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Toobin’s Abortion Obsession

Consultant Jeffrey Toobin participates in a panel for the FX Networks The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story during the Television Critics Association Cable Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif., January 16, 2016. (Kevork Djansezian/Reuters)

Jeffrey Toobin, CNN’s partisan legal “analyst,” seems anxious about the future of abortion. Today, when Alisyn Camerota asserted that “obviously” abortion would be outlawed if SCOTUS overturns Roe v. Wade,” Toobin responded, that the “central goal of the conservative legal movement to get that case overturned.”

First of all, overturning Roe v. Wade wouldn’t mean the “outlawing” of abortion. This is a popular misconception. If Roe, a decision whose legal reasoning has been widely criticized, was overturned, states would take up the issue in their legislatures and their state constitutions, just like almost every other political issue.

The same Democrats who are constantly griping about our allegedly corroding “democracy” seem awfully nervous about letting people engage in a debate on the specifics of the practice rather than leaning on the fiction that it is an inalienable “right.” As Charles pointed out this morning, if “most Americans support its legality in all or most cases,” as some argue, there should be little problem keeping it legal. Camerota is factually wrong.

Toobin’s scaremongering over abortion is nothing new, either. When Anthony Kennedy retired in June of 2018, he predicted that the abortion would “be illegal in twenty states in 18 months.” Instead, we have the most pro-abortion ticket in presidential history.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Roe is important for many conservatives — myself included. But when I hear originalists and Federalist Society folks talking about the courts — and I listen to them quite often — they speak about array of issues. It’s liberals who seem obsessed with Roe. When it comes to the Supreme Court, they rarely seem to talk about anything else.

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