• Pragerisms

    For a more comprehensive list of Pragerisms visit
    Dennis Prager Wisdom.

    • "The left is far more interested in gaining power than in creating wealth."
    • "Without wisdom, goodness is worthless."
    • "I prefer clarity to agreement."
    • "First tell the truth, then state your opinion."
    • "Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry."
    • "If you don't fight evil, you fight gobal warming."
    • "There are things that are so dumb, you have to learn them."
  • Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins

    • Sexism
    • Intolerance
    • Xenophobia
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia
    • Bigotry
    • Homophobia

    A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position.

  • Glenn’s Reading List for Die-Hard Pragerites

    • Bolton, John - Surrender is not an Option
    • Bruce, Tammy - The Thought Police; The New American Revolution; The Death of Right and Wrong
    • Charen, Mona - DoGooders:How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help
    • Coulter, Ann - If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans; Slander
    • Dalrymple, Theodore - In Praise of Prejudice; Our Culture, What's Left of It
    • Doyle, William - Inside the Oval Office
    • Elder, Larry - Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose
    • Frankl, Victor - Man's Search for Meaning
    • Flynn, Daniel - Intellectual Morons
    • Fund, John - Stealing Elections
    • Friedman, George - America's Secret War
    • Goldberg, Bernard - Bias; Arrogance
    • Goldberg, Jonah - Liberal Fascism
    • Herson, James - Tales from the Left Coast
    • Horowitz, David - Left Illusions; The Professors
    • Klein, Edward - The Truth about Hillary
    • Mnookin, Seth - Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media
    • Morris, Dick - Because He Could; Rewriting History
    • O'Beirne, Kate - Women Who Make the World Worse
    • Olson, Barbara - The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
    • O'Neill, John - Unfit For Command
    • Piereson, James - Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism
    • Prager, Dennis - Think A Second Time
    • Sharansky, Natan - The Case for Democracy
    • Stein, Ben - Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It
    • Steyn, Mark - America Alone
    • Stephanopolous, George - All Too Human
    • Thomas, Clarence - My Grandfather's Son
    • Timmerman, Kenneth - Shadow Warriors
    • Williams, Juan - Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
    • Wright, Lawrence - The Looming Tower

Today’s Dems IN ACTION!

JUNE 25, 2022 BY STEVEN HAYWARD at Power Line:


When I stumbled across this item on Twitter, I first assumed it had to be satire—specifically of “Beto” O’Rourke. But it appears to be real. I think it works better as satire, but your mileage may vary. Too bad we don’t have a category for “Unhinged Left” on our site, so I guess “Sick Left” will have to do. (At least it’s nice to find a leftist who apparently can identify “women.”)


Dem’s Abortion Lovers, Lefties Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan, Defeated!

June 25, 2022

Justice Restored — Roe Overturned

By Mario Diaz at American Thinker:

In a stunning 6-3 opinion delivered by Justice Samuel Alito, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, with Chief Justice Roberts concurring, the Court simply holds: “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.”

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan dissented.

“The critical question is whether the Constitution, properly understood, confers a right to obtain an abortion,” the Court wrote. First, the Court acknowledges the obvious, “The Constitution makes no express reference to a right to obtain an abortion,” and turns at once to the many theories that have been offered throughout the years to manipulate the constitutional text and read a right to abortion into the Constitution. “Roe held that the abortion right is part of a right to privacy that springs from the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments,” the Court explains. Casey shifted that and “grounded its decision solely on the theory that the right to obtain an abortion is part of the ‘liberty’ protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.”  Still, others tried the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

It is refreshing to see the Court refuse to play the usual pro-abortion games in law and instead conclude, “regulations and prohibitions of abortion are governed by the same standard of review as other health and safety measures.”

The Court explains the Due Process Constitutional protections apply to two categories of substantive rights, (1) those expressly guaranteed by the text of the Amendments in the Constitution, and (2) those deemed so fundamental that are not even mentioned. The Court assesses these traditionally by asking “whether the right is ‘deeply rooted in [our] history and tradition’ and whether it is essential to this Nation’s ‘scheme of ordered liberty.’” And the Court rightfully finds “that the right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and tradition.”

The conclusion is a noncontroversial statement of fact. As the Court notes:

Until the latter part of the 20th century, there was no support in American law for a constitutional right to obtain an abortion. No state constitutional provision had recognized such a right. Until a few years before Roe, no federal or state court had recognized such a right. Nor had any scholarly treatise. Indeed, abortion had long been a crime in every single State. 

