Mishpacha: Leak in the Court
May 10, 2022

by Binyamin Rose, Mishpacha

Visitors to the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., are often fascinated by several statues depicting the allegorical “Lady Justice.” In some of them, Justice is wearing a blindfold, meant to symbolize that the law is impartial.

That blindfold has taken on a new meaning. The Supreme Court was caught with its eyes closed last week when an insider with knowledge of court deliberations leaked a decision due next month, even providing a copy of an unfinalized draft opinion to the media in the case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. According to the draft, the court will uphold the state of Mississippi’s law banning abortions after 15 weeks, and take that one giant step further by overturning Roe v. Wade, opening the door for every state to make its own laws on when and whether a woman can legally end her pregnancy.

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It’s Only a Beginning

Whoever did it, and for whatever the motive, the leak has created a firestorm in Washington, and across America.

Pro-choice forces who favor keeping Roe v. Wade as the law of the land protested in front of the Supreme Court, in front of the homes of several right-wing justices, and on the streets of many major US cities over the weekend. Some ended in clashes with police.

Liberal members of the House of Representatives are seeking ways to preempt the Supreme Court ruling by passing legislation protecting a woman’s right to choose, but such legislation has no chance of passage in the Senate.

If the final ruling is issued showing that Alito successfully maintained the anti-Roe majority, it would open the door for individual states to pass laws to suit their population. Since Mississippi enacted its new strict law, at least three more states, including Florida, Arizona, and West Virginia, are trying to pass similar bans, while some states under Republican control could consider much tougher bans or even outlawing abortions entirely.

States controlled by liberal Democrats might counter by passing more permissive legislation, which means women could travel to a state of their choice to obtain the procedure. The question then is what happens to women who can’t afford to travel or pay for the procedure. Would funding still be available for them?

“This is only the beginning of the story, and not the end,” says Rabbi Yaakov Menken, managing director of the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), which represents more than 2,000 Orthodox rabbis in matters of American public policy.

The CJV joined in an amicus curiae (friends of the court) brief along with the Jewish Pro-Life Foundation, Rabbi Yaakov David Cohen, Rabbi Chananya Weissman, and Bonnie Chernin (president of the Jewish Life League), in urging the Supreme Court to strike down Roe v. Wade. Written by attorney Allan Parker of San Antonio, Texas, the brief called abortion “an appalling crime against humanity” and suggested a reversal of Roe would “begin the process of reconciliation with our Creator.”

Rabbi Menken says pro-choice supporters are exaggerating the impact of a reversal of Roe, and also contends that the pro-choice forces are exaggerating both their own supporter numbers and overall support for abortions.

He pointed to a Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll taken in January showing that 71 percent of Americans support legal limits on abortion. Even among the younger generation, the poll showed that as many as 41 percent of Gen Z and millennial respondents support tougher restrictions, while a large majority either “oppose” or “strongly oppose” diverting tax dollars to support abortions.

“Put it this way,” Rabbi Menken says. “If it were true that the overwhelming majority of Americans supported the permissive policies suggested by left-wing groups, would they be panicked by the very idea that control of such laws would be returned to the democratically elected state legislatures? What they’re telling you and what the truth is are two different things. Most Americans do support reasonable controls on abortions.”

Read the full article here.

Photo Credit: Brandon Mowinkel at Unsplash.com.

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