Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Leaked Draft of Supreme Court's Abortion Rights Ruling Fires-Up the Left Ahead of Midterm Elections

Things certainly have changed a bit since Monday night. That said, I'm certain that bread-and-butter issues --- especially crime, the economy, education, and inflation --- will be the electorate's biggest concerns when voters cast their ballots in November.

I'll be posting regular updates on that, for sure. 

At the Los Angeles Times, "‘Barreling at us.’ Leaked Supreme Court draft turbocharges abortion activism for midterms":

Activists on both sides of the abortion debate have spent months planning for a blockbuster Supreme Court ruling this year on Roe vs. Wade. None of those plans anticipated the particular jolt on Monday night, when a leaked draft opinion signaled a decisive end to the decades-long precedent.

The disclosure accelerated plans already in the works for the upcoming midterm elections, especially in states holding marquee gubernatorial and Senate races, such as Georgia and Arizona. While Republicans have been more effective in rallying supporters around abortion in the past, Democrats believe the reality of Roe’s seemingly imminent reversal may galvanize their voters to avoid steep losses in November.

Still, supporters and opponents of abortion access took care to hedge their messaging on Tuesday, mindful that Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.‘s proposed revocation of nationwide abortion protections telegraphed where the conservative court was leaning but was not its final say.

“This is a draft opinion. It is not yet a done deal, and we want to continue to raise our voices and fight like hell to make sure that everyone, including the court ... understands how horribly unpopular this is going to be,” said Kristin Ford, vice president of communications and research at NARAL Pro-Choice America. But she added: “This is coming. This is barreling at us.”

Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, sounded a similar note of caution but said her group was proceeding with its long-standing strategy in preparation for the end of Roe: working to outlaw abortion in every state.

Without the national protections articulated by the Supreme Court, abortion would likely become illegal in roughly half of the states — either through bans on the books before Roe was decided in 1973, trigger laws that go into effect if the landmark decision is overturned, or state constitutional amendments explicitly rejecting protections for the procedure. Conservative states have passed a slew of antiabortion laws in recent years in anticipation of the matter being left to individual states.

Heading into the midterms, Concerned Women for America will, at a minimum run voter registration and poll worker drives in Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania, Nance said. But she said antiabortion activists plan to raise the issue in every state.

“Seven men chose for every state in 1973,” Nance said, referring to the justices who backed the ruling in a 7-2 vote. “That’s why we have had this ongoing unrest and divisiveness, our Marches for Life — because we haven’t been able to advocate for our positions on a state-by-state level.”

The possibility of a ruling ending abortion rights has loomed over the political landscape for nearly a year, after the Supreme Court agreed to consider a Mississippi law banning the procedure after 15 weeks, which would go against the precedent set by Roe. A sweeping decision seemed even more likely in December, when the conservative majority declined to block a six-week ban in Texas.

But after Politico reported on the leaked opinion and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. confirmed its authenticity, the most ardent opponents stopped well short of a jubilant celebration. Initially, some had little to say at all.

Susan B. Anthony List, an influential antiabortion group, tweeted Monday evening that it would “not be commenting until an official decision is announced by the Court.” Marjorie Dannenfelser, the group’s president, followed up an hour later with a longer statement “wholeheartedly applaud[ing] the decision” — if, she noted repeatedly, it holds.

Abortion rights backers say conservatives’ circumspection hints at the political danger that would come with a sweeping decision that would open the door for expansive state bans even in cases of rape or incest...

Keep reading.