The bottom line is, “The Nation’s historical understanding of ordered liberty does not prevent the people’s elected representatives from deciding how abortion should be regulated,” which is what the Court imposed by judicial fiat in Roe — a capricious, policy-based, extra-constitutional restriction on lawmakers and the people to make judgments on preferred health policies by balancing competing values.

The Court also explains, “Attempts to justify abortion through appeals to a broader right to autonomy and to define one’s ‘concept of existence’ prove too much.” When Roe and Casey and other precedent tried to do that, they all failed to acknowledge the obvious, abortion “destroys what Roe termed ‘potential life’ and what the law challenged in this case calls an ‘unborn human being.’” 

Finally, the Court tackles precedent. When pro-abortion activists are confronted with the hollowness of their substantive arguments, they inevitably turn to stare decisis, claiming the Court must uphold Roe even if wrongly decided because it must uphold its precedent.

But the Court calls out the nonsense by reminding us some of its most important constitutional decisions, like Brown v. Board of Education, which declared unconstitutional laws enacting racial segregation in public schools, have overruled strong precedent (Plessy v. Ferguson in that case).

The Court then methodically goes through the factors it has established for overturning erroneous precedent. They are (1) “The nature of the Court’s error,” (2) “The quality of the reasoning,” (3) “Workability,” (4) the “Effect on other areas of law, and (5) the “Reliance interests. Abortion precedent does not bode well under these standards.

“Like the infamous decision in Plessy v. FergusonRoe was also egregiously wrong and on a collision course with the Constitution from the day it was decided,” the Court says. And Casey perpetuated the error by ignoring it. In doing so, “The Court short-circuited the democratic process,” giving us its preferred policy positions as Constitutional Law.

The quality of reasoning discussion is devastating. “Without any grounding in the constitutional text, history, or precedent,” the Court explains, “Roe imposed on the entire country a detailed set of rules for pregnancy divided into trimesters much like those that one might expect to find in a statute or regulation.” Here the Court notes one of its most egregious errors, ignoring the life in the womb. “None of these decisions involved what is distinctive about abortion: its effect on what Roe termed ‘potential life.’” 

Roe and Casey fail every part of the test. They are unworkable, have had a tremendous effect on other areas of law, and even the reliance interest has been largely overstated. This last point has been a political weapon for many years to scare the Court into pro-abortion compliance. The Court today courageously dismisses that. “[T]he Court cannot allow its decisions to be affected by such extraneous concerns… The Court’s job is to interpret the law, apply longstanding principles of stare decisis, and decide this case accordingly.”

Therefore, the Court applies the correct standard (its lowest) to any future challenge to an abortion-regulating law, like Mississippi’s 15-week ban at issue in Dobbs.

Under the Court’s precedents, rational-basis review is the appropriate standard to apply when state abortion regulations undergo constitutional challenge. Given that procuring an abortion is not a fundamental constitutional right, it follows that the States may regulate abortion for legitimate reasons, and when such regulations are challenged under the Constitution, courts cannot “substitute their social and economic beliefs for the judgment of legislative bodies.” 

Justice Alito summarizes the opinion honestly, writing: “Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. The Court overrules those decisions and returns that authority to the people and their elected representatives.”

We praise God for such clarity and boldness from the U.S. Supreme Court. Of course, much work lies ahead for the pro-life movement to care for mothers and their unborn children. But we are up to the task, and we celebrate today’s significant step toward recognizing the intrinsic value of every human life.

Beware Of Dems’ Imprisoned Minneapolis?

JUNE 25, 2022 BY SCOTT JOHNSON at Power Line:


The Minnesota Supreme Court order in Spann v. Minneapolis City Council this past Monday highlights facts salient to the future of Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Police Department has lost 300 officers since the summer of Saint George just two years ago — about one-third of the force. The city is obligated by its own charter to maintain a police department of 731 officers. Yet the city now maintains the department with only 621 officers on its payroll as of late May, including 39 who were on a “continuous leave” lasting nearly two weeks or longer.

The city disputed its legal obligation under the charter. Although we await the Court’s opinion supporting the order filed on Monday, we can say that that argument is over. The city is out of compliance with the basic public safety obligation set in its own charter.

Beyond the issue of compliance, the city asks what it is supposed to do. It’s doing the best it can. It has provided funding for additional recruit classes, hiring bonuses and officer wellness programs. It is contending with a basic problem. The problem is no one in his right mind wants to work for the department.

