Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
July 19, 2019, 09:41:10 am
News: 2019 Gubernatorial Predictions are now active

  Atlas Forum
  General Discussion
  Constitution and Law (Moderator: True Federalist)
  why did Roe happen when it did
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Print
Author Topic: why did Roe happen when it did  (Read 1062 times)
freepcrusher
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2,756
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« on: April 14, 2019, 12:21:14 am »

when you hear right wingers bitch about Roe - you almost assume it was something that occurred under the Warren Court. But I find it interesting that it happened after Nixon had named four members and had made the court less liberal. Douglas, Marshall and Brennan were really the only three liberals on the court by that point.

Logged
Left-Libertarian
Xeuma
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 455


Political Matrix
E: -4.19, S: -7.22

P P P
Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2019, 02:34:41 am »

Abortion wasn't the contentious issue that it is today back then. The entire pro-life movement was started by Republicans as a way to gain more political power, using Roe as a motivator.  That's the reason why I doubt the Republicans will ever seriously undermine Roe.
Logged
RoboWop
AMB1996
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2,523
United States


Political Matrix
E: 2.06, S: 5.74

Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2019, 11:25:43 am »

Abortion wasn't the contentious issue that it is today back then. The entire pro-life movement was started by Republicans as a way to gain more political power, using Roe as a motivator.  That's the reason why I doubt the Republicans will ever seriously undermine Roe.

This is absolutely fiction. The pro-life movement started as non- or bi-partisan and found its home in the Republican Party only really after those activists moved there.

The reasons anti-abortion activists became Republican are complex and multi-dimensional in the early stages, but it's absolutely WRONG to claim that Republicans started or even significantly supported the early anti-abortion activists. Those activists were largely Catholic and therefore also largely members of the Democratic Party at the time Roe was written. See, for example, Congressman Chris Smith, who was the Democratic chair of the NJ Right to Life Committee but ran for Congress as a Republican.

Abortion was also hugely divisive through the 1976 primary between Ford and Reagan. Betty Ford gave a famous interview in support of the right to an abortion, and her husband (though he claimed to personally oppose abortion during the 1976 campaign) continued to tell the Republicans to abandon focus on abortion until his death. The Republican establishment of 1973–76 still had a large and powerful contingent that was supportive of abortion, meaning your imagined astroturf campaign would have been impossible.

I would recommend you read The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan by Rick Perlstein, which goes into a great level of detail on the transition of working-class social conservative movements to branches of the Republican Party, with more specific examples.
Logged
True Federalist
Ernest
Moderator
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 36,935
United States


WWW Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2019, 02:24:04 pm »

Agreed.  It wasn't an astroturf campaign, but an attempt to gain support from traditionally Democratic groups such as Catholics and Evangelicals that were in an already existing pro-life movement that led the Republicans to adopt a pro-life plank in 1976.

But back to the question asked by the original poster. In 1967, every State banned abortion, tho how seriously that ban was enforced and under what circumstances varied from State to State. During the next six years before Roe was handed down, some twenty States adopted laws that legalized abortion under some circumstances.  Basically the Court stepped into the issue with its idiotic "evolving standards" doctrine and thought to get ahead of the curve and not have the issue keep returning to the court in the future, by setting forth a standard well in advance of where most of the twenty, let alone all fifty States were at the time. That judicial overreach is what led to the intensity of the backlash to the decision.

Even if one accepts the "evolving standards" concept as appropriate, it is so subjective that it should be used to guide legislative decisions, not judicial ones.
Logged
Orser67
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 3,126
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2019, 06:43:17 pm »

The Burger Court is interesting in that Nixon, who constantly attacked the Warren Court, named just under half the members of the Court, but the Burger Court largely upheld Warren Court precedents and even had a few "liberal" decisions of its own.

What happened was that while Burger and especially Rehnquist were quite conservative, but Powell became a bit of a centrist and Blackmun slowly morphed into the most liberal judge on the court. Brennan remained arguably the intellectual leader of the court, and he was generally joined by Marshall, Blackmun, Douglas/Stevens and enough of the remaining judges that the liberal bloc generally won the major cases.
Logged
RoboWop
AMB1996
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2,523
United States


Political Matrix
E: 2.06, S: 5.74

Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2019, 10:57:02 am »

Also important to note that Nixon had two failed nominations of more conservative judges.
Logged
mathstatman
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2,448
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2019, 12:37:37 pm »

It is hardly surprising that Roe was decided as it was. The plaintiff claimed to have been raped (as an aside, she later claimed she had lied about it, and became a born-again Christian and supporter of the right-to-life movement).

