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Bismillah. I am still reading the leaked draft of the #SCOTUS ruling on Mississippi's abortion law, which restricts
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abortions at four months of pregnancy unless it's necessary to save the mother's life. A few early thoughts:
1. It's hard to overstate the insanely unprecedented nature of leaking a full Supreme Court opinion. Even a limited leak about how the justices were leaning would have been remarkable. But the leak of the entire opinion is unbelievable. If you're a movie fan, just imagine the names of all the Oscar winners leaking weeks before the ceremony, and then multiply the seriousness of that situation by 1,000.
2. Most observers assume that a clerk for one of the court's liberal judges leaked the opinion in order to put public pressure on the conservative judges to reverse course. Others claim it's a conservative clerk trying to somehow solidify the five votes to overturn Roe. Either way, leaking an opinion is a major violation of trust and an attack on the judicial process. It would be like a juror trying to sway the verdict by leaking the initial vote tally to the media while deliberations are ongoing.
3. Predictably but perhaps prematurely, liberals are melting down and conservatives are celebrating. I say prematurely because this document is described as an early draft. The tone and content seems to precisely represent Justice Alito's somewhat caustic writing style. Justices Gorsuch, Barrett or Kavanaugh might soften the language or reign in the ruling.
4. If the ruling stands as is, there's a great irony to the end of Roe v. Wade: Missippissi's new abortion law actually ALLOWED abortion for any reason or no reason all the way up to about four months, or 15 weeks of pregnancy. But abortion providers and liberal advocacy groups have long refused to accept any limits on abortion (they even unsuccessfully filed suit to overturn the federal ban on partial birth abortion, a procedure so grotesque that I hesitate to explain it). By suing to block Mississippii's 15-week abortion law and arguing that the Court couldn't choose a middle ground resolution, they gave SCOTUS a chance to strike down Roe altogether. Now Mississippi and other states may be able to impose even stricter abortion laws.
5. Depsite this long-awaited victory for the conservative movement, I still don't understand why conservatives are so happy about the logic of Alito's ruling. If the Constitution truly is silent about abortion and states can do what they want, as Alito says, then liberal states can permit abortion all the way up to birth for any reason or no reason at all (a handful already effectively do this under the Roe framework). He openly acknowledged and welcomes this eventuality. At least he's consistent, but this is moral insanity and another sign of the absurd outcomes that can arise in a secular legal system completely untethered from any sense of objective morality.
6. It would make more sense for the Court to rule that the Constitution's due process protections establish certain basic rights for both a mother (like the right to have an abortion to save her life or to end a pregnancy caused by rape) and an unborn child (like the right not to aborted past a certain point without a compelling reason).
7. Whatever ultimately happens, and whether you're a liberal or a conservative or something in-between, keep in mind: what you want to happen is not the same thing as what the Constitution requires to happen.
The Constitution isn't a holy book with one true divinely ordained meaning. The Constitution was written long ago by imperfect people with diverse views, and it is interpreted today by imperfect people with wildly diverse views. There are rarely clear right or wrong answers when it comes to contested issues of constitutional interpretation, including abortion. Don't believe anyone who claims that the only reasonable interpretation of the Constitution clearly, absolutely or definitively allows or prohibits state laws limiting abortion.
8. Part of the problem with the abortion debate in America is that neither side seems to respect or understand the perspective of the other side. Abortion supporters frequently dismiss abortion opponents as old, white, Christian conservative men who just want to control women's bodies. On the other side, abortion opponents frequently dismiss abortion supporters as godless liberals who want to cull the human race, particularly Black children. Neither of these accusations represents the truth about most people on either side of the debate.
9. For those of us who believe Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, we don't have any interest in controlling women's bodies. We have an interest in 1) reasonably interpreting the Constitution and 2) protecting unborn children from being terminated without a particular reason that would be recognized in the law, like rape, incest, severe fetal abnormalities or a threat to a mother's life.
Most of us don't embrace the extremes of liberals who insist that abortion should be legal well into a pregnancy for any reason, funded by the government or the extremes of conservatives who want the government to ban abortion at all times regardless of the reason.
10. The American Muslim community has diverse views about abortion and Islamic scholarship has developed similarly nuanced views. Rather than only embracing or parroting what liberals (or conservatives, for that matter) want to hear, Muslim activists should help bridge the partisan gap in our country by advocating for a moral, rational, nuanced middle ground that neither the left or the right have managed to identify. #SCOTUS #Abortion #JusticeAlito

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Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on May 4, 2022 at 9:31am
Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on May 4, 2022 at 9:57am

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