The Court’s Draft, An Electric Shock To Mid-term Campaigns

This is how they talked about Roe vs. Wade as Supreme Court nominees 2:50

(WABNEWS) — The October surprise may have arrived in early May. The seismic revelation that the conservative majority of the Supreme Court seems ready to annul the constitutional right to abortion, which has lasted almost half a century, caused a shock in the mid-term electoral campaign, yet to be defined.

Such a decision — if Judge Samuel Alito’s draft opinion published by Politico on Monday stands until the court’s final vote — would initiate startling legal and social changes in America. It could give Democrats, who could be headed for heavy losses in November, a theme with which to galvanize activist voters and potentially counter some Republicans who point to high inflation and cultural issues in the suburbs.


Of course, the implications of this story extend beyond Washington, partisan politics, and dueling interpretations of the law, the nature of precedent, and the Constitution.

Losing access to abortion would deprive millions of women of the right to make decisions about their own bodies, even if their health or lives are in danger. The burden of this massive erosion of women’s rights is likely to fall heavily on the poorest and minority women, who already have the worst health outcomes and access.

Conversely, the overturning of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision would also be the story of generations of conservative activists, who mounted a sincere moral mission to end what they see as an inhumane proceeding that they think is antithetical to the founding values ​​of USA.

Yet for all its human dimensions, the issue of abortion is inherently political. After all, if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, it would be the culmination of successive Republican political campaigns that have produced a conservative majority on the court. And it would further widen the widening cultural, legal and political chasm between Republican-led states, where abortion would likely be banned, and Democratic-ruled strongholds, where lawmakers would likely keep it legal.

The legality of abortion in America: which countries prohibit it? 1:03 The Democratic Challenge

The challenge for Democrats now — in the run-up to the November election and potentially for years to come — is whether they can build as effective an abortion campaign as the Republicans.

For decades, Republicans have emphasized calls for the abolition of abortion and the need to create majorities in Washington to build a Supreme Court hostile to abortion rights. While Democrats have used the issue to activate their base and raising money—see the influence of EMILY’s List, which endorses pro-choice candidates, for example—that same focus on this central issue has never been more pronounced at Democratic presidential, congressional, and local rallies.

That difference may reflect the revolutionary zeal of conservatives mobilizing to overthrow a status quo and the complacency of liberals who have lived with it most of their lives.

An anti-abortion activist, Mallory Carroll, who is vice president of communications for the Susan B. Anthony List, told WABNEWS’s Erin Burnett on Tuesday that the issue has always moved more to the right than the left.

“Historically, the intensity gap has favored pro-life candidates,” Carroll said, but added that he believed the issue would motivate voters on both sides in November.

That same idea was reflected in the comments of the Democratic senator from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren this Tuesday before the Supreme Court.

“Republicans have been working toward this day for decades,” Warren said. “They’ve been out there plotting, carefully cultivating these Supreme Court justices so that they can have a bench majority that achieves something that most Americans don’t want.”

It is fair to question a political system that saw then-President Donald Trump, who fell short of a majority of popular votes, nominate the three justices who cemented conservative dominance of the bench. And there are even stronger reasons to bring up the hypocritical maneuvering of then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that produced that advantage.

But for the most part, Republicans worked through valid political structures to get to the Rubicon that the Supreme Court appears to be about to cross. And the Democrats lacked the ruthlessness to match their passion for this one goal.

Much has been made of polls showing Americans overwhelmingly oppose overturning Roe v. wade ever since Alito’s project came up this Monday night. A WABNEWS poll in January, for example, showed that 69% would oppose such a decision.

But the question for Democrats is: can they get people to vote on it?

Former Texas state senator Wendy Davis thinks so, after seeing pro-choice rallies that sprang up across the country on Tuesday.

