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Late last week, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down what many consider its most important decision in half a century.
Rejecting the flawed and constitutionally bankrupt reasoning of Roe and Casey, the majority ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization marks a clear turning point in the decades-long battle over abortion. At long last, this crucial issue is returned to the people, to be decided by the constitutionally established political system envisioned by our nation’s founders.
As expected, the response to the ruling from the right and left has tracked along long-standing dividing lines. Abortion opponents—myself included—are celebrating a crucial victory that is a major step forward in protecting innocent lives from the deadly practice. Meanwhile, abortion advocates are loudly decrying the Court’s reversal of the landmark 1973 ruling that overrode existing abortion restrictions across the country and imposed a regime that banned even the most modest protections for unborn children and their mothers.
Hoo-Boy. Roe v. Wade was overturned last week in no small part due to Trump-appointed Justices Comey-Barrett, Kavanaugh, and Gorsuch. If Hillary had prevailed in 2016 (as Never Trumpers would have preferred*), all three of those justices would have been replaced with ideological clones of Ruth Bader “Populations We Don’t Want to Have Too Many Of” Ginsberg. (Which, incidentally, means the gun rights and religious schools cases would have gone the other way as well). The Babylon Bee brilliantly as usual captured the spirit of the thing.
Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the law school at the University of California (Berkeley), has an opinion column in the L.A. Times today about the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs overruling Roe and Casey.
As far as I can determine, Chemerinsky rejects the very idea that there is such a thing as constitutional law, at least in any sense that is meaningful to me. He seems to reject the existence of law altogether, except in the sense that “the law” might be defined as whatever the judiciary might decide it to be at a particular moment. This seems a strange view to be held by the dean of one of the most prestigious law schools in the country.