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Sat, 07 May 2022 04:35
0:00 Amy Howe (@AHoweBlogger) & Tom Goldstein (@SCOTUSblog) join the show to break down the leaked draft overturning Roe v. Wade
28:07 Potential downstream impacts from the precedent of overturning Roe v. Wade
43:03 How will the leaked draft impact the Supreme Court going forward? Should there be age limits for SC justices?
1:05:09 Analyzing the path forward
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Let your winners ride Rain Man David Sack. We open sources to the fans and they've just gone crazy. Queen. There was a lot of big news, obviously, this past week when a leaked draft of the Supreme Court's Roe V Wade. Decision uh was published by Politico. The draft opinion written by Justice Alito would turn Roe V Wade from a federal issue to a state issue. Now, this is a bit above all of our pay grades. So Chamath had a really great idea to tap some people who are actual experts and in the Supreme Court. Chumak, maybe you could introduce our guests. I will include this up for us. Thank you. Great. So first I'd like to introduce Amy Howe. Amy, until 2016, served as the editor and a reporter for SCOTUS. Blog, which is the premier blog that covers the Supreme Court. She continues to serve as an independent contractor and reporter for SCOTUS blog. She also writes for her blog called How on the Court and before turning to full time blogging, she was a counsel in over two dozen merits cases at the Supreme Court and argued 2 cases there. From 2004 until 2011 she Co taught Supreme Court litigation at Stanford Law School, and from O 5 to 13, 2013 she Co taught a similar. Class at Harvard Law School. And I'd also like to introduce her partner in SCOTUS and also her partner in life. Tom Goldstein and other dear friend of mine. Over the past 15 years, Tom has served as one of the lawyers for one of the parties in just under 10% of all the cases argued before the Supreme Court. He has argued 43 cases himself and two that I think are probably a little bit near and dear to all of our hearts. In 2000, Tom served as second chair. For Laurence Tribe and David Bowies, on behalf of VICE President Al Gore and Bush V Gore. And most recently, he represented Google in a fair use copyright infringement case, Google versus Oracle about the use of Java APIs. And so, Tom and Amy, thank you guys for giving us your precious time. Welcome to the pod. Thanks for having us. Thanks for having us. I was a little nervous about what the introduction was going to be like. So thank you. So guys, there's a there's a million questions to start with or that we can go, but maybe just to frame the issue. Can you guys just first walk us through the original Roe V Wade decision, how it was made and the rights that it conferred? And then maybe we can go from there and talk about what has happened as a result of the way it was written and the and and the the, the judgment as it as it stood. Sure. Roe V Wade back in the early 1970s was a decision by Justice Harry Blackman, in which the court held for the first time. That there is a constitutional right to an abortion. And at that point the court ruled that it was regulated by time up through the trimesters. Am I getting this right time? Yeah. And then in 1992, in a case called Planned Parenthood versus Casey, that was an earlier effort to overrule Roe versus Wade. Because. Abortion opponents started. Pretty quickly trying to overturn Roe versus Wade. And so in 1992, in a case called Planned Parenthood versus Casey, the Supreme Court did not overrule Roe. Roe in fact reaffirmed it, but switched the test a little bit, the constitutional test, to decide whether other abortion restrictions can stand. And this was a decision by Justice David Souter, Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O'Connor, who were all appointed by Republican presidents. And they said there was a constitutional right to an abortion. Up until the point at which the fetus becomes viable, which these days is somewhere around 24, the 24th week of pregnancy. But states can regulate abortions as long as they don't impose an undue burden on the woman's right to an abortion. I was just going to attack on like what's sitting underneath row because that ends up being a big deal these days. You know? Where did it come from? 7 justices in Rome Wade say there is this constitutional right to an abortion up to a point and. Of course, there's no textual reference to abortion in the Constitution. Instead, the Supreme Court drew on earlier decisions involving what that was called the constitutional right to privacy, essentially a kind of bodily autonomy right, an individual liberty principle that you're going to control your own destiny and your own body, drawing on cases involving contraception, for example, for both married and unmarried couples. And that really is the doctrinal, the jurisprudential piece of this thing that conservatives have been after so hard. You've got kind of two branches of conservatism in play. One is look. Kind of religious and social conservatism that abortion is evil. And then you have a jurisprudential lawyers kind of thing, like, you made this up, it's not in the Constitution. And those two threads have come together and have been at the root of this 50 year battle over row. In fact, before we unpack that, maybe you want to just define for people as I understood, as I've been learning about this this week, there's this one sort of moral spectrum between liberalism and conservatism, but then there's this orthogonal form of like. Originalism, I guess, is what folks call it. Can you just define those terms so everybody understands what we're talking about? Sure. So, you know, an ordinary politics. We do think of conservativism and then kind of more libertarianism. Kind of, Peter Thiel, get the government out of my life, and conservatives do believe that the government has an important role. Frequently conservatives believe this is an important role in regulating abortion and prohibiting abortion, whereas a libertarian would be more likely to say no. This is my body, my choice, for example. And so that's kind of along the political spectrum. In the legal spectrum, you have this sense of people. There are a set of conservatives in particular, principally who think that the Constitution should be interpreted today the way that it would have been understood the day that it was enacted or that an amendment to the Constitution was enacted so that the 14th amendment to the Constitution, for example, prohibits depriving someone of liberty or property without due process of law. And they would say, well, what was due process of law at that time, what was liberty at that time? Whereas a more progressive constitutionalist, somebody more on the left would say, look, no, there are lots of things that aren't enumerated in the Constitution, including, you know, a right to bodily autonomy at all, the right to contraception, the right, even rights. Even conservatives care about the right to educate your child in the way that you see fit. And the Constitution in particular has to be able to adapt to modern circumstances. And that's why actually our Constitution so vague. There are lots of more modern constitutions. Take the South African Constitution that have. Lots and lots and lots and lots of detailed provisions tackling all kinds of problems, including modern problems. But the view of progressive constitutionalists is that, look, when the country was founded and they wrote the Constitution, they knew the country is going to be around for centuries, and they didn't intend to capture every kind of. Social circumstance that intend to capture every modern problem which couldn't even be contemplated. So, yeah, that's the those are the two different kinds of conservatism we're talking about. But both originalists say, look, there's no right to abortion in the Constitution. The founders of the country would have never imagined that we would. Strike down bans on abortion, and then social conservatives are like, well, this is a really, really important role of government. We're protecting unborn life. Amy, I don't know if you've had a chance to read Alito's draft opinion, but can you sort of walk us through? His legal framework for coming to his conclusion that that this thing needs to be struck down and why. Why he's saying what he's saying. Yes, it is a 67 page opinion with another 30 pages or so in the appendix. And what he he tackles it in two ways. The first is kind of from this originalist perspective. He looks at the idea of whether or not the right to an abortion is something that is deeply rooted in our country's history. And he concludes that it is not that not only was there no right to an abortion, he said until. The late 20th century when right around the time that the court. Issued its decision in row. But in fact, abortion was a crime in many places. And so, you know, he starts from that premise that that there's no deeply rooted tradition of abortion being a right in under the Constitution. And that goes to the idea of what did the Framers intend? Does it fall within this fundamental right that would be protected by the Constitution, even if it is not specifically enumerated in the Constitution? But then he also has to look at Roe and Casey because those laws have been in effect, that those cases have been in effect for 50 years now that the court issued this decision in Roe in the early 70s and then reaffirmed it in KC in 1992. Because the Supreme Court and courts generally have a principle called starry decisis that says that courts should not overturn their decisions just because they think the earlier decisions are wrong. That there needs to be a good reason to do that. And the court has never said specifically exactly what you need to do to overrule a decision. But over the years, they have outlined some factors that you can look at to decide whether or not you should do so. And so he walks through those factors, the idea that Roe and Casey were simply wrong when they were decided for the reasons that that Tom has just discussed, and that'll either discusses at great length. There's no deeply rooted tradition of abortion being a right, the idea that. Another thing that courts often look at is whether or not people have relied on the Court's decisions here in Roe and Casey. And he said that even in Casey, there wasn't this idea that people arrange their personal lives, you know, in the short term around the idea that they have a right to an abortion. They've looked at it in Casey and sort of and people since then and sort of the broader sense that women have made decisions about their lives so with the idea that they will have reproductive. Freedom. And he says that's really not the right way to look at the issue of reliance. He