Back in 2018, when Justice Kennedy’s retirement opened up the second of what would be three Supreme Court seats for Donald Trump to fill, Sen. Susan Collins announced she would continue to not asking nominees about Roe. Instead she would ask them about their respect for precedent. Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch both said they respected it therefore, Collins announced, Roe v Wade and women’s reproductive rights would be fine.
Nobody else who watched the Supreme Court agreed, as they told me and the Portland Press Herald at the time. And yesterday the experts were shown to be correct, with staggering ramifications for women, U.S. democracy and, I fear, the near-term survival of the U.S. federation. My story on this was in today’s Press Herald. Here’s a quote from one expert, George Washington University Law School’s Paul Shiff Berman, on the consequences:
“I think that this ruling will increase the schisms that are growing in America between the states. And so you will have states that will pass increasingly restrictive abortion laws and other states that will see themselves as havens for the right to choose and then you will start getting conflicts between those two groups of states. And those are the sorts of schisms that, at least in American history, have led to civil war.”
And given the balkanized nature of our federation, this could be a very messy time ahead.