OK, we know what we’re writing about this week, don’t we?
Yes. We’re writing about the Supreme Court’s leaked pre-decision decision to decide to overturn Roe v. Wade. I don’t have to read the rest of the news. Ukraine? What?
My first reaction hearing about this pre-decision decision is that the judges writing it can’t do that. You can’t pre-decide a case that hasn’t been heard yet.
“I protest,” I announced, fervently.
Then I found out the case in question is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which concerns a Mississippi law limiting abortion. Oral arguments in that case ended in December, so I can’t be hopping mad that the five justices have jumped the gun. I have to stick to being hopping mad about the contents of the pre-decision decision. Well, poot.
Chief Justice John Roberts has taken the extra trouble to tediously point out that since the pre-decision decision is not a final decision, it is premature for me and others to be hopping mad about it. But I say mine is a legitimate pre-pre-final decision hopping anger. All the preconditions for me being pre-hopping mad hopping mad have been met.
If they didn’t want to hear all of us being ticked off about the pre-decision thingy, they should have kept it much more secret. The fact that it could be leaked at all means they were fine with it getting out. I guess Justice Samuel Alito can’t wait for the final decision in June or July. “Look what I did!” Reading the draft report is like reading Alito: It’s obvious Alito has been writing the draft for years.
In the discussion about the leak by talking heads on TV news shows, I have learned a new concept: Zombie laws.
Zombie anti-abortion laws are laws that outlawed abortion in various states prior to the January 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that haven’t been repealed or significantly modified since then, so these laws could take effect when Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Good news: Washington state does not have any zombie anti-abortion law.
Washington state was the first state in the country to legalize abortion by a vote of the people. A referendum to that effect was passed in November 1970, more than two years before Roe v. Wade. I cast my vote for it at age 21. I may have been legally drunk. I don’t remember, which may be an indication.
Since that referendum passed, there has been further legislation here that strengthened protection for people seeking abortions and made Medicaid funds for abortions available.
The pre-decision decision emphatically approves of Washington state’s pre-Roe v. Wade pre-legalization of abortion, saying that what is mainly wrong with Roe v. Wade is that it interrupted the process that was ongoing to decide abortion rights on a state-by-state basis. We are a poster child state for how abortion rights should be affirmed: by legislators and/or by the people.
“You go, Washington state!” Alito can be heard saying. That is, if you put your ear up close to the page and if you have a freakishly good imagination. Can you hear fairies dancing in your latte foam? No? Atheist.
Every day I like to start the day imagining nothing at all, and then, by the end of the day, imagining whole new worlds and billions of wondrous never-before-thought-of creatures and their distinct never-before-thought-of creaturely doings. Then the next morning, I start all over. So, I am practiced at this nonsense.
The bad news: The number of abortion clinics in the state has diminished over the years. It’s not clear what this will mean for those wanting to come here for abortions from other states.
My spidey-sense tells me this may have something to do with the intense opposition to abortion care, extending to pregnancy-related health care in general, which leads to death threats against abortion providers. But that might just be my overactive imagination again.
The pre-decision decision brings up stare decisis, which basically means to use precedent to aid in legal decisions, at least a dozen times in order to dismiss it.
“We don’t need no stinking stare decisis. We have all the precedents we need right here, under our robes.”
Let’s face it: What we have here are five buggers who don’t know and don’t care what they’re doing to you.
Read more of the May 11-17, 2022 issue.