More On: Supreme Court Leak
Abortion supporters regard the current political situation as a crisis. The real battle has barely begun.
Observers began to wonder what outcome the leaker sought to achieve as soon as Politico published Justice Samuel Alito's draft decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Was he hoping for a backlash that would force the Supreme Court to reverse course and uphold Roe? To re-energize Democrats ahead of the midterm elections? To persuade the Senate to forego the filibuster and pass a federal bill protecting abortion rights?
There's no reason to believe that the leaker's goal was anything other than to blatantly violate the Court's quasi-sacred aura of authority. This sends a strong message to other progressives. It denotes that we are dealing with an emergency scenario in which the traditional norms do not apply. It motivates others to take whatever steps are necessary to achieve their goals.
Abortion restrictions will be seen similarly to Donald Trump's election: as a presumptively illegal and illegitimate act, an unforgivable assault to the professional-managerial class's power. In the same way that the Russiagate plot tried to derail Trump's presidency before it began, pro-abortion activists will cross lines and break rules to achieve their goals. "Shout out to whoever the hero was within the Supreme Court who screamed 'f–k it!'" tweeted Ian Millhiser, a senior correspondent for Vox. 'Let's set fire to this place.'
The Washington Free Beacon's Aaron Sibarium has exhaustively documented the rising extremism among students at America's premier law schools. They've been indoctrinated with anti-legal procedures and professional norms through forms of activism that prioritize desired outcomes over due process. Their beliefs will reshape our legal system as they graduate and accept positions in law firms, government bureaucracies, and high courts. Their cynicism will grow throughout the political spectrum, not just on the left, but also on the right, which will not be blind to how the system is changing.
One answer to this condition of affairs is to insist on the rule of law and due process above all else, in the hopes of establishing a society based only on neutrality. This is a foolish assumption. There is no such thing as a completely neutral legal procedure. They are always fashioned by the politics of those who wield them, and they are always ordered in order to achieve specific goals. That does not imply that they are worthless. Simply put, they become difficult to maintain in the face of severe social turmoil. Justice is important in each and every instance. Procedural integrity is also important. However, due process and the rule of law cannot replace the shared goals that underpin social harmony.
Of fact, obtaining an agreement on common goals appears to be nearly impossible. A culture war that is really a class battle has shattered America. Abortion is "first and foremost a class problem," according to Christopher Lasch. It condenses a wide range of social divisions into a single, powerful problem. Only 33% of Americans with a high school certificate or less believe abortion is "morally acceptable," compared to 72 percent of those with a bachelor's degree.
The authority of the professional-managerial elite is derived from their paying employment and educational credentials. These goods are also the wellspring of their identity and the yardstick by which they judge their own worth. Members of this class do not seek abortions on a regular basis because they regulate their reproduction in other ways, but they perceive abortion as a necessary backstop for and emblem of a system in which they never have to forego the education and employment that are essential to their standing. That is why they will go to tremendous measures to prevent the abortion ban from being reversed.
Opponents of abortion should pay particular attention to the socioeconomic issues that surround the abortion debate. If Roe is overturned, which now appears to be a foregone conclusion, it will be a win for the conservative legal movement and the Federalist Society, which many questioned were capable of accomplishing such a task. However, it will only be the start of a longer process that will include state-level restrictions on abortion and a drive to have the unborn child's fundamental right to life recognized nationwide. This will necessitate a rejection of the libertarian conceits that have been prevalent in the conservative legal movement. Serious curbs on abortion will be extremely difficult to implement as long as the professional-managerial elite dominates our political system. The only way to ensure a future in which the unborn's rights are securely maintained is to weaken that class's influence.