The Supreme Court Can Ban Abortion?


A recent New York Times/CBS News poll asked respondents whether President Bush "is likely to appoint Justices who will vote to…make abortion against the law." Inasmuch as the Court does not have the authority to ban abortion, this is a rather strange question. The real question is whether Bush appointees will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, which would leave the issue of whether to restrict or ban abortion up to the states. Since 65 percent of respondents think abortion should either be banned or "be available but under stricter limits than it is now," that is presumably an outcome they'd welcome. Yet the Times presents the federalist approach as contrary to the popular will: "Even as two-thirds of respondents said they expected Mr. Bush to appoint judges who would vote to outlaw abortion, a majority continue to say they want the practice to remain either legal as it is now, which was Mr. Kerry's position, or to be legal but under stricter limits."