The License to Leak: How Years of Attacks on the Court Created a “By Any Means” Mentality

Below is my column in the Hill on the leaking of the draft opinion on abortion from the Supreme Court. While lionizing the leaker, media and political figures have ratcheted up their rhetoric to “burn down the Court” or to pack it with reliable liberal votes. Because these pundits disagree with the constitutional interpretation, they are now suggesting that the entire institution is illegitimate.

Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick wrote “we need to be focusing on the legitimacy of the court itself” while CNN’s chief political analyst Gloria Borger suggested that the Supreme Court Justices were “just a bunch of politicians in robes.” Historian Jon Meacham declared “If you had any reservations about the system’s capacity to deliver justice, they have just been affirmed.” Because the Court has adopted an opposing constitutional interpretation, we are once again deluged from calls ranging from packing the Court to burning it down. In this environment, the White House could not even muster enough courage to denounce protesters descending on the homes of justices to harass them. While the legitimacy of the Court is questioned, the targeting of justices and their families is not.

Here is the column:

Five seemingly perfunctory words from the Supreme Court — “The Court has no comment” — hit like a thunderclap late Monday night. Politico had just posted a draft of a majority opinion overturning Roe v. Wade and its progeny in the blockbuster abortion case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Most court observers surely must have hoped this was an elaborate hoax, that someone had not shattered every legal and judicial ethical rule by leaking a draft opinion. But there was no denial from the court.

The draft opinion is subject to change and may indeed have already changed in both its analysis and support. Draft majority opinions have a nasty habit of becoming dissents or fracturing into pieces as justices work through the details on a case.

The opinion was written by Associate Justice Samuel Alito and joined by Justices Clarence ThomasNeil GorsuchBrett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. If unchanged, it would declare that “Roe and Casey must be overruled. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

Such a ruling would return the question of reproductive rights to the states. Most would likely continue to support the right, but it would become a matter for each state to resolve through their own democratic process.

The indeterminacy of the draft and uncertainty of the future did not stop instant, dystopian predictions. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) immediately declared: “So, this would appear to be an invitation to have, you know, Handmaid’s Tale type anti-feminist regulation and legislation all over the country.”

The final language and meaning of the decision is literally yet to be written. What is clear is that the court itself has been hit with one of the greatest scandals in its history, and certainly the greatest crisis faced by Chief Justice John Roberts in his tenure.

Even in a city that traffics in leaks from every agency and every corner of government, this was an unspeakably unethical act. The Supreme Court deals with transformative cases that drive to the very heart of our political, cultural and religious divisions, yet justices and clerks have maintained a tradition of strict civility and confidentiality on such drafts.

So what changed?

We changed.

We do not know what motivated this leaker other than to unleash a public and political firestorm. The assumption is that the individual wanted to pressure the court to reconsider its purported path, and to push Congress to pass pending legislation to codify Roe. Yet, this act is such an attack on the very foundation of the court that it is dangerous to assume a specific motivation other than disruption.

What is clear is that the court has become a tragic anachronism in our age of rage: an institution that relied on the integrity and ethics of its members and staff at a time when such values are treated as naive. It relied on justices and clerks alike remaining bound to the institution and to each other by a constitutional faith.

But we are living in an age of constitutional atheism, so it is only surprising that it took this long. For years, politicians, pundits and academics have called for reckless political action against the court.

Many Democrats in Congress have pledged to achieve political goals “by any means necessary,” including packing or gutting the court. Democratic leaders have hammered away at the court and its members, demanding that the court adhere to political demands or face institutional disaster. The threats have grown increasingly raw and reckless as politicians sought to outdo each other in their attacks. In the age of rage, restraint is a lethal liability.

The message has been repeated like a drumbeat: The ends justify the means.

Recently, Roberts even went public with a warning over “inappropriate political influence” affecting the court. Yet, the day before this leak, the court itself defied critics who portrayed it as hopelessly and dysfunctionally divided with another unanimous decision. It ruled in a major case on speech that Boston could not discriminate against a religious organization that wanted to hoist a flag outside of its city hall. It spoke with one voice in defense of shared constitutional values.

Given the relentless calls from political leaders, we may have been naive to think that a staff member or clerk would not yield to the same “ends justify the means” rationale. Former Justice Louis Brandeis once warned that “Our government … teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.”

With our leaders continually expressing utter contempt for the court and its traditions, it is hardly surprising that such traditions lose meaning for some working in the court itself. That did not happen overnight, and it really cannot be dismissed as the act of a single rogue employee. It was a collective effort by those who bred contempt for our legal institutions and values. This is not a crisis of the court. It is a crisis of faith.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

532 thoughts on “The License to Leak: How Years of Attacks on the Court Created a “By Any Means” Mentality”

  1. “At this rate, Ukraine won’t have much a population left, but at least they will have kept the moral highground….” That’s what you might as well have said.

    The Russians would be less likely to destroy Ukraine’s population, if they knew that it would result in their own population being destroyed, as well. That’s the point of mutually assured destruction. It has worked well for 60 years. MAD doesn’t work when it is a one-way street. What’s so moral about sitting back and letting a country’s population be destroyed? Without such mutually assured destruction, all atrocities will be a one-way street, and letting that happen even more wrong and immoral.

