Political surprises generally come in October. This one came in May, in the middle of the night, no less.

The shocking leak of the Supreme Court draft decision that overturns the constitutional right to abortion is already achieving its main objective. It is giving Democrats something to run on this fall besides President Biden’s lousy record. 

Never mind that the leak was a dirty trick that is probably a crime, with Chief Justice John Roberts calling it a “betrayal” and ordering an investigation. GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell called it an attack on the court’s independence, saying it is “yet another escalation in the radical left’s ongoing campaign to bully and intimidate federal judges and substitute mob rule for the rule of law.” 

The widely respected SCOTUSblog writes that “This leak is the gravest, most unforgivable sin” and will destroy trust among the justices and the staff. 

All true — but you’re not likely to see a single Dem denounce the leak or the leaker. Quite the opposite. Desperate times lead to desperate actions and, without batting an eye, they embraced the draft’s contents as an opportunity to rally their dejected supporters around a new flag.

Forget inflation, open borders, the murderous crime surge, Ukraine — look over here at this shiny new object. And get mad as hell.

President Joe Biden speaks to the media before boarding Air Force One for a trip to Alabama to visit a Lockheed Martin plant, Tuesday, May 3, 2022.
President Biden might have gotten his rallying cry for midterm elections at the cost of the Supreme Court leaking a major decision.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

‘Way overboard’

Even Biden roused himself to appear before reporters and, although much of what he said was half-sentence gibberish, he did manage to say clearly that the leaked draft “goes way overboard” in demolishing Roe v. Wade.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had a bounce in his step as he vowed to force the Senate to vote on turning the gist of Roe into federal law. “We will vote to protect a woman’s right to choose, and every American is going to see which side every senator stands on,” Schumer said, then added that the “rights of 100 million women are now on the ballot.”

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, along with other Democrats, prepares to speak about the publication of an initial draft of the Supreme Court's upcoming ruling on Roe v. Wade in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, USA, 03 May 2022.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer claims the majority of Americans support “a woman’s right to choose” abortion.
EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

There he goes, exaggerating again. Many women oppose abortion, and Schumer probably can’t get a majority of senators, let alone 60 votes needed to break the filibuster, to support his plan. 

Moreover, the procedure would remain legal in many states because of existing state laws, which is exactly the point of the draft opinion — that abortion rights always should have been decided by voters in each state and their representatives. 

Still, Schumer’s wild claim shows how the pols are trying on the most radical positions as they find themselves in uncharted territory. For the first time in 50 years, there is a genuine sense of uncertainty over how abortion plays out in the coming midterms and over the long term. 

In fact, the issue can cut both ways. Most Americans, myself included, support abortion rights, but most also recognize the need for some kind of limits. 

Supreme Court Justices are at serious risk of being targeted by extremists.
Supreme Court justices are at serious risk of being targeted by extremists.

Democrats used to recognize that need, too, with Bill Clinton saying in 1992 that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.” 

Coming two decades after Roe supposedly settled the issue, it was a brilliant formulation that offered something of a middle ground. Alas, the polarization driving the parties to opposite corners is perhaps most pronounced on abortion. 

Republicans are almost universally opposed, while “safe, legal and rare” would get Clinton drummed out of his party today because absolutist Dems now demand nothing short of the unfettered right to infanticide. 

As in most things, the left has weakened itself by going too far. Some Planned Parenthood advertisements jettison any sense of the lethal reality of abortion and make it seem like just another casual lifestyle choice. 

Medical science also has worked against the absolutists as the time when a newborn is able to survive outside the womb marches forward. One result is that 26 states have asked the court to overrule Roe, with the Mississippi law at the center of the battle forbidding most abortions after 15 weeks except for medical emergencies or severe fetal abnormality. 

Former President Bill Clinton speaks at the long-delayed memorial service for former Mississippi Gov. William Winter, who died in 2020, and his wife Elise Winter, who died in 2021.
President Bill Clinton once argued abortions should be “safe, legal and rare.”
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Roe went too far

Ultimately, of course, Supreme Court decisions are not supposed to be a popularity contest. The author of the draft opinion, Justice Samuel Alito, says the Biden administration and others argued that the Mississippi law must either be thrown out or the court must overturn Roe because “no half measures” are workable.

That was a foolish gamble, given the court’s 6-3 conservative ­majority. 

It was also foolish given the obvious and widely recognized flaws in the way Roe found a constitutional right to abortion that was nowhere in the text or the amendments. As Alito put it, “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences.” 

He also wrote that “Roe was on a collision course with the Constitution from the day it was decided,” and said a subsequent supporting case, Casey v. Planned Parenthood, was also flawed and must also be overruled.

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Jr
Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito rightfully asserted the Roe v. Wade decision “was egregiously wrong from the start.”
REUTERS/Jim Young/File

Another challenge for Alito was the issue of overturning longstanding precedents, known as stare decisis. The court has understandably held such decisions to a higher standard, and Democrats seized on that history Tuesday to argue it was reckless to abandon a law that prevailed since 1973. 

But Alito’s argument is again compelling when he notes the abortion battles have “remained bitterly divisive for the past half-century” and said the court “cannot bring about the permanent resolution of a rancorous national controversy simply by dictating a settlement and telling the people to move on.”

Besides, he noted, the court has overturned many previous cases and a footnote listed scores of them as examples. “Stare decisis is not an inexorable command,” he wrote, saying it “is at its weakest when we interpret the Constitution.”

Naturally, such logic and legal reasoning is summarily rejected by the left. It wants what it wants and anything or anyone standing in the way must be destroyed. 

Now the Supreme Court is the target and soon enough we’ll know whether it can survive the attack on its legitimacy.

Pulling a fast one

Who knew Albany could move so fast?

Just days ago, reports said Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins opposed Gov. Kathy Hochul’s request for legislation that would allow her to remove the indicted former lieutenant governor, Brian Benjamin, from the ballot as her running mate.

Then suddenly, that very bill passed, Hochul signed it and Tuesday she named Rep. Antonio Delgado her new No. 2 and presumably her running mate. 

Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado
Rep. Antonio Delgado will be replacing former Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin after he got into a scandal — similar to how his new boss, Gov. Kathy Hochul, got her job in the first place.
Hans Pennink

Whatever the deal between Hochul and Stewart-Cousins, it’s nice to know the gears can shift so quickly. Now let’s see them do that on something that really matters to voters, say, tightening the stupid bail laws. 

Fat chance.

Belated Liberty

Headline: Sony Reportedly Refused Chinese Government’s Demand to Scrub Statue of Liberty From Latest Spider-Man Film.

Heart be still, could this be the start of a trend?

Read More