This Hogarthian image may be a better predictor of what lies ahead than 10,000 words of analysis. On abortion, as well as same-sex marriage, a conservative court on social issues would lag behind the American people, a majority of whom hold a non-absolutist position on abortion rights, even if many wouldn’t object to some reasonable restrictions, according to the Pew Research Center. A majority of people also have made peace with alternative family formulations. Sixty-two percent support same-sex marriage, also according to Pew.

What new justice would want to be that man or woman, who forevermore would be credited with upending settled law and causing massive societal upheaval? As for other conservative justices, only Clarence Thomas would likely vote to overturn Roe v. Wade . Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), one of the most important voices in this discussion, echoed the thoughts of close-to-the-court sources, who told me that neither Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. nor Neil M. Gorsuch would likely want to wade into that swamp and weigh in on a Roe v. Wade reversal.