Among the visitors Thursday holding a vigil outside the United States Supreme Court on the day after oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was a camel — in the company of shepherds — looking for a tent to stick her nose under.
It has been 50 years of scalding debate since the High Court seized control of abortion away from voters and elected legislatures. Never in that half-century has Roe v. Wade been so threatened as it is right now in the wake of those arguments.
The state of Mississippi stood before the Court to defend a law that would regulate abortion in that state. The state law is in clear contradiction of Roe v. Wade, which is why it has been appealed all the way to the Supremes.
If each of the seated justices follows his or her judicial philosophies, Roe would be overturned in a resounding 6-3 decision. And even proponents of abortion rights — those who are remotely principled and legally literate — would see the wisdom and integrity in overturning the most flawed and indefensible court ruling since Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896.
The only question, at this point, is how much one of those justices will allow the political storms outside the Court’s chamber to affect his decision.
Once Roe is overturned — or otherwise gutted — the matter of abortion will rightfully return to elected legislatures to determine the most humane and constitutionally sound manner for regulating abortions in America. It would again be up to the people to determine the morality of the most viscerally charged issue of our time.
Arguments Wednesday were a pleasant return to those halcyon days when Democrats touted science, defended personal liberty and believed in women’s rights.
After a year of demanding government-forced vaccinations, Democrats returned to the party of “my body, my choice.” It was adorable. They really are so cute when they get angry.
Also, in the nearly two hours of exhaustive debate, never once did a single Democrat mention the plight of pregnant men — especially poor, pregnant men — and their lack of access to “maternity services,” also known as “abortion.”
It was all disappointingly cisgender.
Not that Democrats on the Court didn’t embarrass themselves with plenty of stupidity. Indeed, never has the absence of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg been more obvious. Apparently, she was pretty much entirely responsible for the total IQ on her wing of the bench.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor — who peddled herself as a “wise Latina” during her confirmation hearings — proved anything but.
“How is your interest anything but a religious view?” she asked the lawyer representing the state of Mississippi.
“The issue of when life begins has been hotly debated by philosophers since the beginning of time,” she said. “It’s still debated in religions.”
Yes, yes, yes. The constitutional rights of the unborn and the matter of ending a life are purely the realm of wacko religious nutjobs. And also the Supreme Court.
Indeed, Justice Sotomayor only grew dumber as the arguments progressed. At one point, she began talking about dead people’s feet.
“There’s about 40 percent of dead people who, if you touch their feet, the foot will recoil,” she argued.
Things took a macabre turn when Justice Sotomayor began opining about how sometimes brain-dead people can be found moving about among the living.
“Virtually every state defines a brain death as death,” she whined. “Yet the literature is filled with episodes of people who are completely and utterly brain dead responding to stimuli.”
And, apparently, making it onto the Supreme Court.
But the convenient thing about gutter politics is that you don’t have to be smart to play the game.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, Justice Sotomayor warned out loud from the bench, the Second Amendment will be next.
“If people actually believe that it’s all political, how will we survive?” she wondered. “How will the Court survive.”
Which, of course, is exactly the point.
• Charles Hurt is the opinion editor at the Washington Times.