Stare Decisis Our Way to Hell

Stare Decisis. We all saw it coming, but like the horrified masses that can perceive intellectually the explosion that follows the release of a rocket, we are nonetheless shocked and amazed—or alternatively, blown to pieces—when the rocket does, in fact, explode. And with June Medical Services LLC v. Russo having its decision read today, the ‘blown to pieces’ bit is far more a literal reality for some than it is for others.

Does it matter that Justice Roberts quotes as precedent a ruling he openly disagreed with at the time in order to knock down Louisiana’s latest pro-life bill? Does it matter that he makes an appeal to Burke, quoting Burke’s attempt to ground reasoned jurisprudence within the law of the ages?—an appeal simultaneously to the natural order of things as well as the traditional mores and laws of a given society? Does it matter that all of this is such openly hollow posturing, since there is no way to argue that abortion—that murderous procedure which was given legal acknowledgment only forty years ago—merits serious consideration as being ingrained into the laws of ages?

Does it matter that Casey’s decision admitted that Roe really didn’t have to do with the Constitution, and that abortion had to be defended on the grounds that no government apparatus has the power to enforce reality? Does it matter this is the first time since Casey that there was a case that could directly challenge Roe, and that the Court had an opportunity to put a stop to the conveyor belt dumping hundreds of thousands of dead children into trashcans, dumpsters, and medical waste bins every single year? Does it matter that the previous so-called victories for the pro-life camp, at the Court level, were bans on rare procedures that the opposition knew were, by and large, red herrings in the first place?

Does it matter that the pro-life movement has been played yet again? Does it matter that the Justices have no accountability? Does it matter that an issue as serious as the state sanctioning of child murder has been so politicized and internalized as to be presented as a point of debate, and that this has been normal for almost two generations?

Does it matter that the Justices can’t even seem to be bothered to try writing coherent, consistent, intellectually honest opinions in their agreements or dissents? Does it matter that the only point of a conservative on the bench is to pen brave-sounding denouncements of their fellow adjudicators? Does it matter that we’re just supposed to believe like this is a reasonable and totally organic development?

Does it matter that there is no recourse for any of this? Does it matter that this ruling tells us all we need to know about what happens if—if—we see states attempt to outlaw the practice entirely, and the inevitable lawsuits make their way before this same bench?

Does it matter that this invalidates any reason to believe conservative think tanks who put together their little lists of judicial recommendations for Supreme Court nominees? Does it matter that this again is enough to make any reasonable republican voter sit there and ask himself why the hell he should bother voting again, since the last string of GOP presidents have put people like Roberts, Kennedy, and Gorsuch on the bench?

Oh, I’m sorry. What was I talking about? I didn’t get my coffee today, that must be it. Abortion? Before the bench? Of course it would fail. No big deal champ, another day comes again. Wait another thirty years; try again before another bench. No big deal, champ. If you’re a pro-lifer, this ain’t your first rodeo!

No big deal, champ. The 862,320 dead kids in 2017 were par for the course. Slow and steady, champ. The rate’s going down, you see. It was 926,190 three years before that.

Slow and steady.

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