Trump’s Supreme Court legacy means Roe v Wade is just the beginning

Donald Trump appointed the most justices of any president since Reagan, as Sean O’Grady explains

Wednesday 04 May 2022 20:06
<p>APTOPIX Supreme Court Abortion Los Angeles</p>

APTOPIX Supreme Court Abortion Los Angeles

Such is the emotional and religious resonance of the abortion issue that it is already having a toxic effect on America’s already polarised politics. President Joe Biden had no hesitation in condemning what he had heard on the news, repeating that a woman’s right to choose is “fundamental”.

Vice-President Kamala Harris has also exceeded herself in calling the Supreme Court’s draft decision on Roe v Wade 1973 a “direct assault on freedom.” A deeply political move, albeit taken by the judicial arm, Harris recognised it as such: “At its core, Roe recognizes the fundamental right to privacy. When the right to privacy is attacked, anyone in our country may face a future where the government can interfere in our decisions … It has never been more clear which party wants to expand our rights and wants to restrict them.”

Such powerful, if oblique, attacks on the court by the executive are the kind of thing for which Donald Trump was derided during his time in the White House — undermining respect for the highest court in the land even when its decisions are controversial. If its rulings were not at occasional odds with the executive or the legislature, or indeed public opinion, there would be no point in having a Supreme Court.

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