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Roe vs. Wade: Living by the Courts

So, how could I not write about the biggest news to come out of US politics today.  For my international readers (of which probably all of you are), Roe vs. Wade was a ruling written in 1973 by the Supreme Court of the time that basically said that there is a constitutional right to abortions and the states can’t restrict them.

This morning, that ruling was reversed.

Now, as you might have gathered, I think this on balance was a good thing, and I have believed that this ruling (as well as Obergefell, the one that legalized gay marriage) was wrongly decided – not because I didn’t agree with the outcome, but it was just a bad ruling.  But that’s not what I want to talk about for the rest of this post.

In the Bible, Jesus had many interesting things to say, most of which are wiser than they appear at first glance.  The thing that Jesus said that I want to unpack is “he who lives by the sword, shall die by the sword”.  If taken literally, one could say that this means that if you live by threatening others with violence to get your way, eventually that will rebound on you.  But it’s a little deeper than that, as these things often are.

I think what it actually means is, anything you do to impose your will on others, will eventually rebound on you.  Or, much more concisely, karma is a thing.

Liberals have, over the past who knows how many years, used the court system (and specifically the Supreme Court) to get their way.  This happened with abortion, it happened with gay marriage, and I think there are a few more hot-button social issues that the supreme court ruled on in the same way.  There were things that they could not get passed into law, so they instead went to the courts and got the courts to set cultural standards through law.  But they forgot the primary rule:  he who lives by the courts shall die by the courts.  The courts giveth, and the courts taketh away.

And the courts tooketh away.

Roe vs. Wade was bad law.  And this was primarily because it wasn’t law, it was fiat.  Anything you get by fiat, don’t be surprised when the winds change and it gets taken away by fiat.

Relying on the courts to drive social change is a recipe for disaster.  And a large swath of the country found out why today.  The pendulum always swings back.

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