Everyone talks about Roe, but no one talks about Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), in which a lopsided majority of the Court found that Massachusetts (!) unconstitutionally violated married couples' right to privacy by banning artificial birth control for them. Seven years later, when Eisenstadt v. Baird extended that right to privacy to unmarried persons, barely a fuss was raised. The time seemed right for Roe to be decided as it was.

As for the RTL movement being Republican, yes, the GOP has succeeded, beginning in 1980, in winning the votes of single-issue pro-life voters. But it was not always this way. As recently as 1978, both Massachusetts and Michigan featured pro-life Democrats against pro-choice Republicans in their gubernatorial races.
Logged
freepcrusher
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2,756
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2019, 12:09:19 am »

Also important to note that Nixon had two failed nominations of more conservative judges.

I'm actually surprised Haynsworth got shot down. He probably would have ended up like Lewis Powell. Carswell was an utter troglodyte though.
Logged
PragmaticPopulist
Atlas Politician
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 1,787
United States


Political Matrix
E: -7.61, S: -5.57

Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2019, 01:09:04 pm »

Whether or not this was just a strategy by Republicans to drawn a wedge in the Democratic base or not, it certainly is nowadays. Unclear how much of the Republican base these days are single-issue anti-abortion voters, but I'd estimate that it's around at least 25%.
Logged
RoboWop
AMB1996
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2,523
United States


Political Matrix
E: 2.06, S: 5.74

Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2019, 05:12:54 pm »

Also important to note that Nixon had two failed nominations of more conservative judges.

I'm actually surprised Haynsworth got shot down. He probably would have ended up like Lewis Powell. Carswell was an utter troglodyte though.

I actually did a bit of research on the Carswell and Haynsworth nominations as an undergraduate. Haynsworth got the short end of the stick because he was replacing Abe Fortas, who resigned over ethics issues... under pressure from Nixon and John Mitchell (via Earl Warren). Some scholars of the Court argue that Haynsworth was shanked by moderates and Southerners as revenge for Fortas's ousting.

You could argue somewhat convincingly that if Nixon had switched the order of the nominations, he'd have gotten the man he wanted in the first place.
Logged
brucejoel99
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2,727
United States


Political Matrix
E: -3.48, S: -3.30

P P
Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2019, 09:23:23 pm »

The plain & simple fact is that, at the time Roe was decided, even some of the justices that leaned conservative didn't view abortion as posing a particularly ideological question. Although all of the justices understood that Roe addressed a profoundly important question, none of them imagined that it'd later become a flashpoint of American politics or that it'd continue to shape those politics for decades to come.

Additionally, what Americans thought about abortion in 1973 was largely informed by the experience of women & by what they knew about that experience. In the years leading up to Roe, approximately 1 million women each year had an illegal abortion. The vast majority of those women had to resort either to dangerous self-induced abortions or to the dark & often forbidding underworld of untrained & unreliable back-alley abortionists. As a result, many thousands suffered serious illness or permanent injury, not to mention those who died in the course of illegal abortions.

This was the world pre-Roe v. Wade. Faced with the realities of this world, the justices of the Supreme Court attempted in Roe to settle the abortion issue then & there, once & for all. Of course, it turned out not to be that simple. A succession of Republican presidents have appointed justices to the Court in the hope & expectation that they would vote to overrule Roe. Thus far, they've been disappointed, as justices like John Paul Stevens (Ford), Sandra Day O'Connor (Reagan), Anthony Kennedy (Reagan), & David Souter (H.W. Bush) have risen above partisan ideology to preserve the fundamental right of women to control their own lives & destinies, i.e. the right recognized by the Supreme Court 46 years ago.
Logged
freepcrusher
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2,756
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2019, 10:12:34 pm »

A succession of Republican presidents have appointed justices to the Court in the hope & expectation that they would vote to overrule Roe. Thus far, they've been disappointed, as justices like John Paul Stevens (Ford), Sandra Day O'Connor (Reagan), Anthony Kennedy (Reagan), & David Souter (H.W. Bush) have risen above partisan ideology to preserve the fundamental right of women to control their own lives & destinies, i.e. the right recognized by the Supreme Court 46 years ago.

Interestingly enough, I read somewhere that Stevens in an interview mentioned that in his confirmation hearings - no one asked him about his opinion on Roe, which had only been decided three years earlier.
Logged
brucejoel99
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2,727
United States


Political Matrix
E: -3.48, S: -3.30

P P
Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2019, 12:03:04 am »

A succession of Republican presidents have appointed justices to the Court in the hope & expectation that they would vote to overrule Roe. Thus far, they've been disappointed, as justices like John Paul Stevens (Ford), Sandra Day O'Connor (Reagan), Anthony Kennedy (Reagan), & David Souter (H.W. Bush) have risen above partisan ideology to preserve the fundamental right of women to control their own lives & destinies, i.e. the right recognized by the Supreme Court 46 years ago.

