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Purely a Political Battle, Not a Legal One

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July 8, 2022 12:31 p.m.

This covers some ground we’ve discussed already. But I wanted to come at it from a slightly different angle. The following is a note from a law professor TPM Reader whose initials I’m omitting because it’s a small world. I’ll call them LP

Codifying Roe is not so easy. Congress has only the legislative power explicitly provided in the constitution. In the ACA case, the Court (per CJ Roberts) decided that “health care and insurance” was outside the domain of the commerce clause. And perhaps that’s a good thing, because it’s something of a safeguard against a national anti-abortion law. So what about the enabling clauses of the 14th Amendment (sec 5) and the 13th Amendment (sec. 2). The Court has cut back Congress’ power to use sec 5 to “expand” rights. So you’ve made a point of pushing Biden on “give me 2 more Senators and we’ll run over the filibuster to codify Roe,” I think TPM should do some reporting on what “codifying” would mean and whether it’s practicable with this Court, without something like the ERA. And so maybe you ought to be pushing Biden on “give me 2 more Senators and we’ll enlarge the Court.”

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