Thursday, January 19, 2006

Alito: The End of the Anti Abortion Movement?

My public policy professor posed an interesting question to us today. If Judge Alito was confirmed, and Roe v. Wade was not overturned, would that be the end of the "pro-life" movement?

It's interesting and what's probably more important is that this could all play out. Reports are showing that as much as Democrats don't like Alito, blocking his confirmation is highly unlikely. On the same token though, analysts believe that the liklihood of Roe v. Wade being overturned is also highly unlikely even if Alito was on the bench. Thus, if this all pans out, can conservatives still use the argument that anti abortion folks should doll out lots of money for them and mobilize for them because they will appoint judges that will overturn Roe v. Wade? If you can't ban abortion with a conservative President, Congress, and Supreme Court, can you at all?

To throw in my own two cents, I think that if two new Bush Justices, along with the current court, don't touch the abortion subject, it is possible the movement might wane. It will always be one of the "big" issues, like the death penalty, but it probably won't have the weight that it has had in these recent years. For example, people might just realize that they shouldn't be single issue voters on the subject of abortion because their electorale power isn't as direct and productive on the abortion issue as they thought.

Ultimately, I don't think it will that this issue will create a large swing in the partisan power though. Even if some people finally realize that Roe v. Wade won't be overturned, a lot of anti abortion people are obviously still conservative on other issues and will continue to vote accordingly. The only thing I could see this having any effect on are single issue voters who's ideologies and self interest align with Democrats except on the one issue of abortion. Who knows, I could be completely wrong because I must admit but that I never really understood them anyway.



Kyle said...

Hard to say. I think that Roe is highly unlikely to be overturned. That being said, it definitely won't be overturned anytime soon, as Roe will still be able to be upheld until Kennedy, SOUTER, Ginsberg, Breyer, or Stevens leave the Court (Presuming that Roberts would overturn Roe, which is still a question mark in my mind).

DMSlaughter said...

Excellent post. I have to agree with Kyle on the probability of Roe being overturned being quite slim. What Americans should be concerned about are workers' rights, privacy issues, etc. Alito is a bad apple, and unlike Justice Roberts who definitely leans in favor of corporate interests, Alito has character issues (read: Vanguard) and advocates strongly in favor of, shall we say, oppressive government. From a professional AND idealogical standpoint, Alito is bad news for the highest court in the land.

As an aside, I run a state blog advocating Senator Russ Feingold for President in '08. I'm also co-director of expansion at Russ for President. Feel free to link to me (I'm linking to you) if you don't think it would be an official endorsement (I don't want you to get reprimanded or anything) and perhaps we can be mutually beneficial to each other. Thanks and keep up the great work!