The Dobbs Decision, One Year Later

Saturday, June 24 will be the anniversary of the awful Dobbs decision. Let’s see where things stand a year later.

Some of the fallout sparked women and young people to register and then vote for Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections:

The overturning of Roe ranked even higher as a voting issue among some key voting blocs. Almost four in ten first-time voters (38%) and voters who identify as Democrats (37%), as well about a third of all voters under age 30 (34%) and women voters under age 50 (34%) said the Court’s decision was the “single most important factor” in their vote choice. These groups, voters who largely disapproved of the Dobbs decision that ultimately overturned the precedent set by the Court’s decision on Roe, may have contributed to a stronger showing among Democratic candidates, especially in places where the contests were decided by marginal shifts in turnout. Early estimates suggest that overall youth voter turnout was among the highest in three decades.

A recent USA Today/Suffolk University poll shows the Supreme Court’s attack on women’s rights, and the subsequent radicalization of Republican-held state legislatures served to raise support for abortion access:

By almost 4-1, 23%-6%, those whose views on abortion have changed in the past year said they have become more supportive of legal abortion, not less supportive. That includes more women than men, more Democrats than Republicans, and more younger voters than seniors. The shift was pronounced among Black respondents. Almost a third, 32%, said they had become more supportive of abortion access in the past year.

And independent women, one of the most critical swing groups in elections, by 28%-5% said they had become more supportive of abortion rights.

Gallup has a similar finding:

A year after Dobbs, 61% of respondents said overturning Roe was a “bad thing,” while 38% said it was a “good thing.”

Lydia Saad, Gallup’s director of U.S. social research, says overall, the data suggests that Dobbs “galvanized people who were already supportive of abortion rights. …We’ve seen an increase in Democrats identifying as pro-choice, supporting abortion rights at every stage. It’s really a very defensive posture, protecting abortion rights in the face of what they view as this assault.”

Long-term data from Gallup indicates growing support for abortion rights: 13% of survey respondents said abortion should be illegal in “all circumstances,” down from 22% when the question was first asked in 1975. In this year’s survey, 34% said abortion should be legal “under any circumstances,” up from 21% that first year.

Not all of the fallout is confined to abortion itself, either. The stupid justifications in the Dobbs opinion laid bare how much the decision was meant to taunt and attack women, instead of providing a reasoned legal discussion. And the decision to leak the opinion ahead of the decision’s announcement further added to the unprofessional and bare-knuckled process.

So it’s satisfying to have learned on Wednesday that the Supreme Court justice long thought to be the leaker—Samuel Alito–completely melted down after privately being asked a few questions by ProPublica. As of my writing this we know neither what the questions were nor what the story is about.

But we do have Alito’s meltdown which takes the form of a very long oped piece in the Wall Street Journal insisting on his impartiality and credibility:

Late update:  Well, well, well it looks like another SCOTUS justice has a specific audience in mind for his votes:

In early July 2008, Samuel Alito stood on a riverbank in a remote corner of Alaska. The Supreme Court justice was on vacation at a luxury fishing lodge that charged more than $1,000 a day, and after catching a king salmon nearly the size of his leg, Alito posed for a picture. To his left, a man stood beaming: Paul Singer, a hedge fund billionaire who has repeatedly asked the Supreme Court to rule in his favor in high-stakes business disputes.

Singer was more than a fellow angler. He flew Alito to Alaska on a private jet. If the justice chartered the plane himself, the cost could have exceeded $100,000 one way.

It couldn’t happen to a better person.

The Beatles can take it from here: