The Roberts Effect

A few days ago, Yale’s Jack Balkin wrote an important Newsday op-ed on why having someone like John G. Roberts on the Supreme Court could severely curtail abortion rights, even if the Court still wouldn’t be enough votes to overturn Roe v. Wade: “Courts now enjoin new abortion laws as soon as they are passed if they burden some women’s right to abortion. But next term the court will decide whether to change that rule. If it does, states could pass stringent restrictions on abortion; these could remain on the books for years until lawsuits knock away the most blatantly unconstitutional features. That is not the same as overturning Roe v. Wade, but its practical effect is very similar.”