Speed Reads

the legacy of Roe v. Wade

The Texas abortion law's broader challenge for the Supreme Court

Texas' draconian new abortion law — and the Supreme Court's decision to allow it to go into effect — immediately sparked outrage from lawmakers, activists, and regular Americans alike, arguing such a ban was effectively an attack on their rights under Roe v. Wade

And as the fallout continues, the Supreme Court is now also dealing with a larger, more unexpected challenge while preparing to revisit Roe in the coming months — public trust and confidence in the highest court in the land, writes Jill Filipovic for The Atlantic.

"Few issues stand to undermine public confidence in the Court more than curtailing abortion rights," particularly when those trust levels have already been reported at an all-time low, writes Filipovic. Notably, a "a significant majority of Americans oppose overturning Roe, and fewer than a third say they want the Court to reverse the 1973 decision," she notes.

The decline in public approval and fears of growing partisanship, exacerbated by the handling of the Texas law, have also "encouraged progressives to float the idea of expanding the court—something that had been politically taboo for decades."

"An expanded court would lessen the conservative justices' power; new tenure rules could put some of them out of a job" Filipovic writes.

The nine justices are certainly paying attention to the current optics, as they often have with abortion rights cases — in response to the public anger and expectations, some have embarked on an "extraordinary public display" of defensiveness and irritation in recent weeks, writes CNN, attempting to downplay the court as a partisan institution and restore confidence in its judicial abilities.

Still, "the public's trust, the Court's legacy, and the stability of the institution itself" may be at stake going forward. Read more at The Atlantic.