    There’s always that one sanctimonious kunt, isn’t there? Eff yew. Sinful demons and their faux sanctimony, clawing for the moral highground. Everyone’s to blame but them, everyone is bad but them, etc etc. etc. What a joke. Go eff yourself, you preposterous phukk. You probably live in failing blue city whose “leadership” thinks much like you do.

    Furthermore, my thoughts about a hypothetical, mere abstractions, are nothing compared to the immoral and evil actions that are being committed in Ukraine right now. If you really want to feel holier-than-thou, Why don’t you go to Moscow and wag your finger at Putin and Lavrov, and tell them what naughty men they are for all of the death and destruction they are causing in Ukraine? Or are they harder targets to direct your self-righteousness towards?

  2. It would be hilarious if a nuclear device were to detonate during
    Putin’s Victory Day parade. Why is the burden on Ukraine not to commit war crimes, but not Russia? Seems like a double-standard.

    1. Yeah, why is the burden on some people to remain moral when other people aren’t? [sarc]

      Your thought about what is “hilarious” suggests you’re in the latter category.

  3. Democrats stole the 2020 election. Trump was right from the beginning when he stated how the election was stolen.

    I just saw 2000 mules. Ballot trafficking was rampant. Without it, Trump would have won the election.

    The film shows how. It shows the mules that dropped the ballots and traces their movement from tax-free organizations to the ballot boxes. It shows thousands of them making repetitive drops to boxes in the middle of the night. It shows them suddenly wearing gloves the day after someone was prosecuted for voter fraud with fingerprint evidence. They showed videos of actual mules stuffing ballot boxes. They interviewed some of the mules. They interviewed a whistleblower.

    This is a must-see video. I knew much of it, but I didn’t realize how solid the evidence was. I also didn’t know how careful they were to run only the smallest selective set of numbers that limited who would be counted, how many ballots were dropped, how many mules there were, and how many times a mule did his dirty deed. Using the lowest possible numbers and counting only a limited area provided solid evidence that Trump would have dominated and won without this fraud.

    The Democrats definitely stole the election. See the documentary 2000 Mules.

    1. There has been some “fact checking” criticism – the criticism is valid – but overstates the case against 2000 mules.

      I have not yet seen the video, but I am very familiar with the evidence.

      Much – not all the 2000 mules evidence is circumstantial.
      But there is so much of it and the patterns are so strong and so strongly coordinate with other data that if this was a murder case – any jury would convict.

      I would note that the 3m error bar for geolocation data has not precluded the police routinely using it as evidence in criminal prosecutions.

      Further this is now in the hands of prosecutors in several states.
      True the vote does not have subpeona power – they can not get the text messages of any of the people involved. The can not require a witness/participant to talk with them, they can not convene a grand jury, they can not offer immunity,

      The press is going to pooh pooh this. Ultimately this will die – splitting the country into those who accept it and a majority who do not even know about it or beleive it is just another hoax because they have been told so.

      Whether this becomes consequential depends on a prosecutor – preferably several State AG’s deciding this is worth pursuing.

      That may happen – because this is a from obscurity to national prominence case.

      In the end this is NOT about prosecuting the people dropping ballots into drop boxes, but identifying and prosecuting those they work for, and those they work for, and those they work for.

      The dots on this start with lots and lots of little people – who may not even be aware they are doing something wrong.

      This REQUIRED many elements.

      First it required SPECIFIC changes to election laws.
      Mailin voting.
      unattended ballot boxes,
      severely relaxed signature matching standards.

      Democratic lawyers – Mark Elias, Perkins Coi and many others were involved in that.
      As was the DNC, and people like Stacey Abrahms,
      State Secretaries of state and governors were involved.
      State courts were involved.

      Next it required bloated voter registration rolls.

      Next it required The Zuckerbucks organizations to move in and essentially take over elections in a few key places.
      It required them to provide democrats with real time data on who voted so far (or who did NOT vote)

      I am not sure what is alleged in 2000 mules – but there are TWO different means – given the above to complete the Fraud.

      One is to have operatives chase down those voters that did not yet vote and intimidate them into voting.
      Even if they did not push them to vote a specific way – that is still Fraud – they had targets that were likely to vote a specific way – if they voted at all. Regardless, when democrats know on your door and demand you vote – it is highly likely under their watchful eyes you vote democrat.

      But the other is to skip the voter intimidation, print your own ballots – or pick them up from the Zuckerbucks groups, and just skip the voter entirely and fill out mailin ballots for voters who did not vote and often may not be real, as long as they are registered.

      It was also necescary to remove observers from counting rooms and to complete counting the mailin ballots quickly – because neither observation, nor time are friends of fraudsters.

      All of this leaves LOTS of evidence. Much of that evidence MIGHT look innocent to those involved who are only part of a small peice of the operation.

