BY KATE KELLY, Los Angeles Times
MAY 23, 2022
When Roe vs. Wade was decided in 1973, it was rooted in rights that flow from privacy — not equality. As the country has now seen in the leaked Supreme Court draft ruling, that right to privacy is about to be demolished.
Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. bemoans in the draft opinion that Roe “was remarkably loose in its treatment of the constitutional text,” basing the right to abortion on the right to privacy when neither is “mentioned” in the Constitution. While we can’t change the composition of the court poised to overturn Roe, we can change the text they are charged with interpreting. It’s time to finalize the Equal Rights Amendment and enshrine gender equality.
Roe v. Wade was never expected to be the case that made history.
By Emily Bazelon
May 20, 2022
For three days in January 1970, they filled the 13th floor of the federal courthouse in Manhattan, women of all ages crowded into a conference room, sitting on the floor, spilling into the hallway. Some brought friends or husbands. One nursed a baby. Another was a painter who also taught elementary school. A third had gone to Catholic school. They’d come to give testimony in the case of Abramowicz v. Lefkowitz, the first in the country to challenge a state’s strict abortion law on behalf of women.
The witnesses in the courthouse were among 314 people, primarily women, brought together by a small team of lawyers, led by Florynce Kennedy and Nancy Stearns, to set up a legal argument no one had made before: that a woman’s right to an abortion was rooted in the Constitution’s promises of liberty and equal protection. New York permitted abortion only to save a woman’s life. Kennedy and Stearns wanted the court to understand how risking an illegal procedure or carrying a forced pregnancy could constrict women’s lives in ways that men did not experience.
Almost as soon as Justice Barrett was confirmed, the Court handed down a revolutionary “religious liberty” decision. It hasn’t slowed down since.
By Ian Millhiser
Jan 30, 2022
Justice Amy Coney Barrett had been a member of the Supreme Court for less than a month when she cast the key vote in one of the most consequential religion cases of the past century.
Months earlier, when the seat she would fill was still held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Court had handed down a series of 5-4 decisions establishing that churches and other houses of worship must comply with state occupancy limits and other rules imposed upon them to slow the spread of Covid-19.
His Supreme Court successor should keep in mind the power of digging deep into data — and reminding all the justices how their rulings would affect real Americans.
Opinion by MARY ZIEGLER
Justice Stephen Breyer is scheduled to leave the Supreme Court just as his conservative colleagues are poised to dismantle a key part of his legacy: the court’s approach to a right to choose abortion.
Breyer’s name might not immediately come to mind when anyone thinks about abortion rights. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the late feminist icon, was arguably the court’s most eloquent defender of reproductive rights. Justice Sonia Sotomayor has taken on that role in the current court. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who long cast the swing vote in abortion cases, helped both to save abortion rights in 1992 and to water down protections for them, holding that abortion regulations would be unconstitutional only if they created an “undue burden.”
Sonia Sotomayor said it best: “The Court should have put an end to this madness months ago.… It failed to do so [earlier], and it fails again today.”
By Elie Mystal
December 10, 2021
The Supreme Court today allowed some lawsuits to go forward against Texas’s six-week abortion ban, commonly known as Senate Bill 8. The majority opinion, written by Neil Gorsuch, allows abortion providers to sue a limited number of state officials and argue that the ban is unconstitutional. The decision means that lower courts will now be allowed to rule on the merits of the ban, and those lower court decisions will eventually be appealed back to the Supreme Court. The law will remain in place while that litigation plays out.
Meanwhile, in a separate, unsigned opinion, the Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice against SB 8.
The legal journalist Linda Greenhouse expects the new conservative majority to change American law on abortion, religion, and affirmative action.
By Isaac Chotiner
November 11, 2021
Despite serving only one term in office, Donald Trump was able to appoint three Justices to the Supreme Court, giving it a six-member conservative majority. In September, the Court declined to block enforcement of a controversial Texas law that prohibits abortions in the state after approximately six weeks of pregnancy and allows almost anyone to sue a person who “aided or abetted” an abortion after that point. After a public outcry, the Court heard expedited arguments on the law earlier this month. Later this term, the Court will also consider the legality of a Mississippi law that bans abortions after fifteen weeks, a case that could result in the Court overturning Roe v. Wade. This week, I spoke about the Court with Linda Greenhouse, a lecturer at Yale Law School and a contributing writer for the Times, where she reported on the Court for almost thirty years. She is the author of the new book “Justice on the Brink: The Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Rise of Amy Coney Barrett, and Twelve Months That Transformed the Supreme Court,” which recounts the time between Justice Ginsburg’s death and the conclusion of the Court’s first term with Justice Barrett.
October 21, 2021
Martha F. Davis and Fiona de Londras
Fifty years ago, the United States was a global leader in recognizing women’s reproductive rights. Today, however, much of the rest of the world has caught up or surpassed the U.S. in extending abortion access.
The United States’ closest legal peers — Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia — have laws that are either in line with or more generous than those here. Like the U.S., other liberal democracies including the Netherlands and Iceland, also protect the right to abortion until or near the point of viability. This is what makes the Supreme Court’s threatened reversal of Roe v. Wade not only dangerous and life-threatening, but legally indefensible.
Womanhood is a question of material reality, not identity.
30th September 2021
Following a barrage of criticism, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has apologised for revising an iconic speech by the late Supreme Court justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to fit with today’s woke-speak.
At RBG’s confirmation hearing in 1993, a time when anti-choice activism was rife in the US, she was asked about her position on abortion. She did not mince her words:
Former Planned Parenthood president cites Texas law and says Republicans are on brink of ending right to abortion
Martin Pengelly and agencies
Sat 18 Sep 2021
Marking the first anniversary of the death of the supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Cecile Richards warned that after nearly 50 years, Republicans are on the brink of ending the right to abortion.
“We must fight to fully regain it,” said the former president of Planned Parenthood, a leading provider of women’s healthcare.
The all-too-human plaintiff of Roe v. Wade captured the messy contradictions hidden by a polarizing debate.
By Margaret Talbot
September 13, 2021
Roe v. Wade may be the rare Supreme Court decision that most Americans can name, but it’s also one of the few that many volubly disparage—and not just anti-abortion activists who want to get rid of it altogether. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a staunch advocate of access to abortion but an open critic of the reasoning behind Roe. She thought the rationale should have centered on preventing sex discrimination rather than on preserving a right to privacy. “The image you get from reading the Roe v. Wade opinion is it’s mostly a doctor’s-rights case—a doctor’s right to prescribe what he thinks his patient needs,” Ginsburg told the legal writer and scholar Jeffrey Rosen, in 2019. “My idea of how choice should have developed was not a privacy notion, not a doctor’s-right notion, but a woman’s right to control her own destiny, to be able to make choices without a Big Brother state telling her what she can and cannot do.”