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Roe v. Wade
Will Roe v. Wade be overturned? This is key to Roberts’ tenure on bench. Personally, his conservative leanings would suggest Roe is dead in water, but not so fast. Roberts also has a strong belief in upholding landmark cases that have set precedent for an area of law. Obviously, Roe is such a case. Nobody can predict what he will do, but we can predict that choice will shape his future on bench.
If Roberts votes to overturn Roe, we will see a complete re-writing of all landmark cases. By voting to overturn, Roberts will position himself solidly with conservative Justices on court. Everything will be open game and legal landscape will change dramatically.
If Roberts votes to uphold Roe, you can expect conservative Justices to remain minority for foreseeable future. This prediction has everything to do with Justice Scalia.
Although championed by conservative groups, those in legal circles know that no single person has been a bigger obstacle for conservative movement on bench. The problem, quite simply, is Scalia is a jerk. He has a very bad habit of personally attacking other Justices in written opinions when they don’t agree with him. Justices O’Connor, Kennedy and Sauter were all supposed to be conservatives, but became moderates on bench. The generally agreed cause is personal attacks Scalia let fly in his dissents. Kennedy, in particular, is known to bristle at mention of Scalia. Though they issue denials, it is well known that many Justices are not on speaking terms with Scalia. If you would like to learn more on division, pick up a copy of “A Court Divided: The Rehnquist Court and Future of Constitutional Law.”
If Scalia personally attacks Roberts in written opinions, human nature suggests Roberts will move towards middle. Scalia will do just such a thing should Roberts vote to uphold Roe. In short, it all comes down to Roberts’ decision on Roe v. Wade.
One way or another, Supreme Court is about to come front and center in public eye. Within next five years, we should see at least two more Justices, Rehnquist and Stevens, leave bench. Once they retire, court should remain stable for at least ten years. If only we knew how they would rule!
Richard Chapo is with SanDiegoBusinessLawFirm.com - Go to our article section to read more business law articles.