      Regardless, what is alleged here is a very large organized conspiracy that there is pretty compelling evidence exists – more than enough to prosecute and convict, but more importantly more than enough to get subpeona’s and to call people in front of a grand jury.

      1. “In the end this is NOT about prosecuting the people dropping ballots into drop boxes, but identifying and prosecuting those they work for, and those they work for, and those they work for. ”

        See the documentary because that is one of the ultimate ends. When they did the calculations, they only used those centers that were charity organizations where it is illegal to engage in political matters. They could trace the mules going back and forth to the same centers repeatedly while traveling to different boxes in the middle of the night. They showed films of the mules with many ballots having difficulty pushing all of them in simultaneously. They showed them suddenly wearing gloves the day after someone was prosecuted based on fingerprints. They obtained the identities of many mules and stated that many were hardened criminals. They even showed some of them going across state lines.

        The numbers and tracing methods are incredible, and I cannot see how their conclusions were wrong unless they lied about all the facts.

        1. The 501C3’s are relevant to moving the case forward.

          They are not relevant to the core fraud claim.
          putting 5 or more ballots into a drop box is election fraud by definition is all but some miniscule percent of cases – you are in a state that allows close relatives to return ballots – and you had 5 relatives asks you to return their ballots on the same day.
          And that does not explain the 20 other ballot boxes you visited that night.

          This is very close to as strong a proof of election fraud as you can get.

          From this the investigation goes to Cui Bono from there to even if the ballots are illegal – is it possible that they still represent the actual intentions of a legitimate voter.

          1. “The 501C3’s are relevant to moving the case forward.
            They are not relevant to the core fraud claim.”

            501C3s are relevant to election fraud. AS soon as the ballot is dropped at a 501C3 the ballot becomes illegal whether or not the deliverer is a relative or friend. The process becomes ballot Trafficking which is illegal in all 50 states. However, 501C3s are just a part of the fraud documented in 2000 Mules.

            1. Yu are correct that the ballot becomes illegal when it arrives at the 501C3 – but the evidence for that is powerful – but circumstantial.

              The ballot is also illegal and fraudulent when 5 or more are deposited in multiple ballot boxes – regardless of the origin.

      2. “Much – not all the 2000 mules evidence is circumstantial.
        But there is so much of it and the patterns are so strong and so strongly coordinate with other data that if this was a murder case – any jury would convict.”

        The evidence is so strong that willing prosecutors could convict many people, including people involved in charitable organizations.

        The question is only whether or not this will go mainstream so that people know what really happened and the film doesn’t die because of lies and apathy.

        Everyone should be pushing everyone they know to see the film and spread the word. Trump won based on their calculations that used the most limited number of mules, the most limited number of places, the most limited number of drop boxes and ballots placed in each drop box. They only show the time of the iceberg. Trump’s victory was solid and much greater than they proved in the video. Democrats stole the election.

        I knew much of this information, but I didn’t recognize how high the numbers were, nor did I recognize how they used multiple methods to prove their case.

        Spread the word.

        1. The critical next step is with law enforcement.
          What will get it to moderates and democrats is prosecutions.

      3. “S.Meyer – while the mules are the almost incontrovertable proof of ballot harvesting, they also require a much larger conspiracy.
        The mules are the smoking gun”

        Obviously, you are waiting to see the documentary. They dealt with the larger conspiracy, and the specific conspiracy is large in itself, more than just the mules. They had a lot of checks and balances to assure accuracy.

        Everyone should see the documentary and pass it around. People like ATS will go to the left-wing sites for talking points, but those talking points will be mute if one sees the movie. The graphics tracing the movements were exciting.

        See the video and pass it on.

    2. S.Meyer – while the mules are the almost incontrovertable proof of ballot harvesting, they also require a much larger conspiracy.

      The mules are the smoking gun – but there is a hand that pulled the trigger, that is attached to an arm, and a body and a head,

      I have engaged in the thought excercise of how would I commit large scale election fraud given the 2020 process.

      With a small amount of money – probably 100,000 or so, I could ALONE push about 200,000 fraudulent and hard to detect ballots into an election with zero possibility of getting caught.

      The ALONE is a big deal – the more people involved the less likely the fraud can be kept secret.

      But this was organized large scale fraud involving thousands of people – probably most of whom did not know they were participating in fraud.

      But equally important if involves so many people that faced with a prosecutor – few are going to fall on their swords.

      This evidence will ge much better if anyone with subpeona power persues it.

      1. “But this was organized large scale fraud involving thousands of people – probably most of whom did not know they were participating in fraud.”

        They discussed this point. The left has coordinated actions without necessarily having any conversation. Everyone seems to do their part, with many people not recognizing what they are doing. Some of those who talked provided a lot of insight.

        See the move and pass it on. America will only exist in the future if honest people do their bit and see to it that everyone knows what happened. The media is not ready to publish this information. Fox News withheld this information from the public to the chagrin of those who brought the information to Fox News.

        Fox News requires everyone to send Fox News letters asking them why they are withholding this information.

    3. The main criticism I have seen is that the cell phone data cannot distinguish between legitimate movements in the busy areas where the drop boxes were located and illegal ballot stuffing.

