AG Meese: Failing to Overrule Roe and Casey “Would Threaten to Destroy the 40-Year Effort to Restrain the Court with the Founders’ Interpretive Principles”
Today, former-Attorney General Ed Meese wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post, titled “Did the conservative legal movement succeed? That all depends on whether the Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade.”
Meese sounds many of the same notes I’ve written about.
First, Roe is the central precedent that inspired the conservative legal movement.
Roe has stood for years as the prime example of disrespect to our Constitution’s allocation of power and the proper judicial role. It has been the focus of criticism from judges and legal scholars including Robert H. Bork, Alexander Bickel, William H. Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia. And for good reason. To them and the legal movement they inspired, Roe‘s judicial supremacy misconceived the Constitution, ignored the lessons of history and encouraged unaccountable government.
Overruling Roe would be the crowning achievement of that movement.
Second, Meese laments that the Reagan administration’s biggest legal failure was failing to overrule Roe:
The Reagan administration’s most disappointing legal loss was our failure to persuade the Supreme Court to overrule Roe. Now, unlike then, the Supreme Court has six justices who have all expressed some commitment to the Founders’ interpretive principles, and who have all been shaped by the institutions, scholarship and renewed dialogue brought to the legal profession by the Federalist Society, originalism and textualism.
Of course, this failure extended beyond Reagan’s presidency when Justices O’Connor and Kennedy, a