Worth Reading This Week: On the Draft Opinion Overturning Roe v. Wade

Worth Reading is an occasional feature on revcom.us, featuring links to articles or videos that contain important insights, done on other platforms by people who are not affiliated or working with the revcoms.

In this past week, there have been dozens of new opinion and news articles that have been published that are presenting from different angles what it will mean if the  draft opinion on Roe v. Wade from Samuel Alito is made law, depriving women of the basic right to abortion. Here are several articles from different media in relation to that draft Supreme Court opinion and argument for overturning Roe v. Wade. Each of these makes points that contribute an essential and important understanding of what has now been made public for all to see and act on.

  1. An op-ed  in the Washington Post by Melissa Murray and Leah Litman: “Alito’s aggressive ruling would reach way beyond Roe.” Here is the opening paragraph:

The truly shocking thing about the draft Supreme Court opinion overruling Roe v. Wade is not that it leaked, extraordinary as that is. It’s that the opinion by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. adopted such an aggressively maximalist position, not only giving states extraordinary leeway to prohibit abortion but also implicitly inviting a flurry of challenges to other precedents, including cases protecting contraception and LGBTQ civil rights. Perhaps the most stunning feature of the opinion is that its indignant tone and aggressive reasoning make clear how empowered this conservative majority believes itself to be.

Proceeding from this recognition of the aggressively fascist nature of this draft, it identifies key dangers to which the draft opens the door: in terms of abortion, “fetal personhood,” which would strip states of the right to legalize abortion, and the other “unenumerated rights”—gay sex, gay marriage, contraception, interracial marriage (and probably others people have not thought of yet).

  1. Dahlia Lithwick on Slate.com: “The Supreme Court’s Legitimacy Is Already Lost.” The article makes a number of important points and ends with this:

The court will surely suffer for this shattering self-own to its own legitimacy. But the rule of law and the public will suffer as well. … Be afraid for what’s coming next in terms of personal autonomy and liberty, for LGBTQ protections and the right to contraception, yes. But be equally afraid for the abstraction of an independent and principled judiciary. No matter what happens next, that’s already lost.

  1. Two articles from revcom.us last December hold up extremely well:

Supreme Court Shows Its Fascist Fangs: What Will You Do Now?” by T. RedTree (though this is more on the political than the legal questions)

and

Supreme Court Poised to Tear the Rights of Women to Shreds: Cruel and Callous Arguments from Fascist ‘Justices,’” which addresses the main legal arguments raised in the December hearing of the case.  It should be noted that this article does not address  one of the key elements of Alito’s argument in the draft, which is the forceful stripping away of all “unenumerated rights” unless they meet the standard of being "deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition."

  1. For a very short, funny, angry, and unvarnished explanation of what’s wrong with limiting rights to those mentioned in the Constitution, there is this excerpt from an Elie Mystal appearance on MSNBC: “Elie Mystal: Founding Fathers Were ‘Racist Misogynist Jerk Faces’ Who Didn't Believe Women Had Any Rights.”

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