“It’s just the beginning of what I think is going to be a major turning point in the 2022 election cycle,” the Democrat said on WABNEWS’s “AC360” show. For her view to be confirmed, Democrats — from President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to local candidates — will have to display a political intensity and relentless messaging discipline that has so far eluded them in a tumultuous time. .

Harris delivered an impassioned speech on the subject at Tuesday’s EMILY’s List gala, saying, “How dare they (GOP leaders) tell a woman what she can and cannot do to her own body?” But There’s no guarantee that a singular focus on abortion will mitigate the harsh headwinds Democrats face on issues like high gas prices and inflation.

How Republicans can be vulnerable

At first glance, Democrats suddenly have an answer to a problem they’ve been grappling with for weeks: What’s their message in a midterm election campaign weighed down by an unpopular president and an apparent inability to respond to the concerns of voters about high inflation, immigration and crime?

In theory, it should be easy for them to couple the impending abortion ruling with claims that Republicans — some of whom are embracing hardline anti-trans rights campaigns and demagogic debates about race in education — are have rushed to radical extremes. A message emphasizing the need to save abortion rights—or punish Republicans for overturning it—could also be a way to shore up support among female suburban voters who were instrumental in Democrats winning the House of Representatives. in 2018 and Biden’s victory in 2020.

What would happen if the right to abortion in the US is annulled? 2:27

The issue could offer an opening in Republican-led states, where large numbers of Democratic women face losing their constitutional right to abortion. Democratic candidate for governor of Texas, Beto O’Rourke, clearly thinks so. She announced a pro-choice rally in Houston on Saturday, and cut a video that showed all the signs of putting the issue at the center of her far-reaching campaign to unseat Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

“We’re going to organize, we’re going to rally and we’re going to fight for the rights of our fellow Texans, especially the right to abortion, which is under attack in this state like nowhere else in the country,” O’Rourke said.

Abortion is an issue that will highlight one of the emerging features of Texas politics: the schism between Republicans, who hold state power and lean on the state’s vast heartland, and cities like Houston, where most voters live. Democrats. It is a division that is reflected throughout the country.

Democrats, who have expressed concern about the intensity of their base’s enthusiasm, also hope to use the issue to skewer Republicans in swing states like Wisconsin. As the Politico story resonated, Sen. Ron Johnson, who is the most vulnerable incumbent Republican senator this year, was already trying to shift the conversation onto issues that have put Democrats on the defensive.

“You look at open borders, 40-year inflation, record gas prices, rising crime,” Johnson said. “They can’t talk about the results of their government, so they have to try to find something else to show up with.”

Silent Conservative Celebrations Following Supreme Court Leak

The Conservatives should have been celebrating on Tuesday at the prospect of a long-awaited political victory. But many were strangely reticent, reflecting the uncertain political impact of this lightning strike. Many preferred to focus on the release of the draft opinion—a highly unusual breach of Supreme Court security—demanding an investigation into the leak and harsh punishment for the culprit.

“It’s necessary, it seems to me — sorry about the sermon — to focus on what is today’s news. Not a leaked draft, but the fact that the draft was leaked,” said McConnell, now the minority leader. of the Senate, to journalists.

Another member of the Senate Republican leadership, John Thune of South Dakota, also seemed reluctant to weigh in on the impact Alito’s draft opinion — and an eventual Supreme Court decision — might have on the midterm elections. of mandate.

“I don’t know if it’s necessarily a partisan thing,” Thune told WABNEWS. “I think it’s more of a question of conscience.”

Republicans’ caution may reflect concern that the political furor could cause some conservative justices to soften their position and threaten a victory in Roe v. Wade. But it also shows how a campaign that was shaping up inexorably in favor of the GOP now suddenly has an element of unpredictability.

And the Democrats think they have a chance.

“They’re like the dog that caught the bus,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “They know they’re on the wrong side of history. They know they’re on the wrong side of where the American people are.”

WABNEWS’s Alex Rogers, Manu Raju, Melanie Zanona, Morgan Rimmer and Ryan Nobles contributed to this article.



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