- I used the Morning Dispatch for this.
- I used to do these recaps a few years back. I’m going to try this again to see how it works. Fell free to comment on all or one or two.
- Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed yesterday that the leaked draft of an opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade is authentic—though not final—and ordered the Marshal of the Court to conduct an investigation into the source of the leak.
- Ohio and Indiana conducted their 2022 primary elections on Tuesday, with competitive races taking place in both states. Republican author and venture capitalist J.D. Vance will face off against Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan in Ohio’s U.S. Senate race, and incumbent GOP Gov. Mike DeWine will be challenged by Nan Whaley, the Democratic former mayor of Dayton. In Indiana, state Sen. Erin Houchin won the GOP bid to succeed the retiring Rep. Trey Hollingsworth.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday that U.S. job openings reached record highs at the end of March, when there were 11.5 million unfilled jobs nationwide, up from 11.3 million a month earlier. The quits rate—the percentage of workers who quit their job during the month—hit a record high 3 percent as well, though many of these workers quit for different or better opportunities.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced Tuesday it will extend the work permits of most immigrants whose authorization recently expired or is about to expire, citing the agency’s inability to process applications quickly enough to keep pace with existing labor shortages. The extension—up to a year and a half—is expected to affect about 420,000 immigrants over the course of the policy.
The Day After The Roe Leak
That doesn’t mean the ruling itself is set in stone—justices could still change their votes or narrow the decision’s scope before it’s issued later this summer—but Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed yesterday the document published by Politico this week was written by Justice Samuel Alito and circulated in early February.
“To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed,” he said in a statement. “The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.” The marshal of the court will launch an investigation into the source of the leak.
If the final numbers reflect the split as seen in the leak—again, an important if—Alito’s opinion will overrule nearly five decades of abortion jurisprudence. But as we noted in a recent TMD, a full overturning of Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey wouldn’t outlaw abortion nationwide—it would return the power to regulate the procedure to state legislatures and governors, who can be as permissive or restrictive as their voters will allow. At least 17 states have preemptively moved to guarantee abortion’s legality, while at least 13 others have passed “trigger laws” that would implement new restrictions in the event Roe and Casey are reversed. Monday’s news will certainly spur more into action, one way or the other.
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, for example, called on the legislature this week to amend California’s constitution—a process that requires voter approval—so “there is no doubt as to the right to abortion” in the state. “We know we can’t trust the Supreme Court to protect reproductive rights, so California will build a firewall around this right in our state constitution,” he said in a statement. California accounted for about 15 percent of all abortions in the United States in 2017, and in 2019, Newsom signed a proclamation “welcoming women to California” for the procedure.
For as much attention as Monday’s leak has understandably received, it’s far from certain how such a ruling would affect the overall abortion rate. What percentage of women seeking an abortion in states where it’s illegal will undergo the procedure illicitly, or travel to another jurisdiction? Will states actually be able to crack down on abortion pills, in light of last December’s Food and Drug Administration decision allowing providers to prescribe the pills—used up to 10 weeks’ gestation—via telemedicine and mail them to women?
A 2019 analysis from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute and university researchers estimated the United States’ abortion rate would fall between 25 and 40 percent in the year after a Roe reversal, but that potential drop fell to about 14 percent when the researchers updated the analysis in 2021. Thanks to Texas’ implementation of a six-week abortion ban last year, we have some real-world data on how this might play out. Two groups of researchers at the University of Texas released studies this spring showing the state’s new restrictions reduced the total number of abortions in the state by about 10 percent when accounting for women traveling to nearby states or ordering abortion pills online.
“A post-Roe United States isn’t one in which abortion isn’t legal at all,” Middlebury College economist Caitlin Knowles Myers told the New York Times. “It’s one in which there’s tremendous inequality in abortion access.”
Progressives expressed immense frustration with Alito’s leaked draft. “How dare they tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her own body?” Vice President Kamala Harris said at an EMILY’s List conference on Tuesday. “How dare they try to stop her from determining her own future? How dare they try to deny women their rights and their freedoms?” President Joe Biden issued a statement promising his administration would be prepared to respond to “the continued attack on abortion and reproductive rights.”