        1. The article from ATS is typical. A lot of hyperbole but no facts.

          “Ballot harvesting” is a pejorative term for dropping off completed ballots for people besides yourself. The practice is legal in several states but largely illegal in the states”

          FALSE

          The mules engaged in ballot trafficking, which is illegal in all states. Ballot harvesting, legal in some states, has to do with taking a limited number of ballots from family members or dependent people directly to the dropbox.

          That was not done! The ballots were picked up from a central source (ILLEGAL) and then transported to drop boxes in ILLEGAL numbers. There was no relationship between the mule and the one voting, which was also illegal.

          This was BALLOT TRAFFICKING which is ILLEGAL in all fifty states.

          ========

          “The film contains no evidence of such payments in other states in 2020.”

          The evidence is overwhelming, including videos, whistleblowers, and people interviewed who didn’t know what was happening but filled in the empty pieces about what was happening with the ballots.

          It was BALLOT TRAFFICKING WHICH IS ILLEGAL IN ALL 50 STATES.

        2. Again, I am debunking misinformation from the article linked by nonother than ATS.

          “Plus, experts say cellphone location data, even at its most advanced, can only reliably track a smartphone within a few meters — not close enough to know whether someone actually dropped off a ballot or just walked or drove nearby.”

          One doesn’t repeatedly go by drop boxes in the middle of the night 10 times, suddenly wearing gloves to prevent fingerprint detection.

          Cellphone location data was good enough that their data located a criminal who performed a criminal act where they were checking pings. They gave the police the information, and the criminal was arrested. So much for this type of garbage from the left.

          “There’s always a pretty healthy amount of uncertainty that comes with this.”

          But the uncertainty disappears as the number of times at the dropbox and the center increases. That is why they didn’t use only three events. They used ten times which would be a far outlier. Videos and other information fill in more of the details.

          The quote is uneducated. The commenter should see the film and stop parroting what the left wants to hear. He needs to state the truth.

          “What’s more, ballot drop boxes are often intentionally placed in busy areas, such as college campuses, libraries, government buildings and apartment complexes — increasing the likelihood that innocent citizens got caught in the group’s dragnet, Striegel said.”

          3 AM in the morning would be unusual.

          “Similarly, there are plenty of legitimate reasons why someone might be visiting both a nonprofit’s office and one of those busy areas. ”

          Would they end up at a ballot box ten times? Of course not. One needs to see the film because the data debunk these bogus statements.

          =====

          “A video of a voter dropping off a stack of ballots at a drop box is not itself proof of any wrongdoing, since most states have legal exceptions that let people drop off ballots on behalf of family members and household members.”

          But that means they take the ballot directly from the person to the ballot box, or the ballot becomes illegal. They were taking ballots from an illegal center. That is known as BALLOT TRAFFICKING.

          They were BALLOT TRAFFICKING which is illegal in all 50 states.

          “And True the Vote did not get surveillance footage of drop boxes in Philadelphia, so the group based this claim solely on cellphone ”

          So, according to the article, Philadelphia was the exception, and the other places proved the film’s argument. There was further evidence in Philadelphia. Cameras at ballot boxes are not the only cameras available. But that provides the question, where were the cameras and what happened to the film? It sounds like there was even more unlawful activity going on in Philadelphia.

          I don’t think I need to debunk more of this article. Everyone needs to see the film for themselves. ATS will continue to deceive and lie, but he can’t do that to people armed with the truth.

      1. “The main criticism . . .”

        Some of those “pings” are being verified by video evidence.

        1. If there is video evidence of one person illegally depositing more than one ballot, they should be charged. But as the AP discussion in the link shows, it can be legal for someone to drop off more than one ballot (e.g., to drop off a ballot for a spouse and adult child in their same household).

          1. ATS, you are talking about Ballot Harvesting, legal in some places. But the actions taken by these mules were not Ballot Harvesting. They were Ballot Trafficking. The ballots were not taken from a family member or a dependent person. They were taken from centers in bulk. That was illegal.

            BALLOT TRAFFICKING IS ILLEGAL IN ALL 50 STATES.

            The film did not deal with ballot harvesting. Stop being deceptive.

            1. Meyer the Troll Liar, work on your reading comprehension:
              IF there is video evidence of one person **illegally** depositing more than one ballot, THEN they should be charged.

      2. Daniel, that claim initially worried me, but they were very clear about which cell phone data they followed. That strict criteria considerably lowered the number of calculated ballots that were illegal. Yet despite the rigorous standards, Trump won when they only used that limited number of illegal ballots.

        The question was that anyone could stroll by the dropbox. That is true, but why would they walk by the dropbox three times? They wouldn’t but to make sure the numbers were good, they DIDN’T use that number. It had to be the same phone at the drop box at least 10 times, or they didn’t count it. Doesn’t ten times sound like a lot? But they didn’t stop there. They didn’t count those that may have come ten times unless they came from a specific charitable organization going back and forth. They also showed how the charitable organizations were getting the ballots.

