Home / General / Those pearls won’t clutch themselves

Those pearls won’t clutch themselves


Having now plowed through all 67 pages of Alito’s draft Dobbs opinion, some thoughts:

(1) I have no idea who leaked this opinion or why, but it’s typical of the mystifying obscurantist discourse surrounding the most absurd branch of our government that so many law talking types are up in arms about the Breach of Protocol involved, as if that were the most important thing here.

The Supreme Court of the United States is among other things a kind of self-appointed super legislature, and the idea that its deliberations and opinions should be treated like the products of the confessional rather than what they are, which is just quasi-legislative bureaucratic haggling but with far more pomposity attached, is yet another thing about our very special system of government that needs to die in a fire.

(2) The hypocrisy of the Furious Five in regard to the issue of democratic legitimacy is something to behold. The overwhelming majority of the public supports legal abortion in most circumstances — to the Great Unwashed the question of whether Roe should have been overruled and the question of whether abortion should be legal is of course the same question — but in a few weeks abortion is going to be illegal in much of the United States because it’s a Republic Not a Democracy. What that means in practice is that a distinct minority of religious fanatics, white supremacists, and super fans of the patriarchy (but I repeat myself) will get to make abortion illegal, despite an overwhelming national consensus against doing so, because our political system is set up to empower those people far beyond what power they would have in anything resembling an actual democracy.

(3) Speaking of which, the most emetic portions of Alito’s little Schoolhouse Rock sermon were the bits where he claimed that the Dobbs majority was taking no position on the substantive question of whether or not abortion should be legal. Sure Sammy. So when the radically anti-democratic [see (2) above] GOP trifecta makes abortion illegal across the entire nation in three years or so, you’ll be striking that anti-federalist overreach down, right? Oh I thinks not.

(4) A close runner up to (3) are the parts about how nothing in this opinion has anything to do with Griswold, Lawrence, Loving, etc., because abortion is Totally Different than contraception, consensual sexual relations between adults, and inter-racial marriage, so pinky promise that this precedent won’t be used to overrule a bunch of cases that are, given the opinion’s overall argument, exactly as illegitimate as Roe and for exactly the same reasons, except they don’t include the word “abortion.”

(5) Liberals, progressives, leftists, centrists who don’t like theocracy, etc., need to stop believing in the Santa Claus of a liberal/progressive SCOTUS that enacts liberal/progressive legislative agendas via constitutional judicial review But The Good Kind.

The Supreme Court has always been a radically anti-democratic essentially reactionary institution, and the fact that it very occasionally squeezes out good political results, invariably by constructing various fantasy narratives about an imaginary history of the United States, is not a defense of the institution, which is not defensible on even the most tenuous democratic principles.

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