THE JUDGES VS THE PEOPLE? The right to abortion is in the hands of the US Supreme Court

José López Zamorano | La Red Hispana 
Photo Credit: Gayatri / Malhotra

The recent leak about the intentions of the majority of conservative judges of the Supreme Court of Justice to eliminate the historic Roe vs. Wade ruling of 1973, which established constitutional protections for the right of women to choose over their bodies, raises the question of whether the highest court is increasingly out of tune with the American public.

Almost 50 years after the historic ruling of the supreme court of justice, a solid majority of 64% of Americans favor keeping it as it was approved, compared to only 36% of the population that is inclined to abolish it, according to a national survey prepared for the CBS television network.

According to the leak to POLITICO, the judges: Samuel Alito, author of the ruling that will be made official, Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett support abolishing Roe vs. Wade. Liberals: Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer oppose. Although Chief Justice John Roberts’ position is unknown, his vote against the abolishing of Roe vs. Wade would be insufficient to overturn the majority of 5 conservative justices.

“We hold that Roe and Casey should be overturned. It is time to pay attention to the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the elected representatives of the people”, states the ruling. That is to say that 5 conservative justices in fact annul the will of more than six out of 10 Americans and will reopen a national debate on abortion.

It is worth remembering that nearly 50 years ago, Roe v. Wade undid a host of state and federal regulations on abortion and launched a national conversation about its legality, the circumstances under which it was permissible, as well as its religious and moral implications.

Coming during an election year, the impending Supreme Court decision will have a clear political effect and could make abortion a defining issue in the November election.

Aware of its political impact, President Biden – who believes that a woman’s right to choose is fundamental – argued that if the Court overturns Roe v. Wade, it will fall on elected officials at all levels of government to protect the right of women woman to choose “And it will be up to voters to choose pro-choice officials this November. At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation to codify Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law,” he said.

Regardless of the opinion that each one of us has about a woman’s right to choose -and I personally believe that it is an elementary right that must be protected-, this debate is a reminder that civic participation is not a vain exercise. If the Supreme Court has the power to override the intentions of a majority, voting has the power to place those that defend our fundamental values at the maximum levels of decision-making.