The Dobbs Case is Argued: An Analysis
Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, the most important abortion case in decades. Tomorrow, Friday, the justices will meet, vote, and decide who will write the opinions in this critical case. Our prayers are more important than ever through tomorrow. Please join IFA’s First Friday Prayer Call to pray for the justices as the convene about this case. As always, join at 12:15 pm ET at IFApray.org/live or call (667) 771-7910 2452#.
Here is an excerpt of an excellent analysis of the Oral Arguments from Life Site News.
. . . Leading the defense of HB 1510 is Mississippi Solicitor General Scott Grant Stewart, making the case that judicial precedent asserting a “right” to abortion is “egregiously wrong” with “no basis in text, structure, history, or tradition.” The state further argues that in addition to its legal bankruptcy, the legal regime Roe set into motion has “proven hopelessly unworkable.”
The justices’ questioning of Stewart, Center for Reproductive Rights attorney Julie Rikelman, and Biden administration Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar did not give away a majority of the justices’ intentions in the case, but most of the Republican-appointed jurists did appear at least somewhat skeptical of Roe’s justifications, with only Chief Justice John Roberts hinting at an inclination to preserve the precedent in some way.
Liberal justice Stephen Breyer raised eyebrows by claiming that “the country decided to resolve its differences by this Court laying down a decision in Roe,” when in fact Roe represented judges taking the issue out of the country’s hands. The ruling has been widely credited with intensifying the abortion debate. Breyer claimed that to reexamine such a “watershed” case would “subvert the court’s legitimacy.”
Left-wing Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the most aggressively pro-abortion in her questioning, at points falsely claiming the beginning of human life is primarily a “religious view” and dismissing the evidence for fetal pain as “fringe,” and questioning whether the Court could overcome the “stench” of an anti-Roe outcome supposedly making the Court seem “political,” to which Stewart responded that the best defense against such a perception would be to simply ensure that the ruling is grounded in the legal and factual merits.
Most tellingly, Sotomayor tacitly conceded that Roe is not rooted in the actual text of the Constitution (something conceded by many pro-abortion legal scholars) by questioning whether a reversal would jeopardize other precedents. “There’s so much that’s not in the Constitution,” she said.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, gave mixed signals that may indicate he is leaning toward upholding the Mississippi law without going all the way to overturning Roe. “If you think that the issue is one of choice … viability, it seems to me, doesn’t have anything to do with choice. If it really is an issue about choice, why is 15 weeks not enough time?” he pressed Rikelman. . . .
Conservative Justice Samuel Alito delivered arguably the most aggressive challenging of Roe, arguing that the viability line “doesn’t make any sense” as a legal standard because it changes with medical advances, and pressing Prelogar on the notion that an egregiously wrong precedent cannot be overturned unless facts change or a “new argument” is made, getting her to acknowledge that Plessy v. Ferguson, the case which established “separate but equal” in racial segregation, should have been overturned at any point because it was factually wrong the moment it was decided.
IFA thinks that this tweet highlights the need for prayer through the time of deliberation and determination of the outcome, paying special attention in prayer to “forces that will operate between argument and decision.” Will you commit to keep praying about the decision in the Dobbs case?
People, if you think that the overruling of Roe is a done deal, you are (1) paying way too much attention to certain clickbait journalists with incentives to maximize the outrage of their readers and (2) underestimating the forces that will operate between argument and decision.
— Adrian Vermeule (@Vermeullarmine) December 1, 2021
(Excerpt from Life Site News. Article by Calvin Freiberger.)
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