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  • Curt Levey

Dobbs is a Triumph of Democracy, Constitutionalism, and Courage

The Committee for Justice released the following statement by its president, Curt Levey, on the Supreme Court’s decision today in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization:

"Today’s decision in Dobbs, overturning Roe v. Wade and Casey, is a triumph of democracy, constitutional originalism, textualism, judicial independence, and judicial courage, and a blow to judicial activism, the living Constitution, and bullying. Because the Constitution is silent on abortion, the Court has returned the issue to the hands of the people.

For those progressives who don’t fully appreciate the difference between law and policy, keep in mind that today’s decision has nothing to do with the morality or popularity—or lack thereof—of abortion. It is all about the words of the Constitution and the proper role of the courts in a democracy.

Marked by Dobbs and yesterday’s landmark Second Amendment decision, this week marks a high point for the 40-year-old conservative legal movement—of which the Committee for Justice is proud to be a part—and its efforts to restore textualism and put a constitutionalist majority on the High Court. Launched during the Reagan Administration, the movement’s culmination was ultimately made possible by the Supreme Court appointments of Presidents Trump, Bush-41 and Bush-43.

However, what ultimately doomed Roe preceded the conservative legal movement. It was the glaringly weak legal reasoning in Roe itself, conceded to even by the likes of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and laid bare at the Supreme Court argument in Dobbs. At oral argument, Roe’s defenders could not clearly articulate a constitutional basis for abortion rights—despite nearly 50 years of preparation—and were left pointing to flawed precedents.

In the end, even stare decisis could not save a “right” that was made up out of whole cloth. Like Plessy v. Ferguson and Dred Scott, history will remember Roe as a poorly reasoned aberration that could not stand the test of time.

In 1973, the Roe Court saw itself as a champion of the living Constitution and hoped public opinion on abortion would follow. But the living Constitution fell out of favor and the nation never followed the Court’s lead. The divide in public opinion on abortion only deepened.

By taking political compromise off the table, the Court needlessly gave rise to a half century of bitter political division. The democratic process has now been restored. But we may not live to see the day when the wounds Roe caused are fully healed."


Media Contact: Curt Levey

Phone: (202) 510-0128


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