Yesterday we covered the effect the Alabama abortion bill may have on the 2020 presidential race. Lo and behold, upon discussion today with various DC pals, there are some facets of the question my wide-ranging genius somehow missed. Specifically, where the high court is likely to be in all this and the inverse incentives for either party to lose the issue in front of the SCOTUS.
First the court.
At this point, using past rulings and current trends, whether you approve of it or not, Roe v. Wade is safe. If the case was decided today it’s either 5-4 for Roe with Roberts joining the libs or 6-3 with he and Kavanaugh going port side. That’s the DC smart money and it is both empirical and logical. Thus both sides in the Kavanaugh fight may have gotten it wrong. What’s smarter money is that it never gets there at all.
All these states such as Alabama, Missouri, Louisiana, etc. that are passing legislation specifically designed to challenge Roe with the SCOTUS may eat a big fat nothingburger if the high court refuses to hear the cases and lets stand Roe, preserving rulings from lower courts. That has been Roberts’ strategy up to this point. Think about it. Roe has been around 46 years. Never got that far up the judicial ziggurat? Really? So, duh, there’s a reason.
It is because everyone in DC knows what a hell in a hand basket it is and few here want to die on that particular hill. They didn’t come to DC to do what’s right. They came because it’s easy work for liberal arts majors. And if the high court is at 4-4, do you think any one of those people wants to be the person who decided the issue and thus is Satan to roughly half of America? Nu-uh.
However, that assumes there will be nine votes present when and if it gets there. Suppose, God forbid out of human decency, that Ginsberg is not present in the larger sense. Think the Kavanaugh fight was Armageddon? A Trump SCOTUS nominee in today’s America, right before or in a presidential election year, when the court may be about to decide Roe? That conflict will make the terror bombing of Dresden seem a pleasant summer picnic with your maiden aunt.
The inverse incentive? People vote in much greater numbers when they’re upset than for anything positive. The side that loses Roe in front of the SCOTUS, if it gets that far, will be so royally pissed they will turn out like a monsoon in November 2020 out of sheer bloodymindedness. Ironically, lose Roe and win America. Possibly.
So that’s the current betting sheet from our national bordello…I mean capitol. DC is usually wrong on policy but can be very right when it comes to politics.