Death By a Thousand Cuts

6753D0B3-9888-493A-9122-4B4E401FC1F1I don’t believe that, even with Brett Kavanaugh sitting on the bench, the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade. But I do believe that, with Kavanuagh added to the bench, the Supreme Court will undermine Roe v. Wade.

A number of red states have passed, or are passing, laws that severely restrict access to abortion clinics, add almost insurmountable burdens, especially for the poor, to obtaining abortions, have imposed rules about waiting periods or the age of the fetus, and have established other limitations on permissible legal abortions in those states.

Many of these attempts by states to impose severely restrictive laws that essentially render abortions to be all but illegal have been appealed to federal courts and even to the Supreme Court in the past. And the courts have generally held that these state-imposed restrictions violate Roe v. Wade.

But since Trump became President almost two years ago, dozens of his picks for lower federal courts have already been installed, leaving a highly conservative imprint on the nation’s judiciary.

With Kavanaugh’s ascension to the Supreme Court, it will be less likely to hear appeals of state laws or rules and regulations that restrict abortion rights. And in those cases where the Court does deign to hear, it will be less likely to block or overturn such state restrictions.

So Roe v. Wade will not, in my opinion, be formally overturned. But by virtue of death by a thousand cuts coming from conservative red states, it will be rendered toothless.