Perhaps the most salient fact staring us in the face is this one. Even if the city ultimately achieves compliance, it will still be substantially short-staffed. It needs a heavy dose of the kind of policing that restored order in New York City during the mayoralty of Rudy Giuliani. As of today, the city lacks the leadership, the manpower, and the will to restore order. The future of the city is grim.

The department is under assault in the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, in the press, and in the courts. Among other things, it stands charged with conducting 10 years of “race based policing,” from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2020. This is a period that covers the leadership of Tim Dolan, Janeé Harteau (the first woman chief), and Medaria Arradondo (the first black chief).

They aren’t talking for public consumption. I think it extremely unlikely that they led a department that is guilty as charged by the MDHR. In crucial respects, however, the MDHR charge is deficient on its face. President Sherral Schmidt of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis provided us a brief statement that we posted here.

The Star Tribune isn’t even trying to focus on the ills plaguing the city as the police find themselves unable to recruit up to the legal minimum. It has turned its attention elsewhere. Since the Spann order was issued on Monday, the editorial board has offered readers its opinion on Title IX (“Title IX was a win for the U.S.,” June 20), the lack of competition for elective county sheriffs and county attorneys around the state (“Voters suffer with fewer choices,” June 21), the vagaries of air travel (“Airline passengers deserve better,” June 22), access to birth-control (“Post-Roe v. Wade, broaden access to birth control pills,” June 23), and a lament for the demise of Roe (“Women have lost a basic freedom,” June 24). The most recent word from the editors on the police department endorsed a plan for escalation of discipline (“Plan adds a layer of discipline for MPD,” June 16).

In his email message to readers yesterday, Star Tribune Editorial Editor and Vice President Scott Gillespie pronounced himself well-pleased with the board’s contribution on birth-control: “Although we could not predict when SCOTUS would release its ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, Friday’s editorial is especially well-timed.” Congratulations are in order.

More of the Same With The Biden Dem!

Out of gas: Biden loses Dems on gas-tax holiday

ED MORRISSEY Jun 25, 2022 at HotAir: 

What do you get when you combine a truly dumb idea with completely incompetent political execution? In Joe Biden’s administration, this question has multiple answers. Take your pick: Build Back Better, the election-federalizing bill, the abortion-on-demand bill attempted last month after the Supreme Court leak on Dobbs. All of these were bad ideas that didn’t have enough political support to go anywhere, so all they did was political damage to Democrats.

None of these may top Biden’s push over the last week for a gas-tax holiday, however. Biden spent the better part of last week on this policy, even holding a press briefing to push it with his usual dipstick demagoguery, this time aimed at gas station owners. It turns out that the White House couldn’t even make the sale among fellow Democrats, Politico reports, and it’s not clear that they bothered to try first:

President Joe Biden’s cheerleading of a gas tax holiday is putting him at odds with Democratic legislators across the country who have spent months spurning such calls.

Top Democrats in Massachusetts and Rhode Island are flat-out rejecting Biden’s plea, citing the potential for lost revenue streams for infrastructure projects and minimal savings for consumers. In California, Democratic legislative leaders who rebuffed Gov. Gavin Newsom’s attempt to stop a gas tax hike from going into effect July 1 are resisting calls for a gas tax holiday from Republicans and moderate Democrats. …

“This is the Democratic president not listening to the Democratic leaders,” consultant Scott Ferson, a Democrat who works for Massachusetts House Speaker Ron Mariano’s political arm but is not speaking on his behalf, said in an interview. “The president has tried to come in and impose a one-size-fits-all solution to a problem that has a different impact in different states.”

Here’s the first question this report prompts: Did Biden even bother to ask other Democratic leaders first before seizing on the gas-tax holiday proposal? After all, this not at all a new idea; Barack Obama famously ridiculed it as an election-year gimmick in 2008. It has also been tried by a few states in this present inflation cycle, but the results have been negligible for consumers, which a study by Wharton has made clear. Even in Connecticut, where the savings got passed to consumers most, the difference was so small as to be hardly noticeable:

A University of Pennsylvania Wharton School study found savings from state-level gas tax holidays have so far been mixed. In Connecticut, 71 percent to 87 percent of tax savings were passed on to consumers, compared to 58 percent to 65 percent in Georgia and 72 percent in Maryland.

