Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.

Donate
Topics

What one legal observer saw in the arguments before the Supreme Court about abortion this week

Dalia Lithwick’s story for Slate ran under the headline: “SCOTUS Will Gaslight Us Until the End.”

The United States Supreme Court building in Washington.
The United States Supreme Court building in Washington.
REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

I make no assumptions about how much attention you may have paid to the arguments before the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Mississippi law would bar elective abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

(If the court allows the Mississippi law to stand, it will be either the end, or at least the biggest change in decades to the legalities of abortion under the Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade jurisprudence, which recognized a woman’s right to choose an abortion until at least 24 weeks into a pregnancy.)

I listened to the hearing, but don’t trust my court-watching abilities nearly as much as I trust those of Dahlia Lithwick, a lawyer herself but mostly a journalist who writes “Supreme Court Dispatches” for Newsweek and about legal matters generally (and Supreme Court in particular) for Slate.

Lithwick, of course, covered yesterday’s legal arguments before the high court on the constitutionality of the Mississippi law.

Article continues after advertisement

So, I rise today only to pass along a link to Lithwick’s Slate coverage of the arguments, which ran under the headline: “SCOTUS Will Gaslight Us Until the End.” The subhead read: “Oral arguments today made clear that this court will overturn Roe—and that they’ll insist on their own reasonableness the whole time.”

I do assume that Lithwick’s prediction will surprise few MinnPost readers, who know that the Trump appointees to the high court were chosen, at least in part and no small part, for their willingness to overthrow Roe, notwithstanding their general but slippery statements during their confirmation hearings that they attached enormous respect for Supreme Court precedents.

Personally, although I have a hard time believing that anything in the Constitution’s language clearly lays out such a conclusion, I think the Roe ruling has served the nation well. I’m no expert. I trust Lithwick’s reading of the tea leaves from yesterday. I worry about the consequences, if Lithwick is correct.

But all I offer at this point is easy access to the much smarter and more expert analysis from Lithwick, which you can access via this link.