Very weird

America is at a crossroads when it comes to abortion. In 2021, state legislatures have passed an unprecedented 106 anti-abortion bills. State lawmakers in five states are preparing legislation similar to Texas’s SB 8, an effective total abortion ban that enshrines a new kind of vigilantism directed at medical providers and private citizens.

In this dangerous moment, supporters of legal abortion must understand that raising our voices is not going to change anything unless we also push for major, immediate democratic reforms including ending the filibuster, enshrining federal voting rights, expanding the supreme court and establishing fair redistricting.

I understand why those goals may simultaneously seem too wonky to follow and too ambitious to achieve. But we cannot fight for abortion rights without first repairing our democracy, because we will continue to lose.

Abortion isn’t a democratic issue in the US. Roe means it’s a constitutional civil liberties one. That entirely insulates it from democracy and elections.

The weirdness is that those actually inside the system don’t seem to grasp that. For example, this Texas thing. Whether or not it stands will be nothing to do with voters, it’s be the Supremes.

11 thoughts on “Very weird”

  1. “Whether or not it stands will be nothing to do with voters, it’s be the Supremes.”

    Ironic then, that their biggest hit was ‘Baby Love’…

    What?

    Oh.

  2. Bloke in North Korea (Germany Province)

    And how long does it take to wind through the supreme court(s), while all the time being law? Here in the Germany Province of North Korea the supreme court has been in hiding for the last 18 months, rejecting every complaint about the heavy handed emergency legislation backed by an enabling act, and deciding that its former CDU MP president is entirely uncompromised, thus suitable to hear cases against Merkel’s government.

    This way manifestly unconstitutional law can be left in place for years. When they do get struck down the government gets years to come up with a replacement and uses all of that time for things they don’t want to change. When it is something they can’t wait to do, like setting ridiculous climate policies, or banning the unvaccinated from supermarkets, they react instantly.

    The continued outsourcing of enforcement to the private sector is also to be questioned. Whether it’s censorship, checking vaccine passports, encouraging vigilante groups to sue doctors, it isn’t the way to govern a society.

    Governments should interact with their serfs the old fashioned way, by passing laws and taking responsiblity themselves for their enforcement. Not sofa-nudge-encourage snitching.

  3. Harry Haddock's Ghost

    Lefty’s have had a majority in the Supreme court for ages. Now they don’t so they want to pack it with suitable puppets. This is progressive, good and totally in tune with democracy.

    In Poland, Lefty’s had a majority in the supreme court’s for ages. Now they don’t because the government has packed it with suitable puppets. This is un-progressive, bad and totally against democracy.

  4. Roe means it’s a constitutional civil liberties one. That entirely insulates it from democracy and elections.

    No, that buffers it. Democracy and elections led to a change in the makeup of the Supreme Court, such that the majority now respect proper procedures. The previous Court would have ruled against the Texas law simply because they didn’t like it, and ignored that the case was incorrectly brought.

  5. Roe means it’s a constitutional civil liberties one. That entirely insulates it from democracy and elections.

    This misses the point that the original Roe decision improperly took the issue away from democracy and elections. Abortion was adequately dealt with by the various States, with no need for the Federal Government to step in. There is nothing in the Constitution permitting the Federal Government to make such a decision. This should be left to the Tenth Amendment.

  6. Better than the Supreme court where I am whose ruling about closing churches while shops and restaurants were allowed to open with modified conditions (which the churches said they’d accept) was basically along the lines of it’s not their job to disagree with the Public Health Officer and that it wasn’t discrimination as it applied to all religions

  7. ‘major, immediate democratic reforms including ending the filibuster, enshrining federal voting rights, expanding the supreme court and establishing fair redistricting.’

    In other words, we have to re-rig the system so they can’t do anything we don’t like.

  8. “fair redistricting” is in the eye of the beholder. Which is why Tony Blair obtained a large majority of seats in 2005 with a lower share of the votes than David Cameron, who did not obtain a majority of seats, in 2010.

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