looks at whether or not the test that the Supreme Court has and other courts have been using to review restrictions on abortion, this undue burden standard is what's what he calls workable. And he concludes that it's not workable because he says, this idea of an undue burden test is so amorphous that courts have reached all kinds of different decisions on various abortion restrictions. And so for those reasons, he says the abortion is a profound moral question, he says, but it's not one that is protected by the Constitution. It's a question that be should be decided by the people and their representatives and should go back to the states. Can I just follow up on that point? So I, I think a lot of people when they read a headline like Roe V Wade overturned, they think that the Supreme Court is directly legislating on the issue of abortion and it means abortion ban nationwide. I think that may be even the popular conception of what of what just happened. Can you just explain that a little bit more that you know, what exactly is the Supreme Court deciding on this issue? And specifically what the Supreme Court is doing here is more deciding who gets to decide rather than issuing policy themselves. Could you just explain that for for viewers? And as you do that, maybe you could just highlight the role the Supreme Court is meant to have in, in our system of government just as a basic kind of concept, which I'm not sure is like. As clearly understood here. Sure. So, you know, there are the three branches of government, the president, the executive branch, the legislative branch, which is Congress and the Supreme Court. And the Supreme Court's job is to, in this case, interpret the Constitution. You know, some of the cases that come to the Supreme Court are technical. They don't even involve the Constitution. And what did Congress mean to say when it enacted this law about bankruptcy? But then it also gets these really momentous cases like abortion. And this case is a challenge. It came that the actual case that came to the Supreme Court is a challenge to a Mississippi law that was passed with the idea that it could go to the Supreme Court and challenge Roe and Casey, but a Mississippi law that was passed a couple of years ago that would ban virtually all abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy. And so abortion providers in Mississippi went to court and said under the Supreme Court's jurisprudence. These decisions in Roe and Casey, this law is unconstitutional because of women, you know, as the law currently stands, have a right to an abortion up until the point at which the fetus becomes viable, which is around 24 weeks. But it's certainly. Well, after the the 15th week of pregnancy. So the case made its way up there as a challenge to this Mississippi law. But the state of Mississippi, in defending the law specifically asked the court to overrule Roe and Casey. And So what that means is the Supreme Court is deciding whether or not this law is unconstitutional. If the Supreme Court, as the draft opinion suggests, holds that the laws comes is constitutional, that Roe and Casey should be overruled. Then the issue does go back to the states is the way that most people think of it. And each state, whether it's Mississippi or Texas or Oklahoma or California can decide for itself whether or not they want to allow abortions and if so, on what terms. You know, I think it's a little bit, you know, it does go back to the states that people can decide, but defenders of Roe and Casey supporters. Abortion rights say that part of the Supreme Court's job is to say what the Constitution means and that there are some rights like freedom of speech, you know? The Second Amendment, the right to bear arms that are that are if they're in the Constitution, then the states shouldn't be allowed to decide that. The Supreme Court's job is to protect them. So if they strike this down, basically all the state legislatures will start to pass their own laws that govern what happens in that state. And the federal government will not have a role or a say ultimately in state abortion laws. Is is that is that fair? Is that what's going to happen next if this gets struck down? Yes. I mean there are already, you know, at least a dozen. If not more states that have what's called trigger laws that have already been passed by the state legislature with an eye towards this decision or some other decision by the Supreme Court over ruling Roe and Casey. So those states wouldn't even have to pass new laws. Those laws restricting abortion would go into effect immediately. And can I just ask maybe for sex too? Like why, why isn't there a constitutional amendment if this is a an issue that folks feel? You know, it should be kind of indoctrinated as an amendment to the Constitution. Why has that not happened? And, you know, why do these cases kind of keep recycling and the decision making kind of keeps going back to the States and they keep getting litigated? Why don't constitutional amendments get passed anymore? It's really difficult to pass a constitutional amendment. I'm sorry. Go ahead. Oh no, I was going to say, yeah, let me just step back first on this question of states versus the federal government. So when the Supreme Court says the Constitution doesn't give you a right to an abortion, they aren't technically saying, OK, now it'll be up to the state legislatures. They're saying it'll be up to legislators. So you have to pause on the fact that it is at this point possible that you could have a federal protection for abortion or a federal ban on abortion. Then the question would be, is that constitutional? Or is this a states rights issue where only the states can regulate it? But there is a big, big, big fight looming in Congress on both sides. The only reason that you're not getting a federal statute when you have a Democrats in control of the Senate, the House, and the Presidency. The only reason you're not getting a federal statute protecting your right to an abortion is the filibuster. Essentially right and the just just just just to sorry to interrupt, but a statute is a law, not a constitutional amendment right? Can you just distinguish? That's right. So. The the Constitution is our founding foundational doctrine document. It's what creates the Congress and gives Congress the power to regulate certain things. It creates the Presidency and it creates the Supreme Court. And so it's the most important thing. You can't do something that violates the Constitution. Then Congress can pass laws, and states can't do anything that is contrary to either the federal constitution or a federal statute unless the Constitution says, oh, only the states can handle this question. So there would be a big fight. Over whether abortion is strictly the regime and the strictly the purview of the States to deal with, then you say, OK, well, the Constitution stands above everything else overall is why don't we just amend the Constitution? And as you suggest, we're just not in the business of doing that anymore. There. We have very few constitutional amendments and we haven't done it in a long time. The Constitution imposes all kinds of hurdles in terms of congressional authorization, state authorization. It's why the equal Rights amendment was never passed. It's just. Incredibly hard to get the kind of super majority in the country that you need to amend the Constitution and the are kind of foundational rights. And that's what's made the Supreme Court so important, by the way. And that is we have something like the equal protection clause, we have a right to free speech, we have a right to the free exercise of religion. And those are big, capacious phrases that nobody can objectively tell you what they mean. They mean what 5 justices of the Supreme Court say they mean. And that's why there are all these fights over our Supreme Court appointments, because the justices. Have enormous power by 5 four majorities to fundamentally change the course of American life, and it can be in a conservative direction or a more liberal direction. Remember, the most famous thing the Supreme Court has done recently before this decision is recognizing a right to gay marriage. I want to go there, but just before I go there I want to go back to something that Amy mentioned, which is starry decisis, this idea of precedent. My understanding is that when Supreme Court nominees go through the confirmation process, this is a really important part of what they're asked right through their confirmation process. What are your views on starry diseases? What are your views on Roe? And there's a lot of discussion right now about whether, you know, specifically Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, who signed up to this Alito draft, at least may have lied to Congress in the way that they answered their questions. I don't know if you guys can sort of. Talk us through that and and whether you have an opinion on on on that and their actual congressional testimony to get confirmed. So what they said and I went back actually and looked at some, although not all of Justice Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings today actually, you know, what they had said at their confirmation hearings was that Roe and Casey were settled law, that Roe has been in effect for 50 years. And then Casey came along and reaffirmed it. So I think Justice Kavanaugh called it precedent on top of. Precedent. So that seems like starry deceases it just said in different words or no. Ohh yeah. And there's no question that that all of the nominees that have gone through have acknowledged, because it's not just two cases. There are 10 abortion cases. You know, this has been in front of the Supreme Court ever since 73 over and over and over again, and Casey adopted this framework. And it's been reaffirmed over and over and over, and the court has been moving in a conservative direction, upholding more abortion restrictions. But the foundation, the core Avro, has been there. But the issue is this. When someone says this is a precedent and a super precedent, they are not saying it cannot be overruled. Everything can be overruled. And so that's why Alito's draft is so strong. It is. It uses a formulation that Kavanaugh is used, which is egregiously wrong from the start. So that if something is just outrageously, totally wrong now, pause to the fact that a super majority of Supreme Court justices have thought it was correct, including a bunch of Republican appointees for 50 years. Right. And, you know, including the court that first adopted. The but this majority has come up in a kind of. Jurisprudential, with a jurisprudential vision that's sufficiently conservative to say. This is essentially the most outrageous thing the Supreme Court has ever done is row, because it interjected