The leak of the two-month-old draft of a possible Supreme Court decision has set Democrats and the leftwing media into a political frenzy. Since such drafts go through constant revisions, they are responding to a pig in the poke.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer took to the podium to vent his staged rage at the Republicans. He has promised that he will force a vote on legislation that would codify abortion into law.
Of course, we have this situation today because Congress never took responsibility to deal with abortion, as it should have. The ball was always in Congress’ court. That was one of the major reasons the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision has been so controversial. The Supreme Court was creating laws rather than passing constitutional judgment on laws. It was one of the reasons that even Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg feared Roe v. Wade would be overturned. She did not believe it was a well-founded decision – and she said so many times.
Overturning Roe v. Wade does NOT make abortions illegal – as much of the public has been misled to believe. It just means that it is up to the states to regulate in the absence of federal law – and up to Congress to pass such a law that the Supreme Court could – just could – address its constitutionality.
The prospective decision will NOT impact on any other cases as the fearmongers on the left are alleging. They seem to believe that overturning Roe v. Wade is not sufficient to build an electoral consensus for the 2022 midterm elections.
Enacting a law to protect abortion is exactly what Schumer is proposing. The problem is that it is very, very unlikely that Congress will pass federal legislation on abortion – and certainly not unless the filibuster is abandoned.
Schumer’s strategy – as he openly admitted – was to force every senator to take a stand – a stand that could then be judged by the voting public in November. Schumer made it clear that the country could then see who is for abortion and who is against it.
Schumer’s assumption is that all – or at least most – Republicans will vote against the abortion bill and his Democrats will vote for it. He sees that as a big campaign win for the donkey team.
But is it?
What about Democrat senators in red states where overturning Roe v. Wade is arguably popular – states currently passing anti-abortion legislation. Two cases come to mind – Senator Mark Kelly in Arizona and Senator Raphael Warnock in Georgia. Arizona is among the states that have passed or will soon pass abortion restrictions laws. Warnock faces a large pro-life constituency in the Peach State – a land with a lot of fundamentalist Baptists. Voting for a law to protect abortion could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back in terms of Kelly and Warnock re-elections – and that could be enough to give the GOP control of the Senate.
In promising a vote on abortion, Schumer is using his New York-oriented brain – thinking that all Democrats are as radical as his local variety. He seems to see a “yes” vote on abortion as universally good for Democrats and universally bad for Republicans. That may not be the case. I suspect that several Democrat senators groaned when they heard Schumer’s announcement.
Promising legislative protection for abortion-on-demand has a lot of House members groaning alongside their Senate colleagues. Not everyone on the Democrat side wants to put the name (and seat) on the line over abortion.
If Kelly and Warnock lose their re-election bids, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell should send a thank you note to Schumer.
So, there ‘tis.