There's a Nebraska law that bans "most abortions after 20 weeks on the theory that that’s when the fetus can feel pain." There's a Mississippi bill forbidding public financing of abortions. And there are 2 new Oklahoma laws: "One requires women, even those seeking to end a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, to have an ultrasound and have the fetus described to them. The other prevents mothers from suing doctors who withhold information about fetal birth defects." Florida also has a new law requiring ultrasound before an abortion.
Blow frets that the Supreme Court will reconsider Roe. Of course, the Court reconsidered Roe back in 1992 in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and any new litigation is highly likely to be only about applying the Casey standard to new legislation.
Blow points to polls:
A Washington Post/ABC News poll released on Friday found that the percentage of people who think that the Supreme Court is too liberal is at its highest since they began asking the question, as is the percentage of people who say that if Roe v. Wade were to come before the court again, the next justice should vote to overturn it. They’re not the majority, but it’s still not good.Look at the poll. The question goes back to 7/21/05, when John Roberts was first nominated. 65% of those polled wanted Roe upheld. One month later, the percentage somehow went down to 60%. When Alito was nominated, the number was 64% and then a few weeks later, down to 61%. With Sotomayor, the percentage came in at 60, and now, it's 59%. I'd say the percentage is pretty stable, and there isn't any real downward trend.
According to a Gallup report released on Wednesday, the percentage of college-educated people who favor legal abortion under any circumstances has been dropping since the early 1990s and has now reached a new low. And while the largest overall drop was among men over 65, it was closely followed by a drop among women under 30.Note that the Gallup question isn't asking about abortion rights. If the Supreme Court stopped protecting access to abortion as a matter of constitutional law, the states could keep it legal. Read the material at the Gallup link, and you'll see that it mostly shows stability in opinion on the subject.
In the end, Blow show why he's pushing readers to think there's a big fight coming. He wants Obama to "nominate a warrior" to the Supreme Court. Instead of recognizing the stability of the case law and of public opinion and accepting the idea of a dignified Supreme Court that applies itself diligently to the task of deciding cases according to an orthodox legal methodology, Blow would like us to view the Court as a political battleground, and he wants a well armed new Justice. The metaphor here is military.
He says he'd like his Supreme Court "warrior" to be someone "who agrees with Representative Long." Here's what Blow said about Long (after noting the new state laws "enacted mostly by men, that seek legal control over women’s bodies"):
I happen to agree with Representative Janet Long of Florida, who said on Friday that you should “stand down if you don’t have ovaries.”"Stand down." There's that military metaphor again.
ADDED: Chip japes.