Happy Sunday! I’m delighted to introduce my colleague, Cathy Young, who will be taking over the Sunday Morning Shots. I’ll be back tomorrow. If you’re not familiar with Cathy’s work, you really should check her out; she’s a remarkable journalist and an important thinker and I feel privileged to share this space with her.
Young: "Where, exactly, is the momentum for the kind of wholesale rollback of legal rights and protections associated with social liberalization? Is there even any reason to believe that the presumed anti-Roe majority in Dobbs could be reassembled to overturn Grisworld, Lawrence or Obergefell?"
There is every reason in the world to expect any one (or more) of about 25 states to pass law(s) restricting or banning contraception and/or banning sodomy and/or same sex marriage -- before 2023
Gorsuch notwithstanding (and don't be so sure about him if he joins Alito's Dobbs opinion), there would still be a radically conservative SCOTUS majority to follow the precedent of Alito's Dobbs opinion
Young: "Given that there is currently no movement to overturn any of the rulings Heer mentioned, the idea that the Supreme Court will suddenly go on a precedent-killing spree seems a bit far-fetched."
No spree is required -- SCOTUS will be more than happy to let those questions "ripen", which imo they will -- before 2023
Young: "It’s also worth noting that sodomy laws were hardly ever enforced even before they were found unconstitutional."
ONE enforcement is one too many, especially if it is confirmed by SCOTUS
See the legal landscape before Lawrence v Texas -- "In Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution does not protect the right of gay adults to engage in private, consensual sodomy."
That is the landscape to which America will return if Lawrence is overturned on the basis of Alito's Dobbs opinion -- anti-sodomy laws are still on the books of many states, same as anti-abortion laws
PS: What I hear you saying in your rebuttals of Heer -- "It doesn't matter if the gun is loaded with the safety off -- it's just lying there on the table; no one's holding it now or aiming it at anyone"
To be polite, you are dead wrong and your opinion is shared by many us progressives and that is why we are in the spot we are now in. We are looking at a carefully planned and orchestrated war against all liberal values. The extremists who have conquered the Republican Party will not stop with overturning Roe. They will move against contraception, same sex marriage and all people who are not "straight". They have moved to restrict voting in every state they control and that is why they want to return the abortion debate to the states. We need a Federal law protecting a women's right to control her own body. Please examine the rise in White Nationalism and see how it dovetails with the stated Republican agenda. Religious zelots will NOT stop until they are permenantly blocked by Federal laws. This war on abortion falls especially hard on black and brown women who are already poorly served by the medical community. What's worse than taking a knife to a gun fight - going to gun fight with no weapons at all. Just as with Mr. Biden's approach towards compromise, your position is well reasoned and will fall on deaf ears. You cannot reason with people who are so dedicated to their positions that they will not hear any argument not alined with those positions.
Cathy, if you're reading this, I love your writing style. Smart, charming, and clever.
I have been hearing these arguments (such as in the Journal) saying that there is no chance that the conservative justices are coming for LGBT rights. Even if that's true, there is just the matter of having the combination of arrogant supreme court justices combined with newly empowered ayatollah-like politicians ruling over us at every level (federal, state, and local) that is difficult to bear.
In Ridgeland, Mississippi in recent months, the local mayor went after library books (attempting to ban all "homosexual materials" from the library and saying he answered not to the law on this issue but only to "the good Lord"). And the local school board has now made a list of marked books that are only available to children beyond a certain age. Yet another opportunity to target Mississippi's radical, aggressive LGBT community (not), in a state where the term LGBT is rarely spoken aloud, given the shame from speaking of such things in public.
This is enough to push lifelong Republican voters over to the Democrats, especially now that Biden is sending the $33 billion to Zelensky. Biden is a Democrat but at least is now strong on national defense, giving us Reagan Republicans something to hold onto. More importantly, at this point he stands as a bulwark against the ayatollahs trying to rule over the rest of us in every facet of life.
My hope is the the women of Texas will get their ire up and show the Republicans just who is in charge. With each election, the Democrats have reduced the margin by a good four points. In 2020 Trump won Texas by 5.5. points. In post-Roe Texas, it may be time for a coalition of vilified immigrants, secular California transplants, and irate women to push the Democrats over the top and upend presidential politics once and for all.
