Since everywhere I turn, people are going on and on about this (I had to do a good bit of clicking to find stories that weren’t about this on my NPR phone app today) — even though it hasn’t actually happened yet — I’ll offer a few random thoughts about it:
First, why the leak? What exactly happened, and why? My first thought, of course, was that a pro-Roe clerk leaked it for any one of a number of reasons — to cast an aura of illegitimacy upon the decision by having it revealed unconventionally; to damage the court overall by tossing a grenade into the system of trust and discretion that has always been observed by those who work there; to try to exert direct and indirect pressure on justices to amend the decision by causing such a splash; and so forth. Or for that matter, someone on the other side thought, “This is going to be so huge that we should let people get used to the idea first.” But there doesn’t have to be a political angle. Someone might have simply been unable to keep a huge secret. Some people are like that. In any case, I hope Roberts can get to the bottom of it and make it amply clear such a thing is not ever to happen again. And of course, this is to be the end of the career of the perpetrator.
Democrats need to calm down. As you know, one of a number of reasons why I’m not a Democrat is this issue. It’s not simply that we disagree; it’s that they tend to be so rigid and adamant on the subject. The fury at any opposition to their position is over-the-top. And predictably, Democrats are saying a lot of foolish things, because they’re upset right now. As I have said every election year for the last few decades, the last thing we need this year is to have an election that is all about abortion. It’s also the last thing Democrats need. They need to stop talking like they absolutely don’t want a single person who disagrees with them on this to vote for them. Because if they keep it up, not a single one will (more or less). And Trumpism will be triumphant. I just wish I could get them to understand one thing: As adamant as their own base is, almost every word they utter to please that base alienates others who might have voted for them. If they could see what I see as a strongly pro-Biden Catholic, all this would be obvious. We wouldn’t even be talking about Trumpism, or whatever you want to call the insanity that has gripped the GOP, if it weren’t for the fact that — against all reason — about half of Catholics voted his way, because of the position that Democrats take on abortion. If not for that, and Trump’s willingness to exploit the situation, no Trumpist would ever be in hailing distance of an electoral victory.
What will happen next, legally? This is a subject I generally try to avoid because I believe far too much public conversation tries to make predictions, and we don’t know what’s going to happen. But to touch upon the subject — one of the ways some Dems are reacting is to say other Kulturkampf issues will now go the other side’s way — same-sex marriage and the like. Because, you know, that’s the way they think. Ones and zeroes. It seems more rational to think that issues actually related to the legal underpinnings of abortion would be on the line. Such as the imagined right to privacy that Griswold gave us. But we’ll see.
What will happen next, politically? Well, it’s going to be awful. In every state, and nationally. (Even though it will become more of a state issue, do you think people on the national level are going to quiet down? They will not.) And it will be ugly, and it will go on and on, and no one will have the energy to expend breath on things we might be able to get people to agree upon, because they’re too busy shouting about the things that divide us the most. Of course, things have been this way for awhile.
I’ll stop now. I’m not even going to go into the substance of the draft decision, because I’m satisfied to wait and see the final decision. But I thought I’d provide a place for y’all to talk about it.