for pure gibberish. The Divine Miss M wrote,

[Roe] has been settled law, guaranteed by the Constitution for 50 years; the 14th Amendment to the document that is the foundation of our country’s laws. If they strike down this amendment, what is to stop them striking down others that conservatives don’t agree with?

The really scary part is that her take isn’t much more incoherent than Biden’s.

Republicans aren’t exempt from the self-exposure of character rot the leak has triggered. Senator Lisa Murkowski said, “If the decision is going the way that the draft that has been revealed is actually the case, it was not. It was not the direction that I believed that the court would take based on statements that have been made about Roe being settled and being precedent.” This part of the “the Trump nominees lied” trope that the Left is spinning. Here are what Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett said at their hearings regarding Roe:

Gorsuch: “The Supreme Court of the United States has held that Roe v. Wade, that a fetus is not a person for purposes of the 14th Amendment…That’s the law of the land, I accept the law of the land.”

All true. He did not say he agreed with Roe (he had written that he did not) or that presented with a case that allowed him to vote to overturn Roe, he would not do so.

Kavanaugh: “As a general proposition I understand the importance of the precedent set forth in Roe v. Wade. As a judge, it is an important precedent of the Supreme Court. By ‘it,’ I mean Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, [which have] been affirmed many times. Casey is precedent on precedent.”

Again, all true at the time. He pointedly refused to say, though he was asked to do so, that he believed “a woman’s right to choose” should be considered a Constitutional right. Like Gorsuch, he just said that it was one (as long as Roe and Casey were good law).

Barrett: “[Roe is not] so well-settled that no political actors and no people seriously push for their overruling. I’m answering a lot of questions about Roe, which I think indicates that Roe doesn’t fall in that category. And scholars across the spectrum say that doesn’t mean that Roe should be overruled. But descriptively, it does mean that it’s not a case that everyone has accepted and doesn’t call for its overruling.”

If Murkowski really thought any of them promised not to vote to overturn Roe in a future case, then she heard what she wanted of hear…or she’s lying now, and assuming most people won’t check the transcripts.

The news media’s pundits are not exactly covering themselves in glory either. At the extreme end of the dark side of the ethics spectrum—at Vox, not surprisingly, is this despicable screed from . He praises the leak and the leaker, because he wants to destroy the Supreme Court. Read it: it ticks every single misrepresentation of the Court and its function highlighted by Glenn Greenwald [Item #4].

On the other side is the op-ed by The Times’ Stockholm Syndrome house conservative Bret Stephens, who argues that overturning Roe isn’t conservative, but radical. I would take his argument about the importance of keeping long-accepted law (if one can call Roe “accepted”) and precedent more seriously if he mentioned or even alluded to the feature of abortion that makes it distinct from all other “rights” and issues. Declaring abortion a right also establishes a right to kill nascent human beings who would otherwise have an opportunity to live if only their existence were not inconvenient.  Stephens’ argument that reversing a 50 year-old landmark decision is too disrupting to law, society and culture is a valid one, and I would consider that argument seriously, if he had the integrity to deal with the small detail of the millions of dead human fetuses, unique human organisms all, past and future, that the “right” being cancelled involved.



24 thoughts on “Today’s Dobbs Supreme Court Leak Freakout Update

  1. Joe also said that “The idea that we’re gonna make a judgment that is going to say that no one can make the judgment to choose to abort a child based on a decision by the Supreme Court I think goes way overboard.”
    OOPS! He admitted that what is aborted is a child! How many religions approve of child-killing, Mr. President?

    • “OOPS! He admitted that what is aborted is a child! How many religions approve of child-killing, Mr. President?”

      Should be interesting/amusing to observe how slo-jo’s handlers furiously attempt to back pedal that statement.

  2. Jack,

    “Yes, we have an elected member of Congress with huge power within the Democratic Party who thinks “civil rights” and same sex marriage rely on privacy rights. (They don’t; she’s not even close.)”

    Both Griswold and Lawrence mention privacy as a key factor. I realize that argument had largely fallen by the wayside by the time of Obergefell, but she’s not COMPLETELY off-base in the confusion.