itself without any textual basis into one of the foundational moral debates of our time, which is what legislature should be handling. So now some of the, you know, moderate Republicans, Susan Collins, Senator Makowski, have said they're quite upset about this because they feel misled. But I think the defenders of the. Justices would say, well, I mean, they did say it was President Unprecedent, but they didn't say it was immune from being overruled. And here you go. Just to add in one tiny little detail in the draft opinion by Justice Alito is that one of the things he talks about when he's outlining the principle of stare decisis, he says that this principle is actually at its weakest in cases like this one involving the interpretation of the Constitution. Because only the Supreme Court gets to say what the Constitution means, and at some point you don't want to sort of trundle along with an interpretation of the Constitution. That is, as Tom suggested, egregiously wrong, he said. You know, if you're talking about a Supreme Court decision interpreting. A law that was passed by Congress, if the Congress doesn't like that decision, they can get together and pass a new law. But only the Supreme Court can say what the law is. So I'm not, you know, obviously I'm not defending the Alito opinion. That's not my job as a reporter. But that is, I think, one of the one of the points that someone would make in explaining why. This, despite the what they said at their confirmation hearings, if they voted to overrule Roe and Casey. I have a I'd like to ask a question first from up, which is, I think this is really fascinating, like the history of it. It's amazing for you to really unpack it for us. I want to ask a human question here. And and and maybe because these judges are humans and there's like a sentiment here where the majority of the country does not want to do this. It's been the law for generations of women have had this protection. It's been 50 years, so I think the question a lot of us have watching all of This is why is this happening right now? And is this some strategy that's been played out to overturn this? Because it feels profoundly unfair to take a right away from these generations of women. And there is this anger that's built up of how on Earth could this happen? So maybe you could tell us about the humans who are in these positions of power and why they made this decision, because we can look at all these laws and the precedent. But there is also the reality that the deck has been stacked with this court, it seems quite strategically and this feels like a rug pull to a lot of the people who voted these people on. And now you have a large group of the country who feels like this is exactly the opposite of what the majority of us want. So can you explain that to us what's going on here with these humans who have these positions of power and authority? Yeah, I think that's a fair characterization of what is a majority of the country, that is to varying degrees. Pro-choice. Now we ought to pause and recognize that there is another significant part of the country for whom this is, you know, an incredibly important positive moment. The country is divided on this question. There are passionate views on both sides. The women who are directly affected, many of them will feel no doubt incredibly impassioned, strongly that this is an outrage. But there there are activists on on both sides, and yes, from the day that Roe was decided. There has been a unflinching commitment among conservatives to undo it and it has taken them 5 decades to do it. But they have marched forward from that position where they were losing seven to two in the Supreme Court till June of this year where they will likely win five to four. And they have worked tirelessly to put justices on the Supreme Court who would be willing to take this step. They thought that John Roberts. But and it appears that he's very likely willing to cut back on Roe but not overrule it entirely. But that the other Conservatives whether it's someone who's been on for a while like Justice Thomas or instead much more recent appointments, which is the and in Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and in Barrett and Justice Alito having been on the court for a while. Those people. This is the number one agenda item for what they believe is correcting the course of the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution that this was the one that was. Most out of bounds because it was the most made-up in their mind. Now, we should talk a little bit about what it's going to mean for other areas of the law, like gay rights and that sort of thing. But in a very human sense there there has been an utter human commitment by pro-life forces to stop what they regard as the murder of, you know, millions of unborn children and an unbelievable commitment on the among pro-choice forces to maintain what is, you know, a basic individual liberty. Yeah, I just wanted to. That, I mean, I think I agree with everything that Tom said. And I think in particular you have to look at, you know, go back to 2015 and then in particular the 2016 election. If Donald Trump was elected, you know, in no small part because he pledged to put justices on the court who would overrule Roe and Casey, you know, you had conservatives who weren't quite sure about him but felt so feels. Felt so strongly about this issue that they were willing to go to the ballot box and vote for him because they trusted him based on including like a list of Supreme Court potential nominees that he released before the 2016 election, which is something that nobody had done before but I think worked out very well for him, you know, and then, you know, sort of compare that with people. As Tom said on this issue, people who oppose abortion were often single issue. Voters, you know in the 2016 elections you had you know the the but her emails crowd who weren't necessarily going to go to the polls for Hillary Clinton even though they likely. Would be abortion rights supporters at, you know, often just like, not. I think there was probably an element of disbelief, the idea that this right was so solidly enshrined in American constitutional law that that it would stand despite who might be on the court. So, Amy, I want to ask a jump question from here. Then this is an issue that's close to all of us. When we read Roe V Wade, we were, I think we were all like a little shocked, like, wow, this is happening. And then the second wave of news was how this created potential to undo. Obergefell, right? So the gay rights law or even like interracial marriage? You know, Jason's in an interracial marriage. I am. You know, many of our friends are are gay and married. How are we supposed to think about? What this does presidentially. And does it create risk that all those rights could be taken away from us or or our or people that we care about? Like, is that something that's possible here? I mean, I do think there's a lot of those rights are going to be challenged. Justice Alito, in this draft opinion, says no, those rights are different, you know, because only abortion rests on the purposeful termination of a human life. But, you know, to go back to what Tom talked about earlier, you know? Those rights rest you know, are also not in the Constitution, rest on this same sort of principle called, you know, substantive, substantive, due process, you know, rest on a right to privacy. And there were definitely arguments made in the Supreme Court in the Mississippi case, not by Mississippi but by groups supporting Mississippi that if you overrule Roe and Casey, you do have to go back and look at these other rights. Yeah. I mean the the reasoning for over ruling Roe. Is by and large the same reason that you would overrule Alberga found. Obergefell is a much less well settled precedent. You know it. It hasn't been reaffirmed by the Supreme Court as opposed to Roe, many, many, many times it. You can just as easily say it's an issue for the States and when you see, and justice Alito's what you see is 2 things in Justice Alito's opinion. A bunch of reasoning that would be used to strike down a bunch of other rights, go all the way back to where do where do we think we find the right to contraception? But where is that? And the Supreme Court, both with respect to married and unmarried couples, said there's a right to contraception, but it's not in the text of the Constitution, and there's a bunch of stuff that's not in the text of the Constitution. As I said, the constitution is super vague. So you have a bunch of stuff, in Alito's opinion that says all of the the reasoning that's in those cases essentially is wrong. And then you have a paragraph that says but but but but but but by the way, this is just about abortion. Why? Because it is. And the difficulty is that in a later case, it's much, much, much easier to apply all the thinking than the truism that this is just about abortion, because this case just is about abortion. But I think what's very likely is, you know? I'm a legal realist and that is I think that the justices decide what they want to do and then they write the opinion that gets there is when the court voted to overrule Roe. When five justices did that after the oral argument in the stabs case, one or more of the justices said, OK, I'll join an opinion over ruling Roe if it is absolutely clear that it will not lead to the over ruling of these other things. And so justice Alito put that in there, he doesn't believe it for a second that those decisions are rightly that those ruling should necessarily stand, but it appears that they don't have 5. That's for that view. But look, they didn't have five votes for over ruling Roe until very, very recently. And you could put another conservative on the court or, you know, these five could end up doing it. It it it is very much in play that at the very least you have to acknowledge that a lot of things that people thought were kind of foundational bases for how we order our lives because they were protected by the Constitution may well not be anymore. I mean I just like, isn't there? Like an element of compassion that has to be a part of how they're supposed to do their job. I mean, I know five people who disagree with you. It just so happens that the majority of the supreme question, let me ask a question about this sort of a parade of horrible. So, so, Tom, I understand what you're saying that. That overturning Roe would implicate these other cases on the other hand, and as you mentioned, Alito specifically says, well, presumably it's Alito in this dopps decision. Those cases are not affected. So he does carve out this case specifically, but this. But separate from that, this stream court just two years ago in Boston, we, Clayton County, read, you know, LGBTQ rights