Tuesday, May 03, 2022

Going full Gilead

Today's big news from America: the Supreme Court has reportedly voted to overturn Roe v. Wade:

The Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, according to an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito circulated inside the court and obtained by POLITICO.

The draft opinion is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenthood v. Casey – that largely maintained the right. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito writes.

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” he writes in the document, labeled as the “Opinion of the Court.” “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

As the article points out, the votes do change over the progress of a case. But if this draft opinion becomes final, it would end abortion rights in America, and a lot more besides. Key decisions legalising homosexual sex and same-sex marriage depend crucially on Roe, so they are also clearly in the gun. Under the Republicans' stacked court, America is going full Gilead.

Which is precisely why the Republicans stacked the court: so they could use it as an instrument to impose minority rule (and it is minority rule: abortion rights have had clear majority support for decades and only a tiny minority of religious bigots think it should be illegal in all circumstances). In normal countries, the courts are a neutral arbiter of the law. In the US, they're just an appointed shadow-legislature, unelected despots who get to decide what sort of medical care you can have, who you can marry, and even who you get to fuck and how. And that's simply not compatible with being a modern, democratic, human rights-respecting normal country.

The United States needs to fix itself, and quickly. Or else they're going to end up being the Taliban with nukes. And I don't think that's how most Americans want to see themselves at all. As for how, political courts demand a political response. Expanding the Supreme Court and appointing some actual judges to balance out the frothing Republican stooges seems to be the minimum requirement. But of course, the Democrats are too chickenshit to do it, as usual.