        To add to this criticism, they showed videos and gloves they did not use until after a prosecution based on fingerprints. The gloves started to be worn the following day.

        We will hear the denials and criticism until all have viewed the video and can see for themselves that the left is lying.

        See the video and pass it on. After seeing the video, most honest people will be armed to answer the leftists that are liars and are deceitful.

        1. The liberalism of today is not the same as it was in the past. Classical liberalism would be the full term. Liberals in the times of JFK cared about civil liberties. Today’s left and ATS push liberalism into the realm of Stalinism.

      1. Please quit abusing liberal.

        A liberal is one who prizes liberty.

        The modern left is ILLIBERAL.
        If they wish to alienate democrats who identify as liberal – LET THEM.

        Save your disgust for those that deserve it.
        The actual progressive left today.

  4. A rare find, a Pro-Life Democrat, former US Senator Joe Donnelly, devout practicing Catholic, now US Ambassador to the Holy See, the Vatican. Refreshing. He is my kind of Democrat. How did Biden’s handlers ever approve of a Pro-Life Democrat? Most have been run out of the Democrat party, showing their monolithic, cultist, intolerance.

    https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2022-05/interview-new-united-states-us-ambassador-to-holy-see-donnelly.html

    Ambassador Donnelly, married with two children – and a new grandchild, was appointed to serve as the 12th US Ambassador to the Holy See on 24 January and was confirmed by the US Senate in February 2022.

    “My family and I are proud to be members of the Catholic faith, and through my years of public service, the Church has been a core part of my life and my values.”

    Donnelly was born on 29 September 1955, in Flushing, New York. Prior to this appointment as Ambassador, Donnelly served as a partner at Akin Gump in Washington. Donnelly received a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, and a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School.

    After having worked as an attorney in various legal studios and private entities from 1977 to 2007, Donnelly served as a Member of the US House of Representatives from 2007 to 2013, representing Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District. He served as a US senator from Indiana from 2013 to 2019. Donnelly was a member of the Afghanistan Study Group and has been a professor at the University of Notre Dame. In addition, he served as chairman of the board of the Soufan Center in New York, and as a senior advisor to Inovateus Solar in South Bend, Indiana.

  5. Sarah Weddington was 26 and had never tried a legal case when she “prevailed” over the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v Wade.

    Are you ——- kidding me?

    The American Founders, through State criteria, required men to be 21 to vote – add 5 years and you whipsaw the Supreme Court into mass murder?
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    “That dudn’t make any sense!”

    – George W. Bush
    ______________

    Either women are very smart or men are very dumb – wait, it was dumb men who ratified the 19th Dumbmendment, wasn’t it, alternatively, that Dumbmendment was corruptly and improperly ratified – the likely case – turnout was limited to 11.6% in 1788 by the Founding men. It makes no sense – who gives their country away?

    So the 19th Dumbmendment was enormously accretive – it gave America abortion, a fertility rate in a “death spiral,” the end of imperative population growth, the dissolution of the population, an invasion by foreigners, and a death sentence from a cancer of commonwealths, foreign invasion.

    The 19th Dumbmendment – the gift that keeps on giving.

  6. Putin is in power because the Russian people put him in power, so they should be bombed, too, just like the Germans who put Hitler into power.

    1. It’s a war crime to target civilians with bombs.

      Putin is carrying out war crimes. Zelensky should not be goaded into doing the same.

      1. What a lame distraction. Only reason there is such a hot war in Ukraine is due to Biden’s complete failure to avoid it. Trump kept the peace…biden allowed and is even encouraging more war there.
        Anyhow Abortion is NOT in the constitution and as such is finally being addressed honestly and will be kicked back to the states. Sorry it does not fit your left death cult , but it’s proper and constitutional to remand it back to the states.

        1. Here are some other terms that aren’t mentioned in the Constitution:
          “women”
          “slavery”
          “separation of church and state”
          “Electoral College”
          “Executive Order”
          “Executive Privilege”
          “innocent until proven guilty”
          “primary elections”

          [it’s a long list]

          Some of what IS in the Constitution: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

          You apparently wish to deprive women of the liberty of controlling how their uteruses are used.

          1. No, its not enumerated so it falls back to the states and the peoples representatives closest to those people. And by the way, abortion seems to deprive that little person of equal protection as well as life and liberty.

            1. 9th Amendment and 14th Amendment rights do not “fall back to the states.”

              And what you call “that little person” is not a person with rights. No constitutional originalist would assert that an embryo is a legal person as far as the Constitution is concerned. Because the Founders absolutely did not consider embryos or fetuses to be legal people, and neither did those who wrote the Reconstruction Amendments.

              1. The argument that an embryo is a person is a religious argument.
                One that whether true or not has no bearing on abortion.

                The right of a women to remove a pregnancy from her body exists whether that pregnancy is a person or not.

                Conversely – whether an embryo is a person or not, does not effect whether a state can bar acts that kill the fetus, without infringing on a womens right to remove the fetus.

                Eagles are not people – yet the federal government has made a crime of killing them.

