The fate of the Supreme Court
One of the more subtle issues at play in this election is the fate of the Supreme Court. The next president will likely be able to make three nominations, deciding the direction of the court for the next twenty to thirty years.
President Bush ducked the question in the debates, but some worry about what will happen if he picks more justices like Scalia and Thomas.
Justices Scalia and Thomas have urged their colleagues to reverse Roe and “get out of this area, where we have no right to be.”
If Roe is lost, the Center for Reproductive Rights warns, there’s a good chance that 30 states, home to more than 70 million women, will outlaw abortions within a year; some states may take only weeks. Criminalization will sweep well beyond the Bible Belt: Ohio could be among the first to drive young women to back-alley abortions and prosecute doctors.
If Justices Scalia and Thomas become the Constitution’s final arbiters, the rights of racial minorities, gay people and the poor will be rolled back considerably. Both men dissented from the Supreme Court’s narrow ruling upholding the University of Michigan’s affirmative-action program, and appear eager to dismantle a wide array of diversity programs. When the court struck down Texas’ “Homosexual Conduct” law last year, holding that the police violated John Lawrence’s right to liberty when they raided his home and arrested him for having sex there, Justices Scalia and Thomas sided with the police.