Cognitive dissonance in reactions to leaked SCOTUS draft
In NC, Cooper fundraises off leak; Stein ramps up rhetoric; NCDP chair omits "woman" from statement
A quick note before proceeding: Today is Mother’s Day. It may be interesting to check out which politicians and activists are celebrating today who had earlier in the week expressed outrage over the leaked SCOTUS draft.
In the leaked draft dropped by Politico earlier this week, Justice Samuel Alito was quite clear that overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision would return abortion decisions to the states.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
On the national front, President Biden's statement was a bit odd, ignoring the huge issue of the leak itself and instead focusing on his administration's interest in specific court cases. One might wonder if the White House had advanced knowledge of the leak, given the specificity in Biden's statement:
Biden's history on abortion has been inconsistent at best, and at worst, has changed to meet the ideological demands of the increasingly far-left progressives in his party. Case in point, his 1982 support of returning abortion decisions to the states - which is the heart of the leaked SCOTUS draft - versus his current statement on the leak.
Similar inconsistency and cognitive dissonance were on display as protesters calling themselves “Ruth Sent Us” published the locations of the homes of Supreme Court justices resulting in dozens showing up and causing disruptions.
It is doubtful Ginsberg would find the protesters using her name as a moniker very amusing given they published the private locations of the homes of Supreme Court justices.
The central figures behind “Ruth Sent Us” are as of yet unknown, but what is clear is they either are ignoring Ginsberg’s past actual position on Roe which aligns with the leaked draft, or they are totally unaware of it.
“Roe v. Wade sparked public opposition and academic criticism, in part, I believe, because the Court ventured too far in the change it ordered and presented an incomplete justification for its action. Roe, I believe, would have been more acceptable as a judicial decision if it had not gone beyond a ruling on the extreme statute before the court. … Heavy-handed judicial intervention was difficult to justify and appears to have provoked, not resolved, conflict.” - Ruth Bader Ginsberg, “Some Thoughts on Autonomy and Equality in Relation to Roe v. Wade,” published in 1985 in the North Carolina Law Review, UNC School of Law Volume 63, Number 2.
Beyond Biden and protesters, Democrats and their progressive allies are facing a bit of a massacre during the midterms, and have therefore almost uniformly reacted to the draft in the most hyperbolic and hysterical manner possible.
Reactions have covered everything from the end of all civil rights to rationalizing court-packing and having Congress codify Roe v. Wade to claiming certain justices 'lied' or committed perjury in testimony to Congress - the subtext being they should be removed.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren grabbed her own five minutes of outrage outside the Supreme Court.
This coming Monday, Sen. Chuck Schumer has announced plans to hold a vote in the Senate to codify Roe.
National Democrats have even called for an end to the filibuster.
North Carolina Democrats are no exception.
Within hours of the leak, Governor Roy Cooper had already tweeted about it and had fired off a fundraising email; his first of two in a 24-hour period.
Shortly thereafter, Axios Raleigh dropped an article titled, "Gov. Roy Cooper's lonely fight to defend abortion rights in N.C.," which Cooper retweeted.
"Governors need to stand up for women’s access to reproductive health care now more than ever. We know the stakes, and we must all work to defend a woman’s right to choose," tweeted Cooper along with the Axios story.
The Axios story paints Cooper as both hero and victim if Republicans gain super-majorities this fall.
The victim side is furthered by acknowledging the governor has vetoed "multiple" abortion bills. By “multiple,” Axios Raleigh actually means two.
Cooper vetoed Senate Bill 359 The Born Alive Survivors act and Senate Bill 43, Human Life Nondiscrimination Act/No Eugenics.
Axios Raleigh also conveniently leaves out those two vetoes are part of Cooper's historic total of 71; the four governors with veto power that came before him had a combined total of 35.
Axios Raleigh is one of several Axios offshoots. Axios itself was spawned in 2016 by Politico's co-founder Jim VandeHei, former Chief White House correspondent at Politico, Mike Allen, and former Politico Chief Revenue Officer Roy Schwartz. It's worth noting a plan last year to merge Axios with Politico and put them under the German mega-media group Axel Springer failed fairly spectacularly.
Interestingly and somewhat related, Erick Erickson tweeted about Politico's role in the leak.
Attorney General Josh Stein, who has designs on becoming governor in 2024, matched Cooper's tweets and then some via the Twitter handle he uses for campaigning.
Stein, who as an attorney general should understand the main premise of the leaked draft is to return abortion decisions to the states, went on a tweet spree claiming “Republicans want to strip women of control of their bodies,” and the only way to save themselves is to vote for members of his party.
At a press conference held by Democrats at the N.C. General Assembly this past week, the messages were similar to that of Stein.
Sen. Wiley Nickel, (D-Wake) made it clear what his party stands behind - the governor and his veto power.
“In the [N.C.] Senate, Democrats are 22 strong. As long as we stand 22 strong, we can withstand vetoes by Gov. Cooper and we will continue to do that for the rest of the year,” said Nickel, who is running in the Democratic primary in the 13th Congressional District.
Sen. Natalie Murdock, (D-Durham) who also spoke at the press event was very clear about making the leak a ballot box issue.
“This past year we celebrated what will probably be the final anniversary of Roe v. Wade,” said Murdock. ‘To be clear, if we do not elect pro-choice Democrats in November, North Carolina will become the next Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, [and] Kentucky.”
Senate candidate and former N.C. Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley is on board with the Schumer push to codify Roe and, like Cooper, is fundraising off that idea.
“Women have a constitutional right to make choices about their families and bodies without government interference. Period,” tweeted Beasley with a clip of her interview on MSNBC.
She later again tweeted that “reproductive freedom is a constitutional right.”
EMILY's List @emilyslistWhat do you plan to do - or what have you done already - to help protect reproductive rights? #Reprovoting https://t.co/zv0vfC2082
Beasley’s likely opponent, Ted Budd has not been as vocal on Twitter as she has, but he has condemned the leak and expressed hope the final decision “upholds the sanctity of life.”
At least one NC statehouse Republican has pointed out the cognitive dissonance of some of the outrage on the other side of the aisle.
Sen. Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth) tweeted that “Democrats are struggling with their talking points on #RoeVsWade “My body my choice” after mask mandates and attempts at vaccine mandates. “It’s a women’s issue” is tough since democrats do not have a definition of woman.”
And she's not wrong.
Just last month the nation watched as President Biden's Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson was asked to give a definition for the word "woman," to which Jackson said she could not do because "I am not a biologist."
Krawiec’s tweet and Brown’s inability to define the term “woman” is underscored by a very short statement released by North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Bobbie Richardson that failed to use the word "woman" a single time:
“If confirmed, this decision is devastating for the millions of people across North Carolina whose abortion access and control over their own bodies now hangs in balance. There is only one way to protect our reproductive freedom and ensure everyone has the right to make their own health care decisions – electing Democrats up and down the ballot.”
In contrast, the NC GOP’s statement was more than just a paragraph but also lacked the word “woman.” The statement correctly points out that a possible future ruling will be to return abortion rights decisions to the states
"I am proud of the work that I and thousands of Republican Activists across North Carolina have done for years to elect pro-life candidates to the Senate, Congress and the State Legislature," said NCGOP Chairman Michael Whatley in the statement. "But our work is hardly finished. The balance of the General Assembly and the Supreme Court in North Carolina has never been more important, and we will continue fighting from now through Election Day and beyond to ensure that we have pro-life majorities as we face a post-Roe future."
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