    • No, she’s completely off-base, because Griswold was not properly a bridge to abortion rights, and civil rights are based on equal protection, not privacy. Her reasoning is upside down: holding that Roe was improperly based on the right of privacy does not weaken or deny the right of privacy. If Roe somehow was erroneously based on the 4th Amendment, overturning it wouldn’t change the right to be secure against unreasonable searches. Right?

      • Well that…. And that Alito’s draft specifically and explicitly considers the difference between abortion laws and laws being referred to under the euphemism of “privacy”.

        Page Five, Paragraph 3;

        “[…]The abortion right is also critically different from any other right this Court has held to call within the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections of “liberty,” Roe’s defenders characterize the abortion right as similar to the rights recognized in past decisions involving matters such as intimate sexual relations, contraception, and marriage, but abortion is fundamentally different, as both Roe and Casey acknowledged, because because it destroyed what those decisions called “fetal life” and what the law now before us describes as an “unborn human being.”

  3. Bret Stephens should be reminded that there was a time that the slur “Radical” was applied to Republicans in the past. A similar time that they opposed Democrats doing what they pleased with other humans they felt were not worthy of protection.

    • It is the same cast of players and the same concept. However, I will have to say I never read anything from any pro-slavery advocate who claimed that people were morally superior for buying or owning slaves. They may have been considered socially superior, perhaps, but not morally. I also never remember any pro-slavery advocate being callous enough to say that they had a right to kill a slave just because it was convenient for the owner. From slavery to segregation to abortion to healthcare, the Democratic Party has always felt some lives are worth more than others.

  4. When pressed, most proglibocrats will eventually confess the primary reason for all the exaggerated mental/emotional thrashing is simply because the unbridled freedom to have *irresponsible* sex is likely to be curtailed. What a bunch of crybabies.

  5. Thanks, Jack. Once again, I have posted something without giving you due attribution. Here it is:

    There are, and have been for a very long time, disagreements over abortion. The disagreements have several different rationales. Without getting into the disagreements, I just wish that people — especially “important” people — criticizing the draft (yes, DRAFT, as aptly explained by the Chief Justice) opinion would base their criticism on knowledge rather than erroneous arguments. Here’s AOC, for instance: “As we’ve warned, SCOTUS isn’t just coming for abortion – they’re coming for the right to privacy Roe rests on, which includes gay marriage + civil rights.”

    Wrong-o and very much so. Same sex marriage and civil rights are definitely NOT based on the right of privacy implied from the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. They are, rather, clearly based on the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. There are many incorrect statements being made by “important” right to life proponents. Get it right before making an argument, folks. What we need is a better educated “ruling class.”

      • Obergefell would have been decided differently with the current makeup of the court. Just look at the vigorous dissents.

        All it takes is for Alito to say it was egregiously wrongly decided, like Roe, as he did in his dissent at the time, and like Roe, there it goes.

        • I really don’t think that’s true though, ZB. Obergefell has one thing in common with Roe, and that’s a weak opinion: for some reason Kennedy under-expressed the Equal Protection rationale for allowing same sex unions. But that decision was unavoidable, and you can’t have marriages that are legal in one state and not another.

          There have been few major decisions as inexcusably weak as Roe. Dred Scott was better reasoned. It’s sui generis

  6. Wait, does Bette Midler actually think that Roe v. Wade is the 14th amendment to the US constitution? Wow.

    How has this country lasted this long with such an illiterate, innumerate, civics-ignorant population? Maybe it really is divine providence that guides and protects America, because by all rights and logic this country should have self-immolated long ago.

  7. The current Democratic Party has a lust for power. They want to turn us into Europe with speech codes and government control in every aspect of life. Every right (except sexual ones) are negotiable to them.

  8. I feel like Biden’s statement was obviously not written by him, and that he’s obviously not available to give feedback on it. It’s too clueless about things that Biden has spent years tapdancing around as a Catholic, I don’t think Biden would intentionally lie in that specific way.

    Of course, whoever did write it is probably more involved in running the country than Biden is, so…

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