But a series of similar articles published yesterday pointed to a purported silver lining for the Democratic Party.
- Politico: Democrats hope draft abortion opinion will jolt midterm elections
- NBC News: Democrats energized after leaked abortion decision jolts midterms
- Washington Post: A decision to overturn Roe v. Wade might upend the midterms
- Reuters: Democrats look to abortion-rights threat to boost midterm election prospects
- Roll Call: Democrats see midterm election boost from abortion ruling leak
- Axios: Dems look to abortion fallout to salvage midterms
Maybe. Most of the stories point to recent polling—from Washington Post/ABC News, CNN, etc.—that shows a majority of voters oppose overturning Roe v. Wade, and it’s certainly possible a sweeping Supreme Court decision could prove a vulnerability for the GOP in November. Several elected Republicans were cagey about the implications when asked about it on Tuesday. “I don’t know [that] it’s necessarily a party issue,” Sen. John Thune of South Dakota told CNN. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas wouldn’t say whether he backed his own state’s restrictions, simply saying it’s up to the legislature.
J.D. Vance, U.S. Senator?
Well, Republican primary voters in Ohio still very much care what Donald Trump has to say. “Without the Trump endorsement, we’re not talking tonight about Vance winning the nomination,” said David Cohen, political science professor at the University of Akron. “He would’ve had no shot.”
Vance, in this instance, refers to J.D. Vance, the U.S. Senate candidate who was polling at 10 percent three weeks ago—a distant third place—when the former president decided to make his choice in the race. The author-turned-venture-
Vance was magnanimous in victory, expressing gratitude to each of his opponents for the races they ran. “A lot of disagreements with Matt Dolan—let’s just be honest,” Vance said of the only major candidate in the race who wasn’t courting Trump’s endorsement. “He could have ran an ugly campaign, but instead he ran a campaign about issues, about substance. He has been a great public servant for this country, and I think our party was better for the campaign that Matt Dolan ran.”
But that magnanimity comes after a vicious campaign that saw a record $66 million spent on TV and radio ads—many of them negative. In a particularly suggestive 30-second clip, Timken accused her rivals of trying to “overcompensate” for their “inadequacies.” A Gibbons ad labeled Mandel as a “con man.” The conservative Club for Growth—which was supporting Mandel—dropped millions on TV spots reminding Ohioans that Vance in 2016 called himself a “NeverTrump guy,” said he “might have to vote for Hillary Clinton,” and suggested that some of Trump’s voters “definitely” supported him for racist reasons.
Vance sought to neutralize those attacks early in the campaign. “I ask folks not to judge me based on what I said in 2016, because I’ve been very open that I did say those critical things and I regret them,” he told Fox News last summer. “I regret being wrong about the guy.”
It was good enough for Trump—who not only believed Vance to be Republicans’ best shot in November, but reportedly viewed Mandel as “f—— weird”—and the pretty transparent flip-flop may have actually worked to Vance’s advantage. “A lot of Ohioans had the same feelings about all of this, which is, ‘You know, I changed my mind on Trump after he was president, because he was a fighter for the team,’” David Kochel—a Republican political strategist—told The Dispatch. “John Kasich won the primary there in 2016, and he’s a NeverTrumper. There were a lot of NeverTrumpers in Ohio in that coalition, and they all had the same sort of conversion that J.D. did.”
Worth Your Time
- Speaking at the Reagan Library as part of its Time for Choosing series, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday presented what he sees as the GOP’s best path forward. “Republicans will likely make big gains this year, simply because of the complete failures of the Democrats in Washington, but we can’t let that fool us into complacency,” he said. “The problems that have caused our party to repeatedly lose have not been addressed. It’s easy to make excuses for the failures on our side by simply pointing out that the other side is often worse. But better than the Democrats isn’t good enough. That is not a winning strategy or a long-term roadmap to success. Americans are completely disgusted with the toxic politics, and they’re sick and tired of all the lies and excuses. Excuses, lies, and toxic politics will not win elections or restore America. Only real leadership will do that.”