Republicans will finally get their wish when Roe v. Wade was overthrown. They will regret it.

Since the Reagan era, the GOP has fanned the flames of anti-choice extremism without paying a great political price for the profound unpopularity of that position.

Those days are over, with a Supreme Court majority packed with Trump on the cusp of overturn Roe v. Wade—And with it comes a fundamental right that most Americans support.

Of course, the ultimate price for this unprecedented civil rights nullification will be paid by millions of Americans, who are at risk of losing their reproductive autonomy.

But the political cost the GOP must pay for creating such a hugely unpopular judicial action that serves the party’s “culturally conservative” base can also be extraordinarily high.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan enlisted the then fledgling religious right into his political coalition by becoming the first presidential candidate to become an all-out supporter of overthrowing Roe.

Reagan was not an obvious choice to serve as a hero for culturally conservative Catholics and Protestants. (This is especially so, since his opponent, Jimmy Carter, was probably the first evangelical president.)

A divorced former Hollywood actor, Reagan as governor of California signed a bill liberalizing the state’s abortion law, and he was largely involved in the Senator’s near-liberal politics. Barry Goldwater.

But during the 1980 campaign, Reagan supported a constitutional amendment banning abortion. That move cemented a solid alliance between the GOP and the new right-wing Catholics entering politics — many of whom are labeled as Reagan Democrats — because of their views. Reagan’s culture” entices them to switch parties.

From the very beginning of this alliance, however, the GOP ran into a fundamental problem. While an anti-selection stance was essential to luring Christian conservatives into the Republican Party – it was unpopular with most voters.

Indeed, in the decades that followed as the GOP became increasingly associated with anti-choice extremism, a majority of Americans remained pro-choice, with about 59% of adults believing that abortion was legal in most cases. In fact, they take reproductive rights for granted. Many observers (including Senator Goldwater in 1992) have long recognized that the Republican Party is putting itself in a precarious position by opposing a majority of the electorate on an important issue.

The fact that the GOP’s opposition to reproductive rights is crucial to maintaining its base, while contrary to the views of the majority of voters, has always presented a potential political landmine for the party. this. However, there is one thing the Republican Party has avoided – due to a combination of the skepticism of politicians and the intelligence of allies in the Supreme Court.

“The party’s right-wing establishment has increasingly placed an emphasis on providing the Court with truly credible jurists who can be relied upon to rescind Roe.”

Reagan and George HW Bush put together five justices for the Court in 1992. That year, it appeared that the Court was poised to achieve its long-stated GOP goal of disposal. Roe—And paved the way for the re-criminal of abortion — as it ruled on a case challenging abortion restrictions signed into law by Democratic Governor Robert Casey of Pennsylvania.

But the nation was surprised when three judges nominated by the GOP presidents—David Souter, Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O’Connor—signed an opinion supporting abortion rights in the United States. Casey case. Opinions are given based on the principle of “stare decisionis”, a pseudo-Latin legal term meaning respect for existing judicial precedent.

The three judges argued that void Roe It would be very unfair to women who have had to rely on “continuing the rule”. They also state that the adoption of a “watershed decision… by which the Court assesses its jurisdiction in the first instance” could be a “surrender to political pressure” and thus legitimacy. of the Supreme Court at risk. Accordingly, they solve watering down Roe by publishing a new standard for reviewing legislation restricting abortion, called the “undue burden test”.

Justice O’Connor, who has served as a state legislator and is particularly pleased with the political implications of the Court’s decisions, is likely the main driving force behind Casey compromise, works great in protecting GOP politicians from the dire political consequences that can result from their own anti-choice extremism.

By declaring that override Roe was not on the table, the Court signaled to GOP politicians that they could continue to demand an end to reproductive rights — and punish the Supreme Court for failing to do so — while ensuring it is certain that Roe will remain in place. This allowed the GOP to win anti-abortion rights voters without facing the ire of a majority of Americans.

However, that situation is never stable. As GOP politicians continue to antagonize the Supreme Court, the party’s right-wing establishment increasingly insists on providing the Court with real trustworthy jurists who can be relied upon to void. Roe.

George W. Bush has appointed two trusted right-wing jurists to the Court, including Samuel Alito, the author of a recently leaked draft decision that will overturn. Roe. But the turning point of the Court was Trump’s presidency.

Like Reagan, Trump is a divorced and former Democrat, and therefore incapable of championing Christian right-wing activism. But Trump managed to win the GOP nomination in 2016 in part by promising to appoint only those most opposed to abortion rights to the Court. And he certainly delivered on that promise.

The most notable of which is Amy Coney Barrett. As a right-wing legal scholar, Barrett has made a name for himself thanks to Casey decision. She argues that the Courts should not influence the principle of discretion in constitutional cases – claiming that she tends to “agree with those who say that the duty of justice is to the Constitution, ” is not precedent, arguing that it is “more legitimate because [a justice] to enforce her best understanding of the Constitution instead of a precedent that she thinks clearly contradicts it. “

The court — now with a right-wing majority on the side of the Judiciary — chose this year to hear the argument over the question of whether Roe should be remedied. And it’s no surprise that most of the Court’s current GOP nominees seem completely uninterested in upholding the status quo, regardless of the political consequences.

However, the extreme rhetoric of Alito’s draft opinion — such as describing Roe as “seriously wrong from the start” and arguing that it was “noticeable”.[less]“Of the Constitution — somewhat shocking. Furthermore, Alito made it clear that he intended the Court to invalidate Roe is the first step in the judicial process of removing other fundamental rights, many of which are also growing in popularity, including the civil rights of LGBTQ citizens.

In other words, the religious extremists Ronald Reagan suspected 42 years ago are now in full control of the Supreme Court.

Citizens about to be deprived of their basic rights (especially those who are pregnant without financial resources) will suffer the most and most immediately from the GOP enabling The Supreme Court was arrested by extremists.

But the Republican Party itself ended up paying a huge political price for the cynical double game it had played for decades.

The GOP has clearly linked itself to the project of disposing of the option. Indeed, in light of the Court’s upcoming decision, several Republican-controlled states have passed (currently) laws restricting unconstitutional abortion.

Once those laws go into effect, the GOP will eventually have to face the reality that its long-established and fundamental stance in favor of nullifying individual autonomy puts it in direct confrontation with the majority of Americans, including citizens for whom this party votes. should prevail in the upcoming elections. The consequences of this long-dormant political minefield explosion are difficult to predict, but it could very well blow up the faces of Republicans. Republicans will finally get their wish when Roe v. Wade was overthrown. They will regret it.


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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