Robert’s decision, and the absurd response of the vice president, who appears to have less contact with reality than even his boss, is already giving rise to questions. Is it time to abandon originalism in favor of a new theory of constitutional law, one that does not leave social conservatives fighting with one hand behind their backs? The court’s liberal justices have a substantive understanding of the common good that does not depend upon procedural arguments, or, at times, upon anything but prose poetry. Should there be a successor to the Federalist Society, a network of law professors and institutions that will raise up the next generation of young conservative lawyers? One can be inclined to answer yes to all of these questions while also believing that such an answer entails — a long slow process of rebuilding America’s legal establishment from the ground up — something impractical. Have America’s unborn got that much time? Did they ever?
Here are other questions that all opponents of abortion should be asking themselves. Why is the pro-life movement a quasi-official adjunct of Conservatism Inc.? Why do people like Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood employee who recently said that it would be “smart” for the police to “be more careful around my brown son than my white son,” think they are speaking on behalf of the movement, and why is it that journalists are always allowed to come away with this impression? How have we allowed the horrifying reality that more black babies are aborted than born alive in New York to go unobserved during a national conversation about race, especially given the residual social conservatism of so many African-American voters?