Connecticut’s gas tax suspension, which remains in effect through the end of the month, hasn’t significantly lowered the average price of gas per gallon compared with neighboring Massachusetts and Rhode Island. AAA listed the average price of gas per gallon in Connecticut on Thursday at $4.91, compared to $4.97 in Massachusetts and $4.94 in Rhode Island.

That’s six cents a gallon out of the suspension of a 25-cent per gallon state tax. That amount of savings would represent $0.90 per fill-up for most cars, and about $3.60 per month savings, while Connecticut forfeited the tax revenue that presumably maintains its roads, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure. Connecticut drivers might have done just as well going through the couch cushions.

Bear in mind that the average price of gasoline rose 40 cents — in just the first two weeks of this month. It has risen $2.643 per gallon since Biden’s inauguration, which means that Connecticut’s drivers have managed to claw back about 2.2% of the Biden price hike with this temporary “holiday,” and only for a short period of time.

The date on that Wharton study was June 15th, by the way. Biden and his team had plenty of opportunity to look at it and realize the futility of this idea, and yet they decided to make it the White House Theme of the Month instead. Why? I’d bet that no one in the West Wing bothered to read the Wharton study at all, because it has been long apparent that Biden and his team are desperately spitballing on everything in this presidency. It’s all reaction and no strategy, and it’s nowhere more apparent than in Biden’s clinging embrace of the gas-tax holiday like a drowning man clinging to his rescuer.

That brings us to the second question: Is this broad and near-instant rejection of Biden’s policy among Democrats a signal that his presidency has run out of gas? Is this the beginning of a move to abandon Biden by his party, in recognition of the clearly obvious reality of complete incompetency? Perhaps, although that may not really start getting obvious until after the midterms. Joe Biden’s schtick of dipstick demagoguery, blame-shifting, and creepy whispers has undeniably failed to impress voters, and Democrats may start looking for ways to let Biden drown on his own to save themselves soon. The gas-tax holiday rejection may be the start of that process.

Getting To Know Our President Better!

JUNE 24, 2022 BY JOHN HINDERAKER at Power Line:


Recently the Democrats have coined the phrase “election deniers” to smear those who worry about our lack of ballot security, as reflected in the 2020 election, by associating them with Holocaust deniers and other cranks. But who are the real election deniers? The Democrats haven’t conceded that a Republican was legitimately elected president since George H. W. Bush carried 40 states in 1988.

The RNC put together this 12-minute video of Democratic Party election deniers. It is painful in some respects, but a useful reminder of how unprincipled the Democrats have been for a long time, and how hypocritical they are today:

Truthless, Fascist Dem’s Should Never Become A MEMBER ON THE SUPREME COURT!

JUNE 25, 2022 BY SCOTT JOHNSON at Power Line:


When some rotten insider at the Supreme Court leaked Justice Alito’s draft opinion in the Dobbs case last month, it reminded me of the invitation we had received from the editors of National Review to comment on the nomination of then Judge Alito to the Supreme Court by President Bush.
Our article was published in the November 21 issue of the magazine that year. I dug it out and posted it on Power Line last month but thought it might be worth revisiting today in the aftermath of the Court’s release of its Dobbs opinion yesterday. This is what we had to say (below the break).

* * * * *

When the White House nominated Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, it appeared to many conservatives that it had drawn the wrong conclusion from the smashing success it had achieved with the nomination of John Roberts. The White House seemed to have concluded that its success was owing to the number of key points on which the Democrats could not fix Judge Roberts — a kind of negative capability (to misuse Keats’s phrase) that he had maintained despite the length and breadth of his distinguished career. Harriet Miers exceeded Judge Roberts in negative capability. Her negative capability, however, was unadorned by any explicit signs of devotion to constitutionalism or conservative principle. In due course the president withdrew her nomination and replaced her with the anti-Miers, Third Circuit Judge Samuel Alito Jr.

Alito’s nomination to the Court marks an epochal moment. Despite the presence of seven Republican appointees on the Court, its usurpation of power from the elected branches and from the states has continued more or less unabated since the 1960s. Richard Nixon’s four appointees barely retarded the Court’s transformation into the most dangerous branch: Lewis Powell, for example, voted with the Roe majority and was the author of the mischievous controlling opinion in the Bakke case that has so damaged the ideal of a colorblind society. Ronald Reagan appointed Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O’Connor, who extended the encroachments of the Warren Court.