Interestingly enough, I read somewhere that Stevens in an interview mentioned that in his confirmation hearings - no one asked him about his opinion on Roe, which had only been decided three years earlier.

Yep, not a single senator asked Stevens a question about Roe or about his views on abortion which, if anything, serves as an additional measure of just how uncontroversial Roe was at the time.
Logged
RoboWop
AMB1996
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2,523
United States


Political Matrix
E: 2.06, S: 5.74

Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2019, 01:45:25 pm »

A succession of Republican presidents have appointed justices to the Court in the hope & expectation that they would vote to overrule Roe. Thus far, they've been disappointed, as justices like John Paul Stevens (Ford), Sandra Day O'Connor (Reagan), Anthony Kennedy (Reagan), & David Souter (H.W. Bush) have risen above partisan ideology to preserve the fundamental right of women to control their own lives & destinies, i.e. the right recognized by the Supreme Court 46 years ago.

Interestingly enough, I read somewhere that Stevens in an interview mentioned that in his confirmation hearings - no one asked him about his opinion on Roe, which had only been decided three years earlier.

Yep, not a single senator asked Stevens a question about Roe or about his views on abortion which, if anything, serves as an additional measure of just how uncontroversial Roe was at the time.

Among the political classes, yes. But Roe (with Griswold to a lesser extent) birthed a whole new generation of political activists who saw the decision as pretty awful from the start.
Logged
brucejoel99
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2,727
United States


Political Matrix
E: -3.48, S: -3.30

P P
Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2019, 10:05:20 pm »

A succession of Republican presidents have appointed justices to the Court in the hope & expectation that they would vote to overrule Roe. Thus far, they've been disappointed, as justices like John Paul Stevens (Ford), Sandra Day O'Connor (Reagan), Anthony Kennedy (Reagan), & David Souter (H.W. Bush) have risen above partisan ideology to preserve the fundamental right of women to control their own lives & destinies, i.e. the right recognized by the Supreme Court 46 years ago.

Interestingly enough, I read somewhere that Stevens in an interview mentioned that in his confirmation hearings - no one asked him about his opinion on Roe, which had only been decided three years earlier.

Yep, not a single senator asked Stevens a question about Roe or about his views on abortion which, if anything, serves as an additional measure of just how uncontroversial Roe was at the time.

Among the political classes, yes. But Roe (with Griswold to a lesser extent) birthed a whole new generation of political activists who saw the decision as pretty awful from the start.

Not really, though. It was pretty much Jerry Falwell & the evangelical leaders of the Moral Majority movement's seizing onto abortion in the late 1970s as a powerful religious conservative rallying cry that turned it into an important voting issue for Republicans.
Logged
RoboWop
AMB1996
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2,523
United States


Political Matrix
E: 2.06, S: 5.74

Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2019, 12:44:33 pm »

Among the political classes, yes. But Roe (with Griswold to a lesser extent) birthed a whole new generation of political activists who saw the decision as pretty awful from the start.

Not really, though. It was pretty much Jerry Falwell & the evangelical leaders of the Moral Majority movement's seizing onto abortion in the late 1970s as a powerful religious conservative rallying cry that turned it into an important voting issue for Republicans.
[/quote]

As I said above — Catholics like Ellen McCormack were on the issue first, and they were mostly Democrats. The evangelical "Moral Majority" doesn't deserve that kind of credit.

Anyway, unclear how what you're saying contradicts what I said. If anything, it seems to confirm it — grassroots groups including Falwell (but largely not of his creation or under his leadership) saw Roe as immediately repugnant and organized to overturn it. It could be added that they were already organizing in opposition to liberalizing state abortion laws prior to Roe, but Roe really energized voters immediately.
Logged
Mondale
Mondale_was_an_insidejob
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 6,386
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2019, 06:09:24 pm »

You should read Daniel K Williams book Defenders of the Unborn: The Pro-Life Movement before Roe v. Wade


Quote
Meanwhile, a handful of courts were taking on a different aspect of the debate: whether abortion was a violation of human rights. From 1939 to 1958, five state supreme courts and the U.S. District Court in D.C. handed down rulings that recognized fetal personhood. These rulings lined up with the convictions of theologically conservative Catholics, who believed that life begins at conception, and this group may very well have influenced the decisions. As Guttmacher wrote in 1963, “The Catholic Church is so well mobilized and makes up such a large percentage of the population that changing the law of any state in the Northeast of the U.S.A. is a virtual impossibility at least for the next several decades.”

