I had a different Balls & Strikes newsletter all ready to go out this morning: A few hundred words on Sam Alito’s concurrence in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, in which Lou Dobbs Wearing Robes spent nine pages mewling at the liberals for talking about gun violence in a Supreme Court opinion inventing a universal right to carry a gun in public. As it turns out, this was not even close to the worst thing Sam Alito published this week.
As I wrote for Balls & Strikes on Friday, what struck me while reading Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which the conservatives overturned Roe v. Wade after fifty years of trying, is how inevitable the result seemed. This is not only because an early version of Alito’s opinion, largely unchanged from draft to final, leaked earlier this year. It is because the anti-choice movement has been making the same arguments since 1973; this time, they managed to count off all five fingers. Anyone alive who has listened to a Republican National Convention speech can probably follow along with Dobbs like it’s a Christmas Eve church service bulletin. In 2016, when Donald Trump promised that his future Supreme Court appointees would “automatically” overturn Roe, he was only wrong about the timing.
In the weeks to come, Balls & Strikes will have a lot more to say about Roe, Dobbs, and the future of reproductive freedom. (We’ll write more about Bruen, too, because the publication of a subsequent awful Supreme Court opinion does not render previous awful Supreme Court opinions any less harmful). The activists already urging the Court to, for example, overturn the rights to same-sex marriage and sexual privacy are no longer staking out a “fringe” position if a majority of justices are perhaps open to hearing more about it. Until Democrats are willing to consider Supreme Court reform proposals other than “sending out weirdly-capitalized fundraiser texts and urging you to vote this November,” the conservative legal movement’s war on civil rights is going to get a lot worse for even more people very soon.
In the meantime, courtesy of the good folks at Defector Media, here is a list of abortion funds to which you can donate this weekend, if you so choose. These organizations provide financial and in-kind assistance to people seeking abortion care, particularly for those living in states with elected leaders who do not support abortion rights.
This Week In Balls & Strikes
The Conservative Justices Know the Only Supreme Court Rule That Matters, Jay Willis
Getting rid of civil rights is as simple as counting to five.
Sam Alito Has Some Thoughts About Which Civil Rights He Can Hollow Out Next, Hannah Mullen
The justices issue an open call for challenges to Miranda v. Arizona, and maybe more.
The Supreme Court’s Mask-Off Originalism Era Is Official Underway, Yvette Borja
Most Americans want more gun safety laws. Clarence Thomas does not.
The Supreme Court Is Fueling the Right-Wing War on Public Schools, Lisa Needham
The decision in Carson v. Makin is a boon for conservatives seeking to hollow out secular public education.
The Supreme Court Is Erasing the First Amendment Protections It Doesn’t Like, Yvette Borja
Another brick crumbles from the “wall” of separation between church and state.
This Week In Other Stuff We Appreciated
Roe’s Death Will Change American Democracy, Mary Ziegler, The New York Times
The anti-choice movement transformed American politics. It will not stop now.
We’re Not Going Back to the Time Before Roe. We’re Going Somewhere Worse, Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker
In many states, the criminalization of pregnancy is already underway.
This Is a Blood Issue, Susan Matthews, Slate
“If you want the right to abortion, you are going to have to fight for it.”
Getting Real About the Post-Roe World, Scott Lemieux, The American Prospect
A radicalized Republican Party is only going to get more ambitious.