If Joe Scarborough is right, there is something seriously wrong with Chief Justice John Roberts and his Court. On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough claimed, "I know the Roberts Court is not going to overturn" Roe v. Wade because a recent poll shows only 13% of Americans want it overturned.
Refusing to apply the Constitution, bowing instead to the public sentiment of the day, would represent an appalling abdication of the Court's duty. That is particularly so regarding Roe, a decision that even many supporters of abortion rights, and an MSNBC legal analyst, recognize was decided on dubious-at-best constitutional grounds.
Scarborough claimed that the poll showing strong support for Roe, along with another poll showing an increase in the percentage of Americans calling themselves "pro-choice," comes in reaction to the recent spate of pro-life legislation at the state level. Scarborough described the various laws as "overreach," resulting in the American people having been pushed "far enough."
We can hope and expect that the Supreme Court will do the right thing, refusing to bend to transient public opinion, applying instead the Constitution to overturn Roe. That said, I believe pro-life forces have an important role to play in helping to educate the American public. As I tweeted yesterday in reaction to Morning Joe's first mention of the poll showing 77% support for Roe:
"I bet many Americans opposed to overturning Roe incorrectly believe that doing so would, ipso facto, make abortion illegal. That of course is not true: overturning Roe would simply let each state decide on the issue, and many would legalize abortion."
Here's the transcript.
6:04 am EDT
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Americans are not divided on Roe v. Wade anymore after the spate of all of these state rulings. 77% want to keep it in place. And Elise [Jordan], here’s something shocking for both you and me, growing up in the South and in the Republican party. Now, because of all of this legislation, only 13% of Americans want Roe v. Wade overturned. The most support ever since this ruling was handed down in 1973 . . . Roe v. Wade today, because of what's happened over the last six months, is more popular with the American people—and safer—than ever before.
. . .
And, by the way, for those of you who spit out your coffee when I said that Roe v. Wade was safer than ever before. I'm looking down the road a little bit. And I'm looking down the road because I know the Roberts court is not going to overturn a ruling that only 13% of Americans want overturned. You can be offended by that fact, but they’re just not going to overturn a half-century precedent that 77% of Americans want to be kept in place. And that number is higher today—we talked about this all the time on this show—because of overreach. You can be a political purist all you want, and you can push, and push, you can only push the American people so far. And in this issue, they've been pushed far enough.