But though these Catholics may have been theologically conservative, most of them were not what most Americans would consider politically conservative, either by midcentury or contemporary standards. “There were some political conservatives who participated in the early movement, but for the most part, the public rhetoric of the movement tended to be grounded in liberalism as seen through a mid-20th century Catholic lens,” Williams said. “It’s New Deal, Great Society liberalism.”

For most mid-century American Catholics, opposing abortion followed the same logic as supporting social programs for the poor and creating a living wage for workers. Catholic social teachings, outlined in documents such as the 19th-century encyclical Rerum novarum, argued that all life should be preserved, from conception until death, and that the state has an obligation to support this cause. “They believed in expanded pre-natal health insurance, and in insurance that would also provide benefits for women who gave birth to children with disabilities,” Williams said. They wanted a streamlined adoption process, aid for poor women, and federally funded childcare. Though Catholics wanted abortion outlawed, they also wanted the state to support poor women and families.

....

The ’60s saw the first serious wave of abortion legalization proposals in state houses, starting with legislation in California. Catholic groups mobilized against these efforts with mixed success, repeatedly hitting a few major obstacles. For one thing, the “movement” wasn’t really a movement yet—abortion opponents didn’t refer to their beliefs as “right-to-life” or “pro-life” until Cardinal James McIntyre started the Right to Life League in 1966. After that, anti-abortion activists began getting more organized. But because Catholics had led opposition efforts for so long, abortion had also become something of a “Catholic issue,” alienating potential Protestant allies—and voters. “African Americans were among the demographic group most likely to oppose abortion—in fact, opposition to abortion was higher among African American Protestants than it was even among white Catholics,” Williams writes. “But pro-life organizations had little connection to black institutions—particularly black churches—and they were far too Catholic and too white to appeal to most African American Protestants.”

Catholic clergy quietly began starting state-level organizations, seeding the initial funding but stepping aside to let Protestant leaders take leadership roles. Many also de-emphasized their opposition to birth control. “They accepted as leaders in their movement mainline Christians who were advocates for contraception,” Williams said. And “they tried to provide resources for women who had gotten pregnant out of wedlock—they wanted to reduce the stigma.”

The first big losses for the pro-life movement happened in 1970. Hawaii, Alaska, and New York became the first states to legalize elective abortion, no longer requiring doctors to perform the procedure only when a woman’s life was in danger. Although Hawaii only let residents seek the procedure, New York did not establish the same requirement. “In the first fifteen months after New York legalized elective abortion, the state’s doctors performed 200,000 abortions,” Williams writes, “at least 60 percent of which were for nonresidents.”

...

As more states debated liberalized abortion laws in the early ’70s, the pro-life movement finally found its momentum. Although they suffered a number of legislative defeats, there were also victories—in 1972, for example, right-to-life advocates successfully organized voters in Michigan and North Dakota against referendums to legalize abortion. Those involved in the movement were more diverse than ever, including anti-war pacifists, college students, and, crucially, many women. It seemed like maybe, just maybe, the push for abortion legalization could be stopped.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/02/daniel-williams-defenders-unborn/435369/
Logged
Mr. Reactionary
blackraisin
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 9,413
United States


Political Matrix
E: 5.45, S: -3.35

Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2019, 02:10:38 pm »

Brennan or blackmun set it up in one of the substantive due process to birth control cases where he purposefully said right to decide whether or not to bear or conceive a child. They relied on conceive for birth control then cited the decision 2 years later in roe saying bear implies abortion. It was a multi case process.
Logged
BackWoodsSouthernLawyer
Aspe4
Rookie
*
Posts: 29
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2019, 08:22:41 pm »

Abortion wasn't the contentious issue that it is today back then. The entire pro-life movement was started by Republicans as a way to gain more political power, using Roe as a motivator.  That's the reason why I doubt the Republicans will ever seriously undermine Roe.
Good point.
Logged
Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
North Carolina Yankee
Atlas Politician
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 42,704
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2019, 12:27:30 am »

As Mondale posted, the early pro-life movement was very Catholic, very Democratic and very Northeastern. It really emphasizes the points I have made in other posts about how split up and divided what has come to be known as comtemporary progressivism, was in the early to even mid 20th century.
Logged
Pages: [1] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  


Login with username, password and session length
Logout

Terms of Service - DMCA Agent and Policy - Privacy Policy and Cookies

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines

© Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Elections, LLC