Following the logic in Alito's draft opinion, Loving v. Virginia is as poorly supported by the constitution as Roe v. Wade. I am sure Thomas will be anxious to strike down that overreach of the Supreme Court.
Cathy Young- congrats on taking over the Sunday Morning Shots.
Regarding your take on Jeet Heer’s predictions about future rights the current Supreme Court could overturn. I agree with him. The leaked opinion by Alito has shown us that a majority of the Court is willing to disregard long standing precedent and, they do not accept the validity of unenumerated rights.
Barrett, Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Kavanaugh are all Catholic. I believe their religious beliefs are the driving force behind behind their legal opinions. I say this as a former Catholic who understands that faithful members of the church are required to believe that life begins at conception. As such, abortion, except to save the life of the mother, is a sin. Additionally, several forms of contraception, including the pill, IUD and plan b (morning after pill), could easily be challenged by anti-abortion activists as they believe those forms of birth control to be abortifacients. Remember the Hobby Lobby case? The right to contraception is an unenumerated right which is rooted in the right to privacy.
Removing sodomy bans and allowing same sex marriage are also rooted in the right to privacy. Same sex relations offend religious conservatives on both a social and a moral level. For example, the Catholic Church explicitly prohibits any form of same sex relations and deems it sinful. Same sex marriage and same sex sexual involvement are unenumerated rights which this Court has called into question.
I think Jeet didn’t go far enough in outlining areas that anti-abortion activists may bring to the Court if Alito’s opinion is finalized as is. Republican members of the Louisiana legislature have this week brought forth bills establishing “personhood” for fertilized eggs (which would impact IVF) and the right to bring homicide charges in cases of abortion. Remember that recently a prosecutor in Texas brought criminal charges against a woman who attempted an abortion. Although those charges were later dropped, in the mean time the woman and her family were dragged thru the mud. Senate members have also said they will write legislation for a nationwide ban on abortion.
It is shocking to read Justice Alito’s words as he says his ruling will only apply to abortion. If you believe him, then I think you will be in for a rude awakening.
>Where, exactly, is the momentum for the kind of wholesale rollback of legal rights and protections associated with social liberalization? Is there even any reason to believe that the presumed anti-Roe majority in Dobbs could be reassembled to overturn Grisworld, Lawrence or Obergefell?
Of course there is; it's obvious on its face. If you seriously can't understand that, then Mr. Sykes made a mistake assigning you the Sunday newsletter. You sound like the people who used to warn me of alarmism when I said that Trump would not leave office peacefully. This is no time to be Pollyanna.
I am pleased to see one of the newer Bulwark writers appearing in a shorter-form version weekly. I read Cathy's pieces completely and, while I may disagree with some of her views, they are stated reasonably. As for the abortion matter going forward, there are far more unknowns than knowns, but I fully expect a nationwide abortion ban to be passed if the Republicons control all 3 branches of government in 2025. Repeal of other social-liberties decisions by legislation is also likely. Why? The radical-religious "base" will demand it. The attractiveness of "owning the libs" via such actions will be too much for the remainder of the party to ignore. And the "entertainment wing", which runs the party, will ensure it.
I’ve read a lot of comments in many forums about this draft opinion. I haven’t finished reading this Bulwark comments page yet. One huge societal risk I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere is the likelihood that OB/GYN practitioners will leave that specialty in droves, when faced with possible prison time for treating a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy, to name just a couple appalling scenarios. Already delivering babies carries a high cost to the practioner due to insurance premiums for liability that are higher than in other specialties. Speaking as a former nurse, I wouldn’t touch OB/GYN in any professional capacity given the threatening, toxic future we face. Considering that the institutions themselves will also be in potential legal jeopardy, they might close their labor & delivery services completely.
Such a predictable scenario will have a deleterious, possibly dire, effect on ALL women in need of gynecologic care, because there will be a shortage of providers. We already have serious staffing shortages in most medical settings due to the pandemic. Buckle up women; it’s about to get much worse.
