Alito’s Dobbs decision will further degrade democracy

By Wendy Brown, UPS Foundation Professor in the School of Social Science

"About abortion itself, the majority decision acknowledges, there is deep dissent across the land, with no prospect of consensus and a modern Solomon’s baby that prevents compromise. Absent a literal right to abortion in the text of the Constitution, Alito opined, it must be up to what he revealingly named the 'citizens' of each state to decide whether or under what conditions abortions shall be legal within them. The mistake of Roe, he insists, was the Court’s usurpation of a decision rightly belonging to 'democratic branches of government.' But the sleight of hand in Dobbs is to then identify these with state legislatures and governors, not Congress and the president. Democratic representation is achieved provincially, not nationally; it is found only in states, not the nation state.

This is the move that makes the Dobbs decision more than a gut punch to women’s equality and freedom, more than a triumph for a religious minority, and more than a clarion call about future reactionary decisions to come. Above all, Dobbs further entrenches states’ rights as a powerful weapon of minority rule in what we sloppily call the 'culture wars' today."

Read more at the The Washington Post