There Is a Reason Why Roe v. Wade’s Defenders Focus on Its Results Rather Than Its Logic

Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

“Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a pro-choice Democrat, says she was ‘devastated’ by the draft majority opinion in which Justice Samuel Alito explains why he believes the Supreme Court cannot let Roe v. Wade stand. ‘It was shocking to see, laid out in cold legalese, the blatant ideological reasoning gutting the constitutional right to abortion,’ Whitmer writes in The New York Times. The implication is that Alito, because he opposes abortion, was determined to overturn the 1973 decision establishing that right, regardless of the legal contortions it required. But as Alito emphasizes, Roe has faced withering criticism, including damning appraisals by pro-choice legal scholars, for half a century. Roe‘s supporters tend to ignore that fact, instead emphasizing the practical impact of freeing states to set their own abortion policies. While Whitmer accuses Alito of motivated reasoning, that charge better fits Roe author Harry Blackmun and the decision’s contemporary defenders.” (05/11/22)