So, anything happen while I have been gone?
I don’t have much to add on the substance of the leaked decision that may spell the end of Roe. Pro-lifers have had too many Lucy pulling the football away moments to feel comfortable until the decision is actually handed down. I will note that the talking point going around that conservatives/Republicans are focusing on the leak because they don’t want to defend the actual substance of the decision is preposterous. First of all, the leak itself is a huge news story, and it represents one of the worst breaches of trust in the history of SCOTUS. If the leaker is a clerk, he or she should be fired and possibly disbarred. If the leaker is a Justice, impeachment should not be off the table.
Second, many conservatives have been quite happy to laud the draft opinion. Personally, I refuse to read it until Dobbs is formally and officially decided, but those who have read it, at least among actual conservatives (more on that in a moment), have universally and unapologetically praised it.
What I would like to discuss are the erstwhile conservatives and Catholics who have either thrown cold water on the decision or else have actively derided it. I won’t even bring up the folks at the Grifter Project. Everyone already knows their principles are subject to being changed by the highest bidder, so I will go on ignoring them as every good and decent person should.
No, I would like to talk about the more “enlightened,” principled conservatives, especially those whose mission is to conserve conservatism. First of all, there is Evan McMullin.
Sorry, I have to pause here. Every time I see that name I am embarrassed all over again for having voted for him in 2016. It’s pretty bad when the protest vote against two despicable candidates winds up being the biggest grifter of the bunch. He is single-handedly responsible for ensuring I never vote third party again, and will instead leave the ballot blank when I dislike both candidates.
Anyway, the man who was about 60 million heartbeats away from the presidency penned this philosophical gem.
As a pro-life Utahn, I’m concerned that the never-ending tug-of-war over abortion laws threatens to create a public health crisis and further divide the nation without solving anything. My campaign is about forging a new way forward and building a new American consensus, even when it seems impossible and others refuse to try. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, some states will immediately enact extreme laws — such as total bans on abortion, onerous limits on birth control, and criminalization of women in desperate situations. I oppose these laws. I will advocate for sensible legislation that improves support for women, children and families, safeguards access to health care, and establishes reasonable standards that prevent extremists from doing harm
Everything written after “pro-life Utahn” proves he is anything but. Evidently this “pro-life” politico opposes laws that would actually restrict abortion. I am also unaware of any states currently thinking of limiting access to birth control or criminalizing “women in desperate situations,” but when your entire political philosophy was created in a lab run by Bill Kristol, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised when the end result is a political Frankenstein monster with an even less substantial brain than Mary Shelley’s original creation.
Speaking of the Gil Gunderson of the American right, Bill Kristol managed to kind of sort of criticize the leak, but not without demonstrating his “brilliant” understanding of how the Supreme Court works.
No one should break Court rules and leak draft opinions. But if we were setting it all up now, given the unique “public law” character of Court “opinions,” would it be ridiculous to allow drafts to be made public? Draft laws and regs are often improved by comments and criticism.
Evidently Kristol thinks Supreme Court caselaw is just like a Department of Transportation rule that’s open for comment in the Federal Register. Sure, the Supreme Court should just open 30-day comment periods and have the public offer critiques of their preliminary decisions – I can’t see how that possibly could go off the rails. The again, the public can offer comments to the Court – in advance of the case in these things known as amicus briefs.
Then there’s Jonathan Last, another writer at the Bulwark. Last was once a staunch pro-life advocate and author of books like What to Expect When No One’s Expecting. He was also a fierce critic of the Democrats and the shenanigans they pulled during the Kavanaugh hearings. Alas, Last’s current employers don’t want to hear anything that might in any way be critical of Democrats or espouse traditionally conservative views, so he managed to twist himself into a pretzel to write this hot take:
But there is a longer-term consequence that is starting to become very clear: For the first time since the days of Jim Crow, it is going to matter a lot what state you live in.
Oh, it gets better from there.
Both political parties are interested in controlling peoples’ lives. In many places, the Democrats, for instance, want to prevent you from using plastic grocery bags. Democrats forced restaurants to put the number of calories in a dish on restaurant menus. You may recall that in New York City Democrats even wanted to control the maximum size of a soda you could buy. Quelle horreur.
