SCOTUS decision shows the importance of elections

There are myriad lessons and endless talking points to be drawn from last Friday’s decision by the United States Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that governed the United States Constitution generally protects a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion.

Most of the lessons are specific to the American experience and illustrate a deepening ideological polarization within American society. The nation’s democratic institutions and, indeed, democracy itself look very much under threat in the tumultuous months and years ahead.

There is, however, a lesson to be learned from Roe v. Wade that transcends American national disagreements and would be well taken into account by the citizens of this democracy and all other democracies around the world:

The vote counts.

The nation’s democratic institutions and, indeed, democracy itself look very much under threat in the tumultuous months and years ahead.

While it has been rightly argued that the reversal of the abortion decision is the culmination of decades of determined effort in political and judicial circles by America’s anti-choice Republican right, the simple fact is the death of Roe v. Wade certainly wouldn’t have happened if Donald Trump hadn’t been elected President of the United States.

One of the oft-repeated promises of Mr. Trump’s ultimately successful 2016 election campaign was that he would fulfill Republicans’ long-held dream of a lasting conservative majority on the United States Supreme Court. By appointing Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, the former president delivered on that promise.

The fact that the three Trump-appointed judges appear to have lied during their confirmation hearings, during which they were asked if they would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade and each responded that they consider it to be established precedent is irrelevant at this point. The decision was made, and American women’s rights were consequently set back a half-century or more.

Let the decision to have an abortion radicalize you

Abortion rights protesters rally on Friday after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. (Gemunu Amarasinghe/The Associated Press)

Job : 3:25 p.m. June 24, 2022

Friday was a dark day for reproductive rights, no doubt. Feel the disgust, grief, and rage, but let it ignite a fire inside you, especially if you’re a millennial or Gen Z who’s always had access to abortion.

Read the full story

The United States Supreme Court – whose members are not elected and appointed for life – has always been subject to political manipulation by the side that held power when a vacancy was created, but the process has become increasingly partisan and resentful in recent years. And making a ruling that runs counter to the opinion of the majority of the American public — as it clearly did last Friday — illustrates the inherent danger of politicizing a public institution such as the Supreme Court.

In Canada, the highest court and its appointments are generally not subject to deep-rooted partisan bickering. But that does not mean that it, or other fundamental public institutions, are immune from such political interference.

The Free Press | Newsletter

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