Reasserting Democratic Control

Reasserting Democratic Control. By R.R. Reno.

Roe was decided in 1973. It came in the aftermath of Richard Nixon’s landslide election in November 1972. The huge margin of Nixon’s victory reflected a stunning repudiation of liberal-elite leadership in the late 1960s. Those elites did not respond by adjusting. Rather, they did an end-run. Roe was among the many measures (which included Nixon’s impeachment) that leadership took to nullify the election and reassert control over American society — a “usurpation of democracy,” as this publication famously put it in a symposium in 1996. …

The Dobbs decision has an immediate effect. Most importantly, it saves lives in states that seek to limit or forbid abortion. Politically, it undermines elite control over social policy in the United States. In his concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas observes: “In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.” These cases have undergirded the elite-driven sexual revolution. Thomas is right. It’s past time to put an end to the capture of our Constitution by those who insist that sexual freedom is a great moral imperative.

Our society is polarized. To a significant degree, this has happened because of decisions like Roe. A relatively small minority of “progressive” elites have for far too long enjoyed privileged access to the power of law. They have used this power to achieve their ends, such as gay marriage, without entering into the political process to persuade their fellow citizens. They have also used legal power to destroy their opponents, as Colorado baker Jack Phillips can testify.

hat-tip Stephen Neil