into Title 7 and that opinion was written by Gorsuch with Roberts joining him. You know, I think. That was A6, four or six, three majority. So the idea that this Supreme Court would overturn, you know, marriage equality, you know, bergfeld, which was just written by Kennedy in 2015, I mean. I understand that you're saying it's possible, but is it really likely? Well, look, basic is totally different. It's interpreting a federal statute, a law that Congress passed. That's their point. The Conservatives view is like, OK, Congress passes a law to protect, you know, same sex marriage. Fantastic. Have at it. And if it is passed Title 7 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, fine, we don't have a problem with that, but it's where our problem is interpreting the Constitution to strike down those laws. Do you say is it likely, you know that it is a, it is a bizarre circumstance because doctrinally when we think his lawyers, when we think it's judges, it should be much harder to overturn Roe versus Wade because we do have this is a lot of water under a lot of bridges, whereas with same sex marriage, it's a pretty new thing that we've recognized in the Constitution. And if you say, look, we're going to talk about the founders of the Constitution, we're going to talk about originalism, I'm going to give you 2 propositions. You tell me which one is more likely, and that is in the year 1800. Someone said, given the choice, do we protect a woman's right to have an abortion, say, in the instance of rape or incest or something like that? Or we're going to say that it is there's a constitutional right for two men to marry each other. This is not close. It is just not close. Now, I believe in both of those rights, but nobody seriously. I would say that the founders of the country in enacting and adopting the Constitution thought that they were protecting same sex marriage. And if you wanna look at it from that perspective and this opinion does, then Obergefell is just an easy target to be honest. In order for the the sort of the parade of horribles to happen though, there's a two step process, right the the first step is the Supreme Court throws it back to the legislature. Then the legislature has to do something that you think is appalling and ultimately. The you know, the marriage equality is not popular as a position in both parties, right? So the idea that even if that decision was overturned that all of a sudden you would have a change in that law seems unlikely right now. Because all how do you get them is that a court clerk in rural Texas says, I refuse to sign this marriage certificate. Remember, a lot of these statutes haven't formally been withdrawn. They haven't been. They're they're sitting on the books. They're just invalid. So, too, with Rd, there are a bunch of statutes on the books that are abortion restrictions that everybody knows are unconstitutional. They're not enforced. Those are in states, you're saying? Yeah, exactly. And so too, with respect to gay marriage and all other kinds, lots and lots of other. There were, there were hundreds, maybe thousands of statutes that discriminated against gay couples and gay individuals and the LGBTQ community. And there's bunches of that stuff still on the books, and all it takes is for one. Conservative to say, look, I'm going to apply those laws. Let's go. I'll give you an example. The Attorney General of Texas has said, look, I'm now, let's say I heard what's going to happen with Roe. I'm now looking at Plyler versus Doe. That's the constitutional decision that says states have to. Educate children, no matter whether or not they're lawfully in the country or not. I mean a whole this is going to be extremely motivating and extremely animating to conservative legislatures, to conservative attorneys general in the state. Everything's now in play. It's let's go, let's give it a shot, let's take it up to the Supreme Court. It can get worse from the conservative perspective. They've already lost on some of these issues, and so it's going to be a scary quarter century. Seems to me, Amy, the we grew up, I'm of Gen X51 years old with this profound respect for the Supreme Court that it felt fair. It felt just it felt like the one institution that was above politics and now it feels because of flipping A50 year old law as if it's and these you know sort of. You know, the interview process when they were being confirmed and maybe the rug pulling there that we can't trust it. And then this leak happens. So now it all feels like this institution is not trustworthy, is biased, is political. So we're reliving under a mirage that it wasn't. Or has something fundamentally changed when we look at the Supreme Court and how they're behaving now? That's one of the things I'm struggling with is, was I just, you know, living under a false vision of of this institution. And now I'm seeing reality. Or has something actually changed with the court and should we as a country be looking at the court differently? I mean, I think at least one thing that has changed is that right up until the point, you know, in the last 10 years when Justices David Souter and John Paul Stevens retired and then Justice Anthony Kennedy in 2018, you know? Not people who are sitting on the Supreme Court. You didn't always, you know, people did not always have the sense that they were voting in the same way as the party that put them on the court. You know, Justices Souter and Stevens. It really had become a solid part of the court's liberal wing by the time they retired. Justice Anthony Kennedy was still a conservative, but he was a conservative, you know, who provided the key votes on things like same sex marriage. And whether or not there is a right to be intimate with somebody of the same, the same gender and so you just didn't, I think people looked at the court and didn't think those decisions are political. You know, they're not always dividing five to four on sort of so-called party lines. I think that has changed and I think some of the, the confirmation hearings I think in particular. Democrats and progressives feel that at least one of the seats, either Justice Gorsuch or Justice Amy Coney Barrett, was was stolen in effect because. Justice Scalia died in February of 2016. Senator. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to have hearings for the President Obama's nominee, saying the next president had. Just has to decide, you know, you can agree with that. You could disagree with that. But then Justice Ginsburg dies in September 2020 and the Republicans rushed to put someone justice, now Justice Barrett, on the court before the presidential election. And so I think people do just, I think there is a general sense that. It is more political than it used to be. What about the leak, Tom, you just wrote about that. Yeah. Yeah. Well, can I just say one other thing was having Jason that was you were winning. I mean, people think the Supreme Court is political when they don't like what it's doing. And so when there was a right to an abortion, when the Affordable Care Act is being upheld, when Obergefell is being decided in favor of same sex marriage, you and me tend to think of that as, oh, that's that's just the way the Constitution should be. We've got an objective, sensible set of justices and then we start losing and we get the perspective that the other side. Ideologically has had they think the Supreme Court has been super political in Roe, in Casey and Obergefell, and in the ACA because they think the Constitution means the opposite. And so they think they've got a bunch of that. The court has been way too liberal and way too ends oriented because there's no objective answer with respect to most constitutional questions, because the document so vague. We have this notion of what's judicial activism. Well, judicial activism is is losing because if you win, then obviously it's what the Constitution was meant to. To be from the beginning. And so we do have this it it the the perception of any individual about the Supreme Court and whether it's neutral and objective or instead political and biased tends to be rooted 95% of whether you like what it's doing or not. So I'd love to hear from. I think it's a very fair observation. I mean even it's it's fans would admit the Warren Court was highly activist court. So I think you tend to think of the court as being activist to the extent that you don't like the results, although obviously there are. More or less incremental approaches that one could take, actually, in this decision it looks like Roberts was angling for the incrementalist approach here, which was to incrementalist, yeah, it means in this context, yeah. And I think incremental there was, I'm not sure. I guess it just you can call it whatever you want to. So at the oral argument in December 1 of the alternative grounds that Mississippi had offered was to still uphold their law, but not formally overruled. Or in Casey. And I thought, well, argument. Robert seemed to be the only person who was interested in that alternative ground. So that would still be a major shift in abortion rights laws, but it would not formally overwhelm Rowan Casey in that moment. And please correct me if I'm wrong. The Biden administration also said they don't want that nuanced decision. They wanted Roe voted up or down in its entirety. Is that right? You know, I'm not. I'm pretty sure that. But nobody, including the the lawyers, liked like the the alternative ground. I think that is right because it's an optical illusion. The chief is a sophisticated guy who is very aware of all these issues related to public opinion and the court. He knows what, how strident the reaction would be and will be if Roe versus Wade is overruled. And so he'd rather take this step by step and kind of like turn up the temperature of the water to a slower boil so that it's less of a surprise. If and when Roe versus Wade is overruled 5 years from now because he doesn't have to go that far today. On the other hand, you know, movement conservatives realize, look, you know, Justice Scalia died. A lot can change. We've got our shot. Let's take it right now. And our at least at the initial vote we're willing to be super aggressive. And that apparent, that seems to be the debate that's playing out now in in these leaks is, you know what will happen with Kavanaugh and Barrett and will they go with the chief or instead with the leaders stronger opinion. Exactly. So this is what I wanted to ask. Both of you. How does this play out from here inside the court itself and is there a chance that this draft isn't the ultimate decision? Is there a way that there can be a middle ground path like what happens from here or is this basically a fact that complete as as as written right now? So I'll let Tom talk about the the leak and he's