There is a good explanation for why, until now, Republican appointments have so often been disappointing to conservatives. The revolt against activist liberal judges was populist, and the legal profession was generally hostile to it. In the early years of the conservative revolt, the profession simply didn’t offer much in the way of a talent pool from which originalist jurists, primed to reject government by judiciary and reclaim the Constitution as the charter of limited government, could be drawn.

Thankfully, times have changed and the Federalist Society deserves a great deal of the credit. Founded in 1982, the Federalist Society has been a forceful advocate for the proposition that it is “the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.” The Society has provided a forum for lawyers from all walks of the profession and of all persuasions to debate issues of law and public policy. Among the federal appellate judges who have participated in Federalist Society forums are D.C. Circuit judges A. Raymond Randolph and David Sentelle, Fourth Circuit judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III, Fifth Circuit judge Edith Jones, Seventh Circuit judge Frank Easterbrook, Eighth Circuit judge Pasco Bowman, Ninth Circuit judges Alex Kozinski and Diarmuid O’Scannlain, and, yes, Third Circuit judge Sam Alito.

Over the past 20 years, Republican presidents have populated the lower federal courts with these and many other highly credentialed conservative lawyers. How much they could accomplish in those positions has been limited, however, by the fact that District Court and Court of Appeals judges are bound to follow the precedents laid down by the Supreme Court.

A good example is Alito’s dissent in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the opinion that has most often been attacked by Alito’s liberal critics. The issue in Casey was the constitutionality of a Pennsylvania statute that placed certain restrictions on abortions, including a requirement that wives, in most cases, notify their husbands before getting an abortion. The Third Circuit majority upheld most aspects of the challenged statute, but held the requirement of spousal notice unconstitutional (a view that was ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court); Judge Alito dissented on that issue.

Abortion opponents may be disappointed by Alito’s technical and dispassionate dissent. The issue on which he differed with his colleagues was whether the notification requirement constituted an “undue burden” on the right to abortion, under the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence as it then existed. The opinion conveys no hint of Alito’s own views on the topic of abortion, or even of his opinion as to how (if at all) the Constitution should bear on the subject of abortion. Rather, and somewhat ironically, his dissent is an effort to follow the twists and turns of Justice O’Connor’s various opinions on “undue burden,” and apply them to the record before him. The most one can fairly say is that Judge Alito’s dissent in Casey does not evince any reflexive hostility to restrictions on abortion, and does reflect the vagaries of Justice O’Connor’s previous (controlling) deliberation over “undue burdens” on the right to abortion. It also reflects what most conservatives regard as an appropriate deference to the legislature’s role as arbiter of public policy.

A circuit-court judge, like a district-court judge, takes Supreme Court jurisprudence as he finds it. His opinion as to whether Supreme Court rulings are right or wrong is entirely immaterial. His duty is to apply the relevant Supreme Court decisions to the case before him, as best he can. This changes once a judge is appointed to the Supreme Court. As a Supreme Court justice, he is entitled to follow his own views on the proper interpretation of the Constitution and of federal statutes. He is not bound to follow the Court’s past rulings as an appeals-court judge is; instead, he is constrained only by the looser concept of stare decisis, the doctrine that an issue, once decided, should ordinarily not be revisited. Stare decisis is a doctrine that, in principle, is approved of by both liberals and conservatives (historically, more so by conservatives).

But everyone agrees there are occasions when the Court should deviate from the usual rule of fidelity to its past decisions. The Court does, and should, overrule itself when it becomes convinced that an important issue has been wrongly decided. Where liberals and conservatives disagree is not on this principle, but on its application; they have different lists of “wrongly decided” cases. During Judge Alito’s confirmation hearing, Democratic senators will ask for his views on stare decisis and try to lead him to pledge fealty to bulwarks of liberal jurisprudence like Roe v. Wade. But the liberals’ enthusiasm for stare decisis is selective. In 2003, the Supreme Court held in Lawrence v. Texas that there is a constitutional right to commit acts of homosexual sodomy. In so ruling, the Court overturned Bowers v. Hardwick, which had held the opposite. And Bowers was not ancient history; it was decided in 1986. If any liberal objected to Lawrence on the ground of stare decisis, we missed it.

The Alito nomination, together with John Roberts’s accession to the post of chief justice, marks a generational changing of the guard. The talented, principled conservatives who began their legal careers in the aftermath of the Warren Court have served their apprenticeships in the executive branch, in private practice, and on the lower federal courts. In those positions, their influence has been real