                1. If an eagle were inside a woman, attached to her and affecting her health, it would be legal for her to kill it. Don’t make a stupid argument.

                  1. Only a nutcase would make such an argument.

                    An eagle = a child, a fetus, a human being.

                    ATS, you are a nutcase.

                  2. Beat that straw man to death.

                    Your hypothetical is absurd – but lets pretend to take it seriously.
                    Nope still would violate federal law to kill it.

                    You conflate the outcome that you think would be reasonable
                    with the actual law. And worse you are doing so in an impossible hypothetical.

              2. “And what you call “that little person” is not a person with rights.”

                Some people consider “that little person” to be a cancer that has to be taken apart and removed. ATS sounds like one of them.

                In any event, the Constitution didn’t provide the Courts with the right to legislate trimesters. The Court seems to be doing the right thing by sending the abortion question back to the states where it belongs.

                1. Don’t be stupid. A human embryo is not cancer.

                  Also, the trimester framework of Roe was already overturned in Casey.

                  1. “Don’t be stupid. A human embryo is not cancer.”

                    No one said it was a cancer. You treat the child, human being, or embryo like a cancer. Cut it out, dismember it, and destroy it before it spreads.

                    You are a nutcase.

                  2. “Also, the trimester framework of Roe was already overturned in Casey.”

                    ATS, you have just proven that the Roe decision was wrong. You will continue arguing no matter what and no matter how ridiculous you sound.

            2. The fact that a right is not enumerated does not make it fall back to the states.
              States may not infringe on enumerate or unenumerated rights.

          2. Women have absolute control over their uteruses up to time when they become hosts to another person, the baby. DNA determines that the baby is a separate person, one who is not to be deprived of life.
            Your argument could apply to any dependent person, permitting wholesale murder of children, incapable people and, of course, all the elderly (because they are dependent on producers to safeguard their pensions or savings.)

            1. The Constitution does not say that an embryo is a person.
              Science does not say that personhood begins at conception.
              So don’t pretend that an embryo is a person. It isn’t.

              But even if it were person, it still would not have a right to use the woman’s or girl’s uterus without her consent, even though it will die otherwise. For the same reason that if someone will die without a bone marrow transplant and you’re a match, our legal system still cannot require you to donate your marrow to save that person’s life. (And lest you assume that there are lots of matches, no, there aren’t. I’ve been in the bone marrow registry for ~15 years and have never been a match for the many people needing a transplant.)

              “Your argument could apply to any dependent person”

              Not at all. First, you’re talking about an actual person, which an embryo is not. Second, actual people can be taken care of by anyone who volunteers or is paid to care for them, so don’t pretend that it’s about forcing a single person to provide care against her will.

                1. No, “life” does not begin at conception. The egg and sperm are themselves alive. If the egg and sperm weren’t already alive, conception could not take place.

                  1. Let us try a different way to get through to ATS.

                    Two chemicals join together to create a chemical reaction. Before that, they do nothing. It is the joining of the chemicals that start the ball rolling.

              1. I like your logic. That you can be cool with dismembering a baby at 40 weeks just because it’s in your uterus and you changed your mind, is just a stone cold serial killer outlook. 92% + of abortions are simply for convenience. Less than .05% for incest and a similar percentage is rape. Then a few percentage points for generously defined ‘medical issues’. But 92+ percent, just because it’s inconvenient.. wow

              2. Neither Science nor religion are not the domain of the constitution. The legitimate powers of government are.

                The constitution can not make an embryo into a person if it is not, nor obliterate its personhood if it is.

              3. “The Constitution does not say that an embryo is a person.”

                It doesn’t have to. ATS needs to look at history and what the founders thought instead of looking toward Stalin and Mao for advice.

                Though there are arguments for abortion, ATS hasn’t made one argument that links the SC to the legislation of the trimester system. He keeps repeating the same things without tailoring them to the arguments being made.

          3. “Here are some other terms that aren’t mentioned in the Constitution:”

            That some terms aren’t mentioned in the Constitution is meaningless. Typical obfuscation by ATS.

            “You apparently wish to deprive women of the liberty of controlling how their uteruses are used.”

            What Phergus may or may not wish to do has nothing to do with what the Constitution says.

          4. Women are free to control their bodies.
            They are free to alter their bodies however the wish – cancer treatment, plastic surgery, removal of a fetus.
            But the state does have the power to require if possible that the fetus’s life is preserved on removal.

    2. Putin isn’t America’s enemy – at least not the degree that Leftists, Communists, Democrats, Globalists are. Before bombing Russians, how about cleaning house of all the aforementioned traitors .. and Muslim enslavers while at it.

  7. THE CONSTITUTION IN ROBES

    “…just a bunch of politicians in robes.”

    – Gloria Borger
    ____________

    Brilliant! Absolutely Brilliant!

    So glad this rabid, slavering, radical, extremist, female and woman (i.e. feminazi) could take time off from making Americans to correct, admonish, edify and educate America on this obviously inscrutable point.

    Whatever would America do without the incoherent and hysterical counsel of the head feminazi.

