Can America still settle its political conflicts democratically, and peacefully? We’re about to find out after the Supreme Court Friday overturned Roe v. Wade and returned the profound moral issue of abortion to the states and democratic assent, where it has always belonged.
Critics say the Court’s 6-3 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is rule by unelected judges. But Roe was the real “exercise of raw judicial power,” as Justice Byron White put it in dissent in 1973. That’s when seven Justices claimed to find a constitutional right to abortion that is nowhere mentioned in the Constitution and had no history in American common law. The Court on Friday finally corrected its mistake, which has damaged the legitimacy of the Court and inflamed our politics for 49 years.