Friday, November 13, 2015


There are crazy things happening in Paris right now, but I don't know enough to write anything remoteluy informed about them, so I'll just get this out.

The Supreme Court is about to revisit Roe v. Wade:
The Supreme Court agreed Friday to consider the constitutionality of a Texas abortion law that has already shut down more than half of the state’s abortion clinics, setting up what could be the biggest abortion decision in two decades in the middle of a presidential election campaign....

The case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, is expected to turn on whether the Texas law -- which imposes sweeping construction requirements on abortion clinics and requires providers to have hospital admitting privileges -- is "an undue burden" on women’s access to the procedure.
That story is from Politico's Jennifer Haberkorn, who writes:
The timing of the decision, likely next June, is expected to drive voter turnout, galvanizing those on both sides of the abortion debate to turn out for a presidential candidate who shares their views on one of the nation's most polarizing social issues.
I don't think so.

I don't think the Roberts Court took this case with the understanding that it would drive voter turnout on both sides. I think the case was taken in order to drive turnout on one side -- the Republican side, needless to say.

And what kind of decision would do that? Obviously a decision that rejects the conservative position. If the Court, fives months before a presidential election, gives abortion opponents everything they want from this ruling -- ultimately, the ability to use restrictive measures to shut down all the abortion providers in conservative-controlled states -- that's not going to motivate Republicans to turn out. Republican voters are going to be mad as hell and want to turn out if they're angry at the Court, and if they feel that their only hope of getting a Court to their liking is to vote Republican.

So I think the plan is that the Court is going to expose itself, yet again, to wingnut rage. This happened in 2012, when the Court upheld Obamacare -- that decision, I still believe, was meant to be a voting motivator for Republicans, even though it failed to elect a president. I think the 2015 refusal to overturn Obamacare was also a way to avoid taking the health care law off the tale as a base-motivating issue.

Yes, both decisions also upheld a law that most large businesses accept (and some large businesses see as a cash cow). That sort of thing matters a lot to this Court. (Big businesses also like gay rights, hence the Court's gay marriage decision.) But I think Roberts et al. are also very much aware of right-wing voter rage -- and they want to inspire more of it.

So I think they're going to take one for the GOP team again. If necessary, Roberts himself might even find a way to come down on the side of rejecting the Texas restrictions, just as he found a way to back Obamacare in 2012.

Though perhaps if Trump or Carson is the Republican nominee and polls show Hillary Clinton so far ahead in the race that a GOP victory is out of reach, the Court might vote to uphold all the restrictions. But I'm betting on a full or partial rejection of the Texas law.


Raymond Smith said...

There are numerous other issues are motivating voters as well here are just a few that have people steaming.
Vouchers for VA Health care-I have heard some of my fellow Veterans that voted GOP vow no more never again.

Selling of Public Lands huge numbers of people that vacation at Public lands via tens, RV,s and daily trail hiking are up in arms.

Vouchers for Education.

Vouchers for Medicare

Doing away with Social Security- by the way ever notice how the GOP never mentions about how the monies already invested by the public will be returned to the public? It is like the money is all theirs to do with what they like.

Do away with SNAP even though currently some Combat Veterans families are on the program, yes they have had their food allotment reduced already.

All of these and numerous more are starting to get the voting public's notice.

Seems that what the GOP wants to do is either voucher everything, sell everything or destroy it.

Gadfly said...

It may drive turnout, but not for the reasons you think.

Kennedy has already indicated, in Casey, for example, that he's not a blank-check pro-lifer.

I wouldn't bet big money on it, but I' strongly suspect that this is another line-drawing case for him.

Now, Texas' losing the case might itself be a GOP vote pusher. But that's not your scenario.

Ten Bears said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ten Bears said...

That's an awful lot of tin foil, Steve, but as with all things tin foil not implausible. Whither Roberts and the Retards conspire or collude to GOTV is moot in the generally accepted vernacular.

This is a rather innocuous example.

Palli said...

Speaking of elections & tin foil.

Electronis ballot tabulation fraud is fact. When is it going to addressed or are we going to keep pretending that just because it can be done doesn't mean it will be done. The Vote is not sacred in the US.

Everything- from Voter suppression to Citizens United to Fox broadcasting to Voter ID-in our culture exhibits political capacity to manipulate the electoral system. Why would electronic ballot tabulation not be the "under the table" technique as well?

bjkeefe said...


Your theory is crazy. Almost crazy enough to make me think it's true.

psychobroad said...

Kudos for understanding that for this Court, actual law and precedent mean nothing. They will do what they want, and work backwards to make it seem reasonable and legal. It won't be.