The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

Grateful For A Long-Overdue Debate on Dobbs, Originalism, and Stare Decisis

There has been a surprising quiet about one of the most consequential Supreme Court cases in a generation.


I am grateful that my posts on Dobbs have led to responses by Steve and Orin. Frankly, I've been surprised at how little interest this case has generated. There have been far more writings about the arcane FedCourts issues with S.B. 8, but almost zero writing about the substantive issue of abortion. If Dobbs overruled Roe, then S.B. 8 becomes irrelevant. I think Dobbs may be one of the most consequential Supreme Court decisions in a generation. But at least in academic circles, there has been silence. Indeed, as best as I can recall, there were zero panels at the Federalist Society Convention about Dobbs, and I don't know that were anything more than passing reference to the case during discussions. But in the hallways of the Mayflower, Dobbs was a topic of frequent concern. I think there is a disconnect between the rank-and-file and what Steve called "Originalism Inc."

Once again, my posts have shifted the terms of debate. Or more precisely, my posts have started a debate that was not happening, but should have been happening. I think my writings often served this purpose during the Trump impeachments. And for that end, I am truly grateful.

I'll have much more to say about the specifics of this debate in due time.