We’ve got two important looks at the travesty of the Kacsmaryk decision both as a matter of legal reasoning and for its potential impact far beyond pharmaceutical abortions. But I wanted to focus briefly on a dimension of the political and electoral impact for the GOP. As we know from years of polling and a year of elections, abortion bans are really unpopular. But Republicans now have to deal with something beyond simple unpopularity. They have a corrupted branch of government — the federal judiciary — which they created but do not directly control, and which keeps upping the ante.
It’s as though “defund the police” weren’t just the toxic policy position of some activists which Republicans claim Democrats support, but the actual official policy position of Democrats. And if that weren’t enough, a Democrat-stacked judiciary kept going around the country defunding whole police departments.
Certainly, abortion bans aren’t as unpopular as defunding the police, though it’s precisely the vagueness of that latter phrase that makes it hard to pin the precise level of support. But the dynamic is the same. Republicans can make that claim — the Democrats want to defund — all they want. Democrats simply deny it and, in most cases, for better or worse, are actually pushing for various increases in spending on police. But on abortion, the crooked judges Republicans spent a generation pushing into the federal judiciary keep coming up with new strategies for back-door or even front-door ways to push through new bans.
This move, whatever its outcome, won’t be the last. We’ll have litigation of state bans on travel to other states to obtain abortions, on receiving abortion-inducing pills by mail and more. They’re clearly not satisfied with bans in red states only.