got some theories about what might have happened. It is this is the first draft. You can see that on the copy that. Politico published and it is from apparently from back in February that the argument was in December. Yeah. Nobody expected to get the decision in this case and our likelihood until late June. And so, you know, I do think that there is a chance that the opinion could change in some way. It might not have quite as strong atone or, you know, it's possible that what's going on behind the scenes and we just don't know. It is some sort of effort to move justices away from this opinion to this alternative ground that the chief was. Advocating for at the oral argument in December, I, you know, I'll let Tom talk about some of the theories that he has. You know, one of the things is somebody who actually gets to go to the oral arguments right now, you know, when you are at the oral arguments in any case. But in particular this case, you know, the justices are talking to the lawyers, asking the lawyers questions, trying to flesh out what their positions are, you know what the possible resolution of the case may be. The justices are also talking to each other. And so one thing that was not a leak but was really interesting at an oral argument on April 20th, a couple of days before the this Wall Street Journal editorial that Tom is going to talk about. And then a couple of weeks before Politico leaked, there was a discussion in a case involving the Miranda rights. You know, you have the right to remain silent law, the law and order thing. And the question was whether or not you can bring a lawsuit, a federal civil rights claim, if you're Miranda, right. Has been violated, and so not anything to do with abortion. But at the oral argument, Justice Kagan starts talking to the lawyer who's arguing the case about the Miranda decision, that there was a Miranda decision in 2000 and which the Supreme Court, by a vote of 72, held that Congress cannot overrule Miranda. And she said, you know, Justice Chief Justice William Rehnquist, the Chief Justice at the time, wrote the decision, and he was someone. Who made clear that he had not been. He thought that Miranda was wrong but nonetheless voted to uphold it because he knew what in effect over ruling something that everyone believes is part of our constitutional landscape, so to speak, would have on the Court's legitimacy. And you really had the sense that that point that she wasn't talking about Miranda, that she she was talking about Roe versus Wade and Planned Parenthood versus Casey in this case because this was something that this is an issue that Justice Kavanaugh. Raised at his confirmation hearings, talking about Rehnquist and Miranda. And so you have the sense that that maybe things still are in play behind the scenes at the Supreme Court as recently as, you know, a couple of weeks ago, she wouldn't have been necessarily trying to make this point if she thought it was set in stone. Yeah. So a couple of weeks ago, somebody leaked to the Wall Street Journal editorial board. And this has happened before a couple of times over the past, you know, decade. Ish. That five justices that voted to overrule Roe but it was in play, and that the Chief Justice was trying to pull along to a more moderate position, Justices Kavanaugh and Barrett. And it wasn't styled as a leak, but we now know it was a leak, including because the Wall Street Journal editorial board said, and we think Justice Alito is writing the opinion out of nowhere, like nobody in the world would go on the record saying that was true unless they knew it. So they they knew what was going on and that that's a very strong indication that things are still in play. Then with respect to Politico, Politico was told that five justices had voted to overturn Roe, and that was the current vote, but did not say that five justices were signed on to this opinion. And that's what happened. So Justice Alito circulated this opinion in February, and then he's supposed to get memos back from his majority saying, hey, Sam, if you make these five changes, I'll join your opinion and boom, then you've got an actual majority for the court. But all that you see from February 10 is this is Sam Alito's view, and it is the outcome that five people voted for at, at the Conference of the Justices. And so there's a bunch missing between February and now in terms of actually getting to a majority. So the most likely scenario right now. Is that it is in play now? What does it mean to be in play and is it, as I said, an optical illusion? Well, it is not in play whether this statute is going to be upheld. It's it's what's in play is are they going to admit to over ruling Roe and how far are they going to go in upholding doing something that would for example uphold A6 week ban like their saves with six week week bans? What about statutes that are total abortion bans? Are those now constitutional? So you know, are we going to go step by step and is this going to be a 5 year process? Or is it going to happen on the last day of June of this year? That might be in play, but people ought not be misled into thinking like there's a real, real debate about what's going on in abortion and the Supreme Court. Roe is is on life support. Best case. Is there anything because the person who leaked this? We would assume is hoping to make some change and send this out as a warning sign to the country and the people who want to preserve Roe. Would we agree on that? Some people think that's. I think that's true. Others think that this was an effort to get Kavanaugh on record as having voted to overturn Roe and to hold his feet to the fire. That's certainly how I interpret the leak to the Wall Street, Royal Street Journal editorial board. I think the release of the opinion, however, the distinct, like this piece of paper is intended to do what it did, which is to, you know, motivate progressive forces and say, wake up like, this is really happening. We're not kidding. You've been hearing that the Supreme Court is getting more and more conservative. But I'm telling you. In eight weeks you don't have a right to an abortion anymore. You better get your act together. So I I think the question is, is there any chance that public sentiment could make a change in the thinking of the Supreme Court? Is that farcical for us to think or are they humans and they see this and say, you know, we gotta dial this back or we gotta, you know, you know, and somehow maybe dampen the blow of this if we are going to overturn it? Could protest, mass protests and and sentiment actually change their thinking, Amy? It's so hard to say. I mean, I really do think it's probably, you're probably talking about just one or two justices rather than all of the justices as a whole. You know, because I do think that there is probably a sense among some of the more conservative justices who would have signed on to this opinion that we are not going to be, we're not going to, you know, step off the path because somebody leaks this document and people aren't going to like it. We're going to. Stay the course. But, you know, I think you're talking about, you know, and all likelihood one or two justices, whether they will be affected by this. I think it's just it's so hard to know and so much depends on what the leaker was trying to accomplish, which we don't know. Institutionally. They're in a hell of a bind. You know, right now we know that there was this initial vote. Now, let's say that the ultimate opinion doesn't overrule Roe, and Justice Kavanaugh joins the Chief Justice to do something. Less aggressive institutionally, that sets an unbelievably bad precedent if it creates the impression that leaking documents to the public leading to protests, causes the Supreme Court to change its mind. So that's a horrible place for the justices to be in. To be perceived as reacting to the leak in a way that the leaker intended. What that invites later generations of court staff to do is is no bueno. It seemed like Alito almost thought it was going to happen. Because there's a section in his thing that actually speaks. Amy, you mentioned it about being almost oblivious. Maybe is the right word to what happens on the outside that they needed to do what's right almost in in a way, almost forecasting this. I have a question for both of you, which is more general in nature, which is should we have age limits for Supreme Court justices? So one of the things, and I don't mean to, you know, I don't mean to sound morbid when I say this, but, you know, these folks literally are in the chair until they die. And this is what I think creates some of this, some of these issues. Right. So RBG, you know, there could be a claim now that if if Ruth Bader Ginsburg had actually stepped down. Or tried to hold on. You know, it would have been a different outcome. There could have been a different person. What do you guys think about this age limit concept for Supreme Court justices and and and dealing with that in that way versus making these lifetime appointments? I'm personally strongly in favor of this, but you have to recognize that it would require changing the Constitution. There are all kinds of attempted workarounds, but I'm telling you that the people who decide the constitutionality of the workarounds are the justices themselves, and they would have no interest in accepting. Any limitation on their life tenure? So you you have to expect that that we're talking about something that's kind of in the sky because we're not going to end the Constitution to do this until we end up with the justice who's senile and who can't do the job, and the Supreme Court turns into a laughingstock. And at that point, the country will react, but we're just not good as a country at seeing this problem coming. I mean, fundamentally what happens is we're now incentivized to put people in the Supreme Court when they're in their late teens and just get them on there as soon as you can and keep them there for 70 years. And it's not gotten terrible. And, you know, Justice Thomas was extremely young, but we've seemed to have settled around 50 years old. And there's nothing intrinsically wrong with having somebody on the court for 30 years or 40 years at age 50. We've been super lucky when it's come to the fact that we've everybody's been pretty compass mensus we've, we've gotten, we've run good. And we could run much worse than we have. We you know we see this in the Senate right now that we have some problems and it could happen with the Supreme Court Justice but the difficulty is Even so are you referring to maybe they become senile they're not there they could have Alzheimer. The problem is since. Whatever. Yeah and then what do you do because you can't you know you're gonna impeach them people who like the outcomes are going to but