MSNBC Legal Analyst: 'Good Chance' Roe Overturned—No Right to Privacy in Constitution

May 15th, 2019 8:12 AM

Now here's a surprise. MSNBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos went on today's Morning Joe and flatly declared that Roe v. Wade is "ripe to be overturned" because "even if you are pro-choice, the right to privacy [upon which Roe was based] does not exist either in the history or the text of the Constitution." Cevallos also said that Roe "stands on a weak foundational basis."

Cevallos stunning comments came during a discussion of yesterday's adoption by the State of Alabama of a bill that, with very limited exceptions, bans abortion. Pro-life activists anticipate that challenges to the law have a good chance of making it to the Supreme Court, thus potentially leading to the overturning of Roe.

Joe Scarborough didn't express a personal opinion on Cevallos' statement. But he did note that back in law school, his "very progressive" constitutional law prof, while agreeing with Roe's conclusion, acknowledged that it was "a terribly written case, and its logic is baffling at times."



This isn't the first time that Cevallos has challenged liberal orthodoxy on Roe on MSNBC air. Last year, I noted him saying something similar on Joy Reid's show. The big difference today is that, back then, Cevallos said that the Supreme Court was unlikely to overturn Roe. Now, with Justice Kavanaugh having taken Anthony Kennedy's spot on the SCOTUS bench, the prospects for overturning Roe are presumably greater. 

Note: When Cevallos challenged the basis of Roe on Joy Reid's show, I wondered whether his days at MSNBC might be numbered. Over a year later, he's still there. But could his bold statement of the truth about Roe at this critical juncture lead to an inevitable parting of the ways with the liberal network? 

Here's the transcript.

Morning Joe
6:07 am EDT

DANNY CEVALLOS: There is a good chance Roe v. Wade would be overturned. We’ve known since the ‘70s Roe v. Wade stands on a weak foundational basis. Whether you’re pro- life or pro-choice, Roe v. Wade is really about, do we have an individual, fundamental — do women have a privacy right in the Constitution that overrides state legislatures’ abilities to make laws affecting abortion . . . The bottom line is, even if you are pro-choice, the right to privacy does not exist, either in the history or the text of the Constitution, which is why Roe has always been ripe to be overturned.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: You know, Danny, it is interesting you say that. Mika and I were talking about this this morning after the news broke overnight. I said that my constitutional law professor, who is very progressive, said though I agree with the conclusion of Roe, it is a terribly written case, and its logic is baffling at times.