It has become a commonplace observation amongst historians of the interface between politics and jurisprudence that the enunciation of Roe v Wade, as much as it brought immediate relief from unwanted pregnancy to hundreds of thousands of women, had the perverse effect of truncating the slow but inexorable progress of democratic reform of patriarchal anti-choice law.
As an added irony, because Roe was founded on a rather strained judicial reach for the creation of an expanded privacy interest strong enough to stand against the democratically (where they existed) passed anti-choice laws then dotting the various state criminal codes, it partook of what came to be called “judicial activism” and galvanized the right wing that today has utterly co-opted the Republican party.
In an almost mirror image of the jurisprudential process that gave us Roe, Alito’s vast expansion of the First Amendment type privileges granted by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act so as to entitle members of civil society to exempt themselves from otherwise generally applicable laws will, as the consequences play out, bring down upon the right wing an absolute torrent of electoral catastrophe.
Nothing will be of greater use in focusing the attention of women (and the men who love them…) upon the patriarchal buy-in that is the modern Republican Party, than the coming avalanche of queries to which a parade of candidates will now be vulnerable: ”Do you approve of the Hobby Lobby decision?”
With any luck, the Dems will not only hold the Senate, they’ll take back the House.
Contraception, for cryin’ out loud!
It is as if the Republican Party rose and asked, with one voice (and not in the nice way…)
“Who’s your Daddy?”
Picture from DonkeyHotey licensed under Creative Commons