what like only the justices themselves can decide whether they're going to leave. So the the but the problem is this we're we're we're getting we're we have a huge incentive now to put on somebody who's. Very young. And the the lead time effect of 1 presidency, of the Trump presidency, for example. Now we'll span, you know, 4 decades. And that I don't think the Framers intended. Remember the, you know, the average life expectancy at the time of the Constitution's framing, when we said life tenure was decades shorter even for people who like Supreme Court justices back then who had very good health care. And so nobody contemplated this. When we originally said life standards, there is a proposal on this that there were. A few members of the House, I think, including Ro Khanna and Rashid Tlaib and some other folks, but also some conservatives support it too, for an 18 year term limit for Supreme Court justices. And I think the way it work is basically each president would get to name 2 justice. So basically every two years you get someone rolls off and then the new president gets to choose a pick. And so every president gets two. And so, yeah, basically if you think there's there's nine justices on the court, so it takes 18 years. Or a full cycle for it to roll over. I think it's pretty interesting because it would take a lot of the heat out of all these sort of Supreme Court nomination battles where, you know, somebody dies and now it's a nomination fight and both sides are playing for all the marbles. If you knew that every presidential election, every president meant two votes on the Supreme Court, it was sort of normalized things. I don't know. I mean, it's just what the Constitution says. I know we need a constitutional amendment, but I think it's a really interesting idea. I'm all for it. Yeah. I mean, I think obviously there would still occasionally be openings that would be created if someone had to step down or would have passed away. But you're right that it would people would be able to plan. We would know when people were going to be rolling on and rolling off. I do think it is. You know, it's always struck me. It's kind of ironic that it is, at least from a constitutional perspective, easier to add justices to the court than to impose. Term limits, for which there seems to be a fair amount of amount of support. Tom and Amy, you have been unbelievably generous with your time and your knowledge. We truly appreciate you coming here and explaining it to the all in audience. We're all better for the work that you do and and for you. Sharing it with the podcast is amazing. It's so generous of you to have us. Thanks for having us. Great to talk to you guys. All right, Chamath, First off, thanks for getting those amazing guests. There's quite an education. I I think first, you know, we'll recognize it's 4 four guys talking about abortion. And. You know, we understand this is not exactly our issue to discuss an opinon, no. But Jason, the take away from me was that this is not just an abortion issue. Ohh, of course the downstream ones are. This is. This is. Gay marriage. This is interracial marriage. So on the gay marriage point, let's just go back to that for a second. So, look, I think Tom did a nice job laying out, you know, in pretty neutral terms what's what's going on here and where he had a point of view, he, you know, expressed it. I I think the idea that this leads to gay marriage being overturned, I I don't see it. It's just a, you know, it maybe it's not impossible, but I I just don't buy it. And there's two reasons. So first of all, the Boston case I mentioned. This was a case just two years ago written by Gorsuch, joined by Roberts and the other so a 6, three decision in which Gorsuch held that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects gay and transgender employees against discrimination. Discrimination. Now Tom is right that that statutory not constitutional, but Gorsuch shouldn't have to find in that statute that sex apply to gay people and transgender people, the court decided. On its own to do that, to interpret the statute that way. So you're telling me that a court that just two years ago? Decided that you cannot discriminate against gay employees is now going to allow discrimination against gay marriage. I just don't buy it. And the second issue, the second reason. Is that marriage equality is broadly popular now in the United States. People's minds have really changed on that issue and I don't think the court would want to go back on an issue where again, they just ruled on this in 2015 where the where basically the issue is now settled in the country. One of the differences, I think, with the abortion is it's still a very hot issue and it's just not settled in the way that marriage equality or gay marriage is settled. So I just don't buy this idea that now we're going to be overturning gay marriage that we're going to be overturning like for example, example, contraception. I just don't buy it. Why? Because nobody in the country is arguing for our law and contraception. Well, I guess the the counter argument to that, David, that people would have is, well, we didn't think they were going to overturn Roe V Wade. And they have. And so we feel we got rug pulled, Kavanaugh, etcetera. People, you know, when they were being integrated, interrogated about their views on these things, they felt like they lied. So I guess what would the response be there because there seems to be a trust issue here that people are not trusting the Supreme Court right now. And again, of course, you know, depending on which side you are, you might be thrilled or not thrilled with the outcomes. I think that was a very good point in our discussion, but people didn't think this outcome would happen with Roe V Wade. So yeah. It's kind of hard to believe anything the court says. We did talk about this earlier. I think we we mentioned this when we talked about. Abortion. Some episodes ago that this case was going to go and we mentioned I think this in the context of this and affirmative action as you know two things that we're going to get challenged and would probably lose. And unfortunately it turns out we're right on one and it looks like we're we you know we may be right on the other as well because I think the affirmative action case will get will get. Did we think that we're going to get overturned did you think that David I admit I thought Roberts was gonna get his way on this so I I am a little bit surprised I still think that in terms of like the. The the the testimony of these nominees. I mean, look, Tom, I think nailed the answer to that question. Saying that these decisions are settled law is just a platitude. I mean, yes, it's settled law doesn't mean it can't be overturned. Look, I mean, we all know that in these nomination hearings, the job of every nominee from either party is to basically say as little as possible and describing row is settled. Law is doing that. I mean, it's not. It's you could still go back and and overturn it. So. This idea that they lied or whatever, I mean, look, people hear what they want to hear in these, in these. And they all the Republicans and the Democrats have a perfectly rehearsed answer when somebody in the Senate confirmation hearing says, will you overturn it? And they and they say, I could never adjudicate the case without knowing the facts. And I have to, you know, look at every case as a clean slate. It's like a very well practiced answer to every question. To your point, David, it's a very rehearsed confirmation process, right? Exactly. So this idea that they lied or whatever, look. The only way you you think they lied is if you read, if you read something into an answer that was a platitude that you wanted to hear. My issue, my issue with this is the following, which is that I do think that there is a role for compassion and how we're governed. OK, and I what I what I have an issue with is that. At the sake of this originalism. To go and just be so textual about the Constitution, are you willing to abandon all compassion and an understanding? And, you know, that's where I just struggle. And Jason, I think you asked it, like, where is the role of, like, humanity in doing one's job right? And why is it that there is a belief that one must so fervently interpret in a, in a very black and white, binary way, a document that is, you know, for all intents and purposes, still quite. Alt right and everything has the potential for improvement. And so this belief that we got it right the first time and that there there isn't any room for any dynamic improvement to me, I really struggle with, let me just play devil's advocate. Your point of view is that the humanity in in in making these decisions. It's driven by what you consider to be your moral standing here, which is one of pro-choice. And folks, there are other folks in the United States who who have the moral standing of pro-life, which is to say I I don't believe that that choice should sit with, with, with an individual, given that it infringes on the life of another and. And I think that's really what this is all about, which is in these circumstances where there are different points of view on what morality is, what ethics should be in this case. That's where the law and the courts have to play in adjudicating role. And that's what makes it so tough, right? I hear you. But look, here's my perspective on this. Is that? Yeah, I am fundamentally pro-choice. I don't think I have the right to say, OK, what a woman can do with her body, that's just absolutely not. Not my role or a right that I should have. I understand, however, and this may sound that I'm talking on both sides. I understand when people say this should be a past law. OK. I think that that's a very reasonable thing to say. You know, people should be able to vote that law and people should be able to enact that law. I just think that when you have 50 years of a precedent. You know, where there is, as Tom said, so much water under so many bridges. Uh, This is why I think, well, why couldn't you overturn loving Virginia, right? Why couldn't you overturn Griswold? Why couldn't you overturn Obergefell? And and this is where I just think, like, are we not just taking a big step back in society and saying, you know, we're going to throw out compassion in favor of original textualism? And I'm just not sure that that's a good trade off in 2022 America. It's very interesting. This is such a polarizing issue for us and it seems like other societies have found a resolution in a way to move forward. I also think, sorry, just to finish, Jason, I also think like, this is where OK, honesty politicians step up and do your job. One way or the other, you have a responsibility to reflect the will of the people, and you have a responsibility to collect