    By the way, Glory Ya, if you and your sturmtruppen don’t get to work, there will be no Americans left, sufficient to grow, defend and sustain the nation, in a surprisingly short period of time.
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    “It’s the [Constitution], stupid!”

    – James Carville
    _____________

    The judicial branch and Supreme Court exist merely to assure that acts comport with statutory and fundamental law, something every person may simply and effectively read in codes and the Constitution.

    The judicial branch and Supreme Court have no power to legislate, modify legislation or modify legislation through “interpretation,” and it is the duty of Congress to impeach judges and Justices when they do so.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    “…courts…must…declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.”

    “…men…do…what their powers do not authorize, [and] what they forbid.”

    “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

    – Alexander Hamilton

    1. George, your “this rabid, slavering, radical, extremist, female and woman (i.e. feminazi)” show that you’re an extreme misogynist.

      I feel sorry for your wife (ex-wife?).

  8. Daniel.

    We don’t know what the ruling will ultimately say. Even if it were identical to Alito’s Feb. 1st draft, I don’t assume that it “would lead ineluctably to overruling precedents on marriage, sexual relations and contraceptives.” But we already have exchanges like the following last night about contraception, so we can expect some legislation and legal cases:
    Q: How about abortion pills via mail or IUDs or Plan B, would you hear legislation to ban those?
    Idaho State Affairs Committee Chair Brent Crane (R-Nampa): I would, absolutely. There is some concerns, health concerns actually with the medication … [talking about abortion pills] Yes, I think we need to look at that legislation -, or look at legislation that would deal with those particular -, prescribing of those abortifacients.
    Q: How about IUDs and Plan B though?
    A: Um, Plan B I probably would hear that legislation. IUDs I’m not, I’m not for certain yet on where I would be on that particular issue.

    I’m not going to transcribe the entire exchange. You can watch/listen here: https://video.idahoptv.org/video/a-post-roe-idaho-may-6th-2022-73mxhr/ That particular exchange starts ~10:44.
    Note that Plan B is not an abortifacient. There’s some question of whether the mechanism of action is partially as a contragestive (reducing the odds of implantation), but the research I’ve seen is that it’s just a contraceptive (reducing the odds of conception). Similarly, research indicates that the mechanism of action by which IUDs work is as a contraceptive, not an abortifacient.

    As for IVF, we already know that if Roe and Casey are overturned, several states will outlaw abortion from conception. We don’t know legally what the implies for discarding IVF embryos (which is not an abortion), but we do know what that means legally for selective reduction, because selective reduction is a form of abortion, even if some people don’t think of it that way. Selective reduction is a medical intervention to kill one or more implanted embryos in a woman’s uterus. So whether or not IVF interests you, it may be directly implicated by the ruling, depending on what the ruling ultimately says.

  9. One might disagree with the conclusions in the video, but one cannot deny the facts. This is a pretty extensive list and the end is a bit scary.

    1. I got what I most wanted from Biden’s election: getting the con artist, gaslighting, malignant narcissist Trump out of office.

      1. You got inflation, lower take home pay, more illegal immigration, more drugs, more war, more instability food shortages and a lot of other things. What does one call a person who is delighted with all those things?

        1. I got someone who abides by the law instead of instigating a self-coup.
          For all Biden’s faults, he is still the lesser of two evils.

          1. John “Dudley Will-He-Do-Right” Durham is investigating the Obama Coup D’etat in America.

            Either Obama, the entire Obama Gang and the remainder of the co-conspirators will be thrown in prison or Durham will produce the sequel to the Warren Commission’s colossal Deep Deep State whitewash of the JFK assassination.
            ____________________________

            “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

            – Barack Obama
            ______________

            “We will stop him.”

            – Peter Strzok to FBI paramour Lisa Page
            ___________________________________

            “[Obama] wants to know everything we’re doing.”

            – Lisa Page to FBI paramour Peter Strzok

          2. You got someone who abides by the law ? Really ?

            Was Biden “abiding by the law” when he told Ukraine – fire the prosecutor investigating the company my son was hired to protect or lose a Billion in aide ?

            Was he abiding by the law when he and and Obama sought to push forward the Clinton Russian collusion hoax that the CIA had warned of 6 months earlier ?

            Was he abiding by the law, when he refuses to enforce the immigration laws of this country – despite an oath to do so ?

            Was he abiding by the law when he parades arround the whitehouse ranting and demanding that AG Garland indict a political rival ?

            Was he abiding by the law when he uses executive orders to direct federal officers to ignore the law ? or to not enforce it ?

            Was he abiding by the law when he pushed the AG to treat parents as domestic terrorists ?

            Biden is an actual crook and buffoon, and in the runnign for the worst US president ever – but the big problem is not Biden. It is that the left, the media, SM the democratic party and YOU are all complicit in Biden’s failures.

            Democrats can not easily run from Biden’s failure – because it is not just Biden’s failure – it is theirs.

      2. The American Founders, through 13 State legislatures, restricted the vote to male, European, 21, 50 lbs. Sterling/50 acres; a severely restricted vote was original intent.