And the Republicans want to exert control over Americans’ lives, too. They want to be able to control the presidency on an ongoing basis with a minority of the popular vote. They want to impose their own rules on how voting may happen, how votes are counted, and even whether or not governmental bodies may choose to reject the results of vote counts. They want to control what the CEOs of private businesses may or may not say in public. They want to criminalize abortion.
So, you know, both sides I guess?
Yes, dear Jonathan, we all know the left is only interesting in controlling drink sizes. Otherwise, the woke left is absolutely for the maximization of individual liberty, as any Christian baker in Colorado would surely understand. Sure, leftist scolds want to eliminate from public discourse anyone who might disagree even a little with the current orthodoxy of transsexual issues, but Republicans want to, umm, set clear voting roles and mitigate voter fraud. Yeah, I mean, we’re on the edge of the Fourth Reich here.
Of course it that’s next-to-last sentence that rankles. They want to criminalize abortion? Until Center Enterprises, Inc. started dangling paychecks in front of him, so did Jonathan Last.
In the end, I will just let Isaac Schorr have the final word on Last.
If I were to play Last’s game and describe Democrats’ position as uncharitably as I could manage, I’d argue that Democrats also want to impose their own rules on how voting may happen, how votes are counted, and even whether governmental bodies may choose to reject the results of vote counts. They want to legalize late-term abortion across the country. They want teachers to preach the virtues of fringe theories about gender and race in the classroom.
Now I happen to think he’s quite talented, so it’s my assumption that Last knows that the arguments he’s making are poorly grounded and constructed but are nevertheless easy on his readership’s eyes. And if these are the sacrifices he believes he needs to make in order to keep them, I’d only remind him that there are ways to make a living that are much easier on the conscience.
Finally, there is Mark Shea. Frankly, I have tried to forget that Shea still writes, but out of morbid curiosity I just had to see what he wrote about all this, and unfortunately he didn’t fail to disappoint to disappoint.
if you are trying to think through the question of abortion, “Eucharistic coherence”, voting and all that, particularly in light of the possibility that SCOTUS is about to finally hand the “prolife” movement the pyrrhic victory of overturning Roe.
Shea calls the evident reversal of Roe a pyrrhic victory, but perhaps he is upset because it’s a victory he has assured us for decades was never coming because the GOP has been playing us. Now that two decades of doomcasting have been proven to be bogus, Shea wants to pretend it is utterly meaningless.
The fantasy that this will magick away abortion is of a piece with the entire right wing fantasy that law can change hearts and minds.
So, we shouldn’t work to change unjust laws that permit the murder of innocent children? Should we not outlaw rape and murder because the laws don’t change hearts and minds?
So if you are a Catholic who wants to actually think with the Church, or a prolifer who wants to actually save lives and not simply impose a regime founded on force, fear, blood, and iron that will, soon and very soon, be destroyed by a democracy that has had it up to here with MAGA antichrist religion, this is my crie de coeur
Look, I can try to parse this sentence, but I am only human. That this could have been written by a supposed Catholic apologist is just sad.
Only 13% of Americans want to outlaw abortion.
So Mark is now quoting pro-abortion talking points – and ones that are so manifestly false as to make me question the man’s grasp on reality. I’m not going to do a deep dive on abortion polling data, but this isn’t even close to true unless you are using the strictest interpretation of wanting to outlaw abortion imaginable.
Finally, in the comments, Mark added this:
The Church’s teaching on the *legality* of abortion is, painfully obviously, not clear at all.
Once again, this man is a professional Catholic apologist. He has spoken many times about how he has dedicated his life – at the expense, at times, of his family’s comfort and financial well-being – to apologetics, and he comes out with this statement that is manifestly and obviously false. I will quote from the Pillar:
But not everything that is immoral needs to be illegal. So the Church speaks directly to the question of whether abortion can be legal: “A law which would admit in principle the liceity of abortion is in itself immoral,” the CDF said in 1974.
The CDF said later that “As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of his conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.”
The CDF does not say who should face those penal sanctions – and Catholic ethicists have most often called for laws which penalize doctors who perform abortions, not women who undergo them – but the text answers directly what the Church teaches about possible justification of the legal protection for abortion.
Sin makes you stupid. Sometimes plain old stupidity does the trick as well.