that nuanced perspective and implement a framework that represents that. And instead, what I think I see politicians on both sides is just, you know, screaming like crazy people at each other. And it just doesn't do anything. O what are we going to do? And we're going to have the same conversation, guys, about affirmative action, right? We're going to have that conversation and we're going to wonder, OK, well, is affirmative action, was it reasonable? Was it good? Was it bad? Well, it's not a right that's affirmed in the Constitution. And so, you know, it's going to go away, I think thinking about intellectually the. The way to resolve the issue for the country or pass forward might be interesting to delve into here. Is there a path forward you see David? Because listen we it it is 1 brush we paint with you're either and the language is framed as such. pro-choice or Anti Choice, pro-life or anti life. Obviously these are loaded framings to begin with and people could be not want to see abortions occurring in the world and they could also. I still be pro-choice, right? This is a very nuanced issue, and then people might have different feelings that I know this is. Graphic and hard to talk about, but people might have different feelings about the second trimester, that third trimester, and very different feelings about the first trimester and when an abortion occurs. And and people who are pro-choice might not. Be for 3rd trimester abortions. They may want to have some basic rules around abortion, so I I'm not putting my own personal beliefs out there right now, I'm just framing a question. What are your thoughts in terms of moving forward, because this is, it could possibly be a state issue in July. Yeah. Well, so, so let's assume that this is the decision and it is, I guess it'll officially come down in, in June or end of June. So let's assume that this is the decision. By the way, it's still possible that Roberts could peel off a vote and then we would get a scenario in which Roe is upheld while modifying it to allow, you know, laws like the Mississippi law. But let's assume that this, this decision that appears to be written by Alito ends up being the law. What that will mean is then, like Tom said, we'll have a vote in Congress. The Democrats will see if they can basically uphold Roe by through a law, which Biden would then sign. I think the issue there is they have to get enough votes to break the filibuster and I don't know if they're willing to do that. So let's assume that fails. Then it goes to the states. So in states like California where we are, there's going to be no change whatsoever. In fact, you know, some of the Democrats are saying they're going to enshrine the the current law in the Constitution of the state. That's really, that doesn't do anything. Abortion will remain broadly legal in California and in blue states, places like New York, coastal states. So right off the bat, let's say in about half the states. 25 of them or so. I don't think there's gonna be a change in about 12 states. These restrictions that are already on the books are going to go into effect and then we're going to have about, you know, 12 or 13 states that become battlegrounds, purple states basically. And we will have those states through their legislatures and through their elected representatives are going to have to figure out what their policy is going to be. And that is going to be a huge issue in those States and I think where this will go. Is, I think politicians who figure out where the center is and figure out where most of the people in their state are are the ones who are going to benefit. And maybe the the potentially hopeful scenario here is that it will force people to compromise when they actually have to craft legislation, they're going to work through those compromises. Until now, the issue has been so fully preempted by the Supreme Court that everybody. Basically, was making these absolutist rights argument right? Like one side is saying there's a right to choice, one side saying there's a right to life. These are rights that are being framed in absolutes that brook no compromise. There was no reason to compromise because there was nothing legislatively to work through or compromise. Right it. These were arguments being made to the Supreme Court. So no one had to compromise. And I think when they actually start working on legislation, they start getting working through these questions, Jason, of what you're saying, which is, should abortion be allowed in the third trimester? OK, no. Most people would say no. Should it be allowed in the second trimester and so forth. So you have to work through those questions. By the same token, if the pro-life side refuses to make compromises for, say, rape and incest, they're going to be punished by voters in those states. I mean, that is very unpopular. So both sides here, I think, are going to learn to compromise. And it's going to be a messy process, but the hope would be that at the end of this we do eventually arrive at some sort of resolution to the issue, like we have in every other Western country. You know, in every other Western country, even ones that are quite religious, this is not a culture war issue. And I think you could argue that one of the reasons why it's become a culture war issue is because the Supreme Court preempted it and stopped the democratic process from working 50 years ago. And so the only way for people to express themselves is to make these, again, absolutely right rights arguments in front of the Supreme Court. I think that when it comes to the messy issue of democracy, when people actually have to work through these things, through their elected representatives who will lose elections, they will lose elections. If they take positions that are too extreme, I think maybe we will get to a compromise. I think you're saying something really important. You're saying had Blackman not adjudicated Roe V Wade in 73? It would have been up to Congress at that time. They would have passed some set of laws. And and over successive iterations of those laws, you're saying there would be a framework so that a moment like this didn't happen. Yeah. And you know what? That exactly what you just said was written by a Supreme Court Justice in a law review article in 1992. I'm going to let you guess who that justice was in a second, but I kind of just read you a couple of statements from it this justice said that. No measured motion. The road decision left virtually no state with laws fully conforming to the courts. Delineation of abortion regulations still permissible around that extraordinary decision. A well organized and vocal right to life movement rallied and succeeded for a considerable time and turning the legislative tide in the opposite direction. Meaning there was already a trend before Roe towards liberalizing these abortion laws across various states. Even Ronald Reagan and the governor had signed a law liberalizing abortion in California and that process. Was halted and stopped by the Supreme Court's decision, which in one decision invalidated every single abortion law in America. And then what this justice said is that Roe halted a political process that was moving in a reform direction and thereby, I believe, prolonged divisiveness and deferred stable settlement of the issue. Do you know who the justice was who said that? Ruth Bader Ginsburg. So she obviously was for the ultimately the holding in in row, but what she said she would have done was have a much more incrementalist narrow decision. That would have maybe invalidated just that Texas law, but threw it back to the legislature so they they could then work out the issue. And instead she felt like the Supreme Court making such a sweeping decision, it created a backlash. And I think for 50 years we've been living with that backlash and there's been a culture war in this country over it, while every other Western nation has gone through the democratic process of working out the messy compromise. Now I think what? Roberts was trying to do is create an incremental approach to putting it back in the hands of the legislature. And I think you could argue, for the same reason that Ruth Bader Ginsburg argues, that the incrementalist approach would have been better. I think it was certainly the politically shrewder move right? It not just throw this grenade into 50 state legislatures, but to gradually move the issue back to the states. I think there's a lot of wisdom in an incrementalist approach, whether it's Roberts or Ruth Bader Ginsburg, they both. Are basically say, or you call it the starry decisis approach. You give precedent, you give weight to precedent, you don't just overrule, you know, these 50 year precedents. I think there's a lot of wisdom in that approach as well. But I think the hope here would be that by letting the legislative process work through this issue, we can hopefully eventually get to a stable, sustainable consensus and it will be chaotic. But other countries have dealt with this, Australia has. Basically, by the states in Australia they have different weak requirements. And Europe has certain weak requirements. I read a New York Times article and jamati you pointed me to some of these resources. So a possible outcome is states starting to build their own framework in terms of rape, incest, on demand, you know, on request versus certain number of weeks. And that is just going to be an absolute amount of chaos for some number of years. Yeah, look, if if the parties don't compromise on this, voters will eventually punish them. I mean, I don't think you're gonna see, you know, Glenn Youngkin like, victories by the Republican Party if they brook no compromise on, for example, the issue of, you know, rape and incest. By the same token, I think Democrats will have to. In a lot in purple states, they will have to concede that there is a competing rights interest at some point on the part of this. You know of the unborn baby, right? I mean, are you really gonna allow abortion into the nine month of pregnancy if the life of the mother is in a state? So both sides have never had to acknowledge that the other side had anything useful to say, and I think now they will. And if the absolutists and both parties refuse to do that, I think they're going to lose elections. Yeah, I I it's so hard to get the proper statistics here because I think a lot of the I've been looking trying to understand what the country actually thinks and people do not ask very nuanced questions are, do you believe Roe V Wade should be overturned? People get asked that question. The majority believe it shouldn't be. Do you believe that? You know, like, but we don't have all of these nuanced issues by state. It doesn't seem to be. Maybe people haven't even thought it through right? Like, do most