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The Supreme Court’s Legitimacy Crisis Is Here

With its looming decision to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, the US Supreme Court’s conservative supermajority has abandoned any pretense of acting as a neutral arbiter of the law. America’s rancorous partisan politics have fully infected the Court, which is quickly descending into theocratic extremism.

BERLIN – According to a recently leaked draft majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the US Supreme Court’s conservative supermajority is poised to overturn the Court’s landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. Barring any radical revisions to the draft, the majority would eviscerate half-century-old constitutional protections for abortion, leaving women vulnerable to the whims of state legislatures.

Republican-controlled legislatures are already eager to impose new prohibitions. Almost half of US states can be expected to establish absolute or near-absolute abortion bans. Many states already have so-called trigger statutes ready to go. Yet, despite the American right’s obsession with women’s wombs, no law will be able to put an end to the practice of abortion. Instead, these laws will return America to more primitive times, with more women crossing state lines or seeking “illegal” procedures to receive proper care. Others, one can expect, will not receive it and will die or be injured as a result.

In Roe, the Supreme Court struck down a state-level abortion ban on the grounds that it violated a woman’s constitutional right to privacy. But though the judgment was widely celebrated, it had flaws that left it open to attacks from conservatives. In his leaked opinion, Justice Samuel Alito gleefully points to the fact that even the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal icon and pioneer for women’s rights, had critiqued the Roe decision’s basic rationale.