I disagree this has anything to do with the left. Abortion rates have steadily declined over the years and a majority of people support abortion. Now we have bat crap crazy GOP trying to change our culture against the majority opinion for a small minority of zealots. I absolutely do think they will push for more. McConnell said it himself. Look at the crazy trigger laws. I do not think it is performative. They want to see how far they can go until things turn violent with armed resistance or we live in a freak show of authoritarian rule. People are going to have to soon make difficult choices about what kind of world they will tolerate. It’s beyond gross what this country is becoming.
Thanks Cathy, what an auspicious debut on Sunday morning shot and hope you and the rest of the Bulwark team feel better soon.
While I often find Jeet Heer over the top, I am in the camp that the reversal of Roe is only the opening shot. It is true that the majority of voters’ view on gay marriage has shifted while abortion has not, but the GOP cares more of its base than doing anything with popular appeals. Given the base voters rule the primary process, and the GOP’s structural advantages in the senate, EC and gerrymandering, it is hardly inconceivable that we have a lot more radical right-winged senators and representatives.
I am a firm believer that overturning Roe will just add fuel to the fire and Putin and Xi are opening bottles after bottles of champagne over our divisions.
This take is disingenuous and demoralizing. Trump may have told over 10K lies, but I remember that one time he boldly told the truth about appointing Supreme Court Justices to overturn Roe. All three of Trump's appointees are associated with The Federalist Society. I guess we're not supposed to take McConnell literally or seriously when he says a nationwide ban is possible. Perhaps, we should ignore when GOP Senate candidate, Blake Masters, pledges to only vote for judges who believe Griswold v. Connecticut was wrongly decided. When is it the right time for us to get "hysterical" because GOP lawmakers are moving the goalposts every day with their campaign promises and anti-women state legislation?
Thinking about the anti-choice legislation debated and passed throughout the country at record speeds since the leak and rereading this post, which goes out of its way not to raise any alarms, makes me feel like we have already lost, and there's no coming back from this.
If a majority of US citizens support abortion why the crazy American Taliban style trigger laws? It’s like the GOP politicians almost do not need their base anymore. They can just decide for them and the rest of us.
Great column, Cathy Young! Your debut has given me a lot of food for thought.
Welcome to Sunday Cathy! You have already made one big fan. Just a couple hours before reading this, I was expressing my outrage to a friend about the “supply of babies” reference in the Alito draft. All I can say is: Bulwark+ membership = $100. Reading the Bulwark so I don’t misrepresent statements and stay out of the outrage machine = Priceless. (And hopefully there are readers old enough to remember that reference 😆). I will be looking forward to reading you each Sunday, just like I look forward to reading Charlie the rest of the week.
This is a quote from my southern baptist preacher father to my sister who was tryin to explain why his three adult daughters should be the one to decide . . .
And I quote from his facebook comment to her - '"Your own body" should lose its relevance when there is a second HUMAN BEING to be consider'.
(FYI - he does NOT have the same stance when it comes to masks or vaccines to COVID-19. In that case the 'second HUMAN BEING' is irrelevant to HIS choice).
Once I have been fertilized my body loses it's 'relevance' to the second human being. In the first trimester the 'human being' is the size of a grain of rice. This is my OWN GOD DAMN father. I am sorry but if he is willing to possibly let me DIE and not have a choice then WHY do some think this isn't going to be BAD, BAD, BAD.
My own father wouldn't protect his daughters from DEATH for his religious ideology. I am sorry Ms Young but those of us on the front lines in ruby red republican states at the whim of radical extremists think YOU are out of touch with the facts on the ground in MY family, state and country. In my southern baptist extended family where misogyny and racism is prevalent, you are scapegoated and ex-communicated BY YOUR OWN FAMILY if you don't believe as THEY do about everything. They are hypocritical, arrogant, ignorant and radical. They DO NOT CARE if you DIE for their beliefs. They have been RADICALIZED like those religious fanatics that flew planes into the world trade center and the pentagon on 9/11. They WANT the country to burn to the ground so they can make it how the 'founders wanted it to be' - a christian nation. What they really mean is a white nationalist christian nation.
Well, y'know how it is with The Almighty... only as sane and decent as the "believer" who interprets a book written by men... Weird how that works. 🤔