people who are pro-choice have an opinion on the 3rd trimester on the second trimester? Do they, do they actually have a an idea of when they feel and and and you know, I'll be honest, I have. I have not given this total thought myself as to how I feel about it. Obviously I learned a lot by reading this. Here's here's something that was in the opinion that I didn't know, but it says at the time of enactment of this Mississippi law. Only six countries beside the United States permitted non therapeutic or elective abortions on demand after the 20th week of gestation. Those other six countries were Canada, China, the Netherlands, North Korea, Singapore and Vietnam. That's it in the whole world. And so, you know, to your point, there's there's all these granular details. And I think, as David said, a group of politicians need to sit in a room and really think through these things and kind of try to try to get to some kind of basis that doesn't take back something that's been in the books for 50 years. That's something so far that's the really tragic part about this. It's like it's such a unequal thing to do. Unfair feels profoundly unfair to take her right away after 50 years. I think that's the Republican Party is going to just pay such a massive price for this. Broadly, I mean, is this a case where, like, the dog catches the car, bites the Fender and it's now like, Oh my God, because, well, This is why I'm asking, what is the what is the true prioritization of things as we know how the world works today? Meaning, I understand what it means to be an originalist or a textualist. I understand that right. And I respect peoples. Perspectives that the Constitution should be interpreted verbatim. I understand that. And and and I and I and I respect people's ability to think that. The thing though, Jason, to your point of like the dog catching the car and the Fender or whatever is OK. Do you do that at the sake of? A lack of compassion or lack of empathy for how the world works today, and should we not? Have a point of view that says irrespective of how we decide. We should factor in. What the moral temperature of the country is in that moment in which something is decided and I and some context, like there's a context here of it being law for 50 years that you cannot disregard. And that's why Obergefell took until 2015 to really happen, right. Because by that point it was a, it was there was this beginning of the sea change where, you know, I think it's like 70%, I think in a Gallup poll that I saw support same sex marriage and I think it was about 80%. It's not 100, by the way. 80% support interracial marriage and 92%. This is all in the same Gallup poll. 92% support they they don't think that using contraceptives contraceptives is immoral. OK. But that still leaves 30 percent, 20% and 8%. That's still think something that's very different, but it's such a clear majority of America? So my, my hope is that you know as as tragic as this ruling is if if this is what comes to pass that it's narrowly defined so that to your point, David, we don't open the Pandora's box on all of these other things that we have decided as a nation are, are very reasonable things. You know, I don't think over Obergefell is going to get overturned. I just don't see it. And the reason is because of the way the Supreme Court handled that issue. So you know, again, go back to the early 1990s, the way that that this issue first came up is that a Hawaii court? Found that there was a right to to gay marriage and there was a huge uproar. Supreme Court did not take up the case. They did not take the bait. So what what happened then is Congress passed DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, which was huge majorities in both parties, and Bill Clinton signed it. Remember this stating that marriage was, you know, one man and one woman. And so if the Supreme Court had basically taken up the issue then and found a right to gay marriage, we might have a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage by now and we'd be trying to work our way out from under that. And figuring out how to get rid of that. But instead, the court did not take the bait. They stayed out of it until 2013 when attitudes had changed substantially. And then they invalidated DOMA in 2013 and then Obergefell came along in 2015. So I think the pattern here is that the Court has learned to stay out of these hot button issues until they become a little bit more settled. And then what they do is once the public's opinion has sort of clear, is clear, then they enshrine it. But isn't it? Clear that people want their right to for women to choose. Well, but it created this enormous backlash the, the, the, the, the roster. Enormous backlash that you mean amongst the minority. Well, you say that, but it is a, it's a very large group of people, but it's the minority. But then you just said yourself that the majority in the court wants the majority of people to go for gay marriage. That's what that's that's the disconnect I have. Well, but here's another disconnect, right? Jay calls if you believe your position on this is so incredibly popular and has such a super majority. Why are you worried about it being returned to the state legislatures? They will, basically because the laws that you want. Well, no, I I believe in some places, the minority might be the majority in a certain state, and then we'll have women in those states who aren't able to get an abortion safely. That would be my concern. I think that the country is deeply divided on this issue. Look at all depends on how you define the labels. It is true that most people say they're post choice. However, if you frame the question as should there be no restrictions at all, most people would say they're restrictions. That's a totally different exactly. So my point is the country is still deeply divided over this and the issue got preempted by the Supreme Court 50 years ago and we've never made progress since then. And I think it's going to be, I think it's be very messy. I think that's fair. And if we if you frame the question as do you believe people, women have the right to choose in the first trimester, we would probably have the overwhelming majority people say, sure, that's no problem, then we would be arguing over second trimester. And I just I just posted the Gallup data. They've longitudinally tracked attitudes and opinions of abortion since 1975. As of today, in 2021-2022, you know, the split between pro-choice and pro-life is very even. It's, you know, 49% is pro-choice and 47% is pro-life. But if you ask the more nuanced question that David said, 48% consider abortion to be legal only under certain circumstances, 32% say it should be legal under any circumstance, and 19% said it should be illegal in all circumstances. And so, to your point. The plurality of people, half, the half of America basically wants it as a supported right with some boundary conditions. But then there's 32% of people that want it under all circumstances. So I think the compromise is that there is a 70 plus percent majority of people who can craft a law here, right? Yeah. I mean and also the question of do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life? That is the personal question, not do you think it should be legal or legal? That's what do you believe? As a human being on planet Earth, are you pro-choice or your pro-life if you and I guess that would be assume if you had a baby and then you look at the illegal, the illegals under 20% now, it's been 1819% now. So well, not to be fair, since in 1975 that line hasn't moved, right and that would be highly religious people, I would assume make up the majority of that 19% that we're talking about like what's what's really moved is. You know, we've doubled the number of people that that say it should be legal in all circumstances since Roe. And that's come from people who thought it should be legal under some circumstances. Yeah, 20 to 32. So 50% plus. This is a fraud issue for the Republican Party because if they only appeal to their base, the 32% who should actually know, sorry, it's 32% say it should always be legal. That's the democratic base. But if they appeal to the 19% who say never as opposed to the 48% who say reasonable restrictions, they could lose some elections here. Look, I think until now. The issue has been a little bit performative because both sides, both parties could just appeal to their base because the issue had been preempted there. There were no laws to vote on. Now they're going to be real laws to vote on. There's going to be real votes and people, if they don't move to where the majority of the country are, they're going to pay a political price for that. So basically, translated, Republicans are going to have to fall into this bucket of legal under certain and they're going to not listen to illegal at all because that that means they'll just be so disconnected from the reality. Of American life in 2022, they will not get office as long as we can have some reasonable voter participation that isn't about the extreme averages of both parties. Again, this is again what we've been saying. I think it's like the more centrist that show up and vote. The more compassionate and rational we can be. And getting to Denmark is what they call it, right. What is it called? There's a term, getting to Denmark, which is a term for where the politicians and the people who represent you are In Sync with the beliefs of the majority of the country. And if you get to Denmark, you know, the distance between what politicians are doing and what the people want is very short. You have this consensus or this alignment, and we don't have that alignment right now. And this is probably the most pronounced issue. And gun control, we don't. We can always hold out hope that, you know, there's a more temperate. Moderate form of the ruling. That's not what this is. But in the case that this is what it is, I hope, David, that you're right and that it starts and ends. With Roe and that it it gets the states to be activated to do something, and it doesn't spill over to other things like gay marriage or even interracial marriage because I just think that I don't put it past. One law clerk someplace who's hell bent on proving a point. To use an originalist framing of what they believe the Constitution says to run these cases up the flagpole, right? But I don't think it's true. Court is going to overturn those other case. I'd just be shocked. I don't even think they will take those challenges. Yeah, I hope you're right. I'm just absolutely devastated by this. It's just to take away women's right to choose. Just insane to me. But. Uh, we'll see. We don't know exactly what's going to happen here, so hopefully. We'll get some resolution, but I really love you guys. I love you guys.