What repressive future the conservative-leaning Supreme Court is steering us toward?
It is hard to imagine a law worse than one that forces a woman to give birth to her rapist's child - or to the child by incest of her brother, father, or uncle – against her will.
Or a law that states that even when a pregnancy is ruled unviable and medically dangerous, it must proceed.
But this is the future the Republican Party (and the conservative-heavy Supreme Court that it appointed) apparently want for the nation.
Declaring Nebraska a “pro-life state,” Governor Pete Ricketts stated on CNN this weekend that he believes life begins at conception, before adding that he believes rape victims should be forced to carry a pregnancy to term.
"Nebraska is a pro-life state. I believe life begins at conception. Those are babies too."May 15, 2022
This is obviously an extremist view that flies in the face of the mainstream thinking, but it's also the settled view of the majority of Republican lawmakers. Take a poll and less than 30 percent of Americans will support an extreme position like this, but since Ricketts and others like him already govern, they don't care.
But it's hard to see how weaponizing the Supreme Court to do the Republican Party's unpopular bidding won't eventually lead to a constitutional crisis. It's hard to see how the Court can overturn fifty years of Roe v. Wade for example without convulsing the county.
And if Roe is overturned this summer, as I expect it will be, we can already discern that every progressive piece of life-changing legislation predicated on the right to privacy like Obergefell - that harmed none and helped many - will be lined up after it like bowling pins.
This is such an odd path to go down at this time of already intense political polarization, when the union is visibly fraying and the dangers inherent in adding to those growing divisions are so apparent.
It's an odd path to go do down if you worry, as Justice Clarence Thomas did recently, about the rapidly diminishing respect that the Court is held in nationally, or the dangers inherent in such a dramatic and unsettling reversal.
Overturning Roe will upend the lives of millions in dramatic and dangerous ways, after all. That spells resistance. That spells massive and growing civil unrest.
Right now we’re in the weird lull between the ruling being leaked and the ruling being delivered. If the unprecedented leak was an attempt to diminish the national shock or anger, then it has already failed. If anything, it's given protesters more time to organize. Politically, I don’t see much wisdom at work here at all.
So next month, this unwelcome and dangerously divisive opinion will be delivered by a Court that has already quite literally barricaded itself off from the nation, behind fifteen-foot-high steel cages.
With the credibility of the court already in tatters, a development not helped by Justice Samuel Alito's obtuse and discreditable political rhetoric in the leaked ruling, which failed to find any flaw in Roe's recognition of the right to control over one's body, the damage is already done.
Ironically, the right to privacy of the individual Justices was protected in overnight legislation signed by lawmakers to protect them from noisy public protests outside their own homes. So that's privacy for their bodies, but none for yours.
I understand that the far-right has worked in concert with the Republican Party and the conservative appointees to the Supreme Court Justices for decades to achieve this aim, but have they given much thought to what the country will look like after it's delivered?
If I’ve learned anything from the Troubles it’s that once peace is lost it stays lost for a very long time. Your life becomes changed and slowly diminished in ways that growing up in peacetime may not make you fully appreciate.
Peace is a great gift and it is built upon compromise. But I see no evidence of a willingness to compromise anywhere in the Republican Party now, or in the unbalanced and conservative-heavy Court that it has ruthlessly appointed.
In fact, the entire MAGA world has repeatedly shown us they are in pursuit of a one-party state, overseen by their cruel and vengeful authoritarian ruler, where the social and political conditions of Putin's Russia are actively pursued and applied.
Having a Court that recklessly targets every piece of progressive legislation of the last one hundred years is a lynchpin in that dangerous process, to turn back the clock and force your children into the social and political conditions of their great grandparents.
And when that happens, the peace will be lost. You won't know the place.