        You and your parasitic ilk, who favor “free stuff” over freedom were, and continue to be, the reasons why: You SELL your vote.
        ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

        “the people are nothing but a great beast…

        I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value.”

        – Alexander Hamilton
        _________________

        “The true reason (says Blackstone) of requiring any qualification, with regard to property in voters, is to exclude such persons, as are in so mean a situation, that they are esteemed to have no will of their own.”

        “If it were probable that every man would give his vote freely, and without influence of any kind, then, upon the true theory and genuine principles of liberty, every member of the community, however poor, should have a vote… But since that can hardly be expected, in persons of indigent fortunes, or such as are under the immediate dominion of others, all popular states have been obliged to establish certain qualifications, whereby, some who are suspected to have no will of their own, are excluded from voting; in order to set other individuals, whose wills may be supposed independent, more thoroughly upon a level with each other.”

        – Alexander Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted, 1775

  10. Jonathan: Over 300 comments but no one has mentioned the 17thn century English jurist Sir Matthew Hale. Alito cited him extensively in his 98 page draft opinion overturning Roe to underpin his specious argument that prohibiting abortion has a long “unbroken tradition” in the law. For those not familiar with Hale he is notorious in the law for laying the legal foundation for relieving husbands from criminal liability for raping their wives. Hale also sentenced 2 women to death who were accused of “witchcraft”. Hale’s decision served as a model for the infamous Salem witch trials. Hale was the quintessential misogynist. For Alito to invoke Hale has shocked legal and history scholars. Lauren MacIvor Thompson, historian at Kennesaw State Univ., says: “For a Supreme Court justice to be doing that in 2022 is really astonishing”.

    In his draft opinion Alito cites Hale no less than dozens of times as one of the “eminent common law authorities” on the history of abortion in the US. Alito says “the right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and tradition”. Not true. Up until the Civil War most states banned abortion only in the later stages of pregnancy. Abortions before “quickening” were legal. So Alito is wrong on the history of abortion. On rape, Hale argued in his 1736 treatise, “History of the Pleas of the Crown” that Alito cites, that once married a woman cannot claim rape by her husband: “…the wife hath given up herself in this kind unto her husband which she cannot retract”. Although Hale did say rape was a “detestable crime” he believed rape is “an accusation easily to be made and hard to be proved, and harder to be defended by the party accused…”. Sound familiar ladies?

    Citing Hale so often in his opinion indicates, perhaps, how far back Alito wants to go in eliminating women’s rights. Apparently, way, way way back. The GOP is applauding Alito’s opinion. Remember this, ladies, when you go to vote in November and in 2024!

    1. You are completely wrong about the historical legal position of abortion, as Alito demonstrates. I encourage everyone to read Alito’s draft to see all the evidence to which he refers.

      1. I encourage you to read the amicus brief submitted by the American Historical Association and Organization of American Historians: https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/19/19-1392/192957/20210920133840569_19-1392%20bsac%20Historians.pdf

        For example, “Up to the Civil War, the majority of state abortion laws either codified the common law by prohibiting abortion only in later stages of pregnancy, or followed the common law’s reasoning by punishing abortion prior to quickening more lightly. … The new and stricter statutes enacted in the 1840s to 1850s were often a response to alarming newspaper stories about women’s deaths from abortion.”

        Who understands the history better, Alito or professional historians?

        1. Neither. History is determined by evidence – not opinions or experts.

          Your cite is valuable – because we have records of the 18th and 19th century laws.

          BTW there was a federalist society research paper on Abortion that documents the same thing.

          You are correc tthat Alito is wrong about history – but not because so say experts – but because so say the Facts.

  11. If you are pro-life, then should you also be for the lives of Ukrainian babies?

    1. I guess you didn’t vote for Biden because he is responsible for a lot of the death and destruction.

  12. Am I missing something? A preliminary confidential draft was stolen from the Supreme Court and leaked to the ravenous media. No ruling has been made nor are drafts ever final documents. We are not returning to 1973. Yet we witness hysteria and apoplexy. “The sky is falling down!!”

    Radicals and professional protesters threaten to do many things. Are these the protesters from the 1960s orchestrating the process? Trying to bring back the glorious days? “That loving feeling?”

    We live in a bizarre and dangerous world. The radicals are hell bent to destroy what they touch.

    Meanwhile we have an imbecile in the White House. Everything he’s touched so far has crumbled and people are hurting because of his inability to lead and the WH policies. Try grocery shopping or taking a trip to fill up the car. The southern border is a disaster and the Cartels are running the show. They seem determined to destroy this nation, divide the people and derail the economy. Why? That is the question.

    1. “A preliminary confidential draft was stolen from the Supreme Court …”

      We don’t know that it was stolen. Can’t you talk about it without confusing guesses with facts?

      “The radicals are hell bent to destroy what they touch.”

      Your extremist language makes you sound like a radical.

  13. We do not live in a world of constitutional atheism. We live in a world of constitutional elasticity.

    1. Gloria Borger is right, but it would be more accurate to say “right-wing” politicians.

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