Bench Memos

Re: Ramesh is Right

Gerry was so kind about my piece about the impact of Alito’s 1985 memo that it feels churlish of me to dispute one point of his. But I don’t think it’s quite right to say that my (our) analysis “assumes a White House that really wants a Court that will overturn Roe.” I think that the White House ought to want that, even for crass political reasons. (The conventional wisdom that a repeal of Roe would be a disaster for Republicans is, I think, quite foolish. There will be a chapter on the topic in my forthcoming book.) My analysis assumes only that 1) there is a chance the president will have another Supreme Court vacancy to fill before his term is out, 2) Roe will be a topic in the confirmation process that will then arise—i.e., there will be some political controversy about how the nominee would rule on Roe, and 3) the White House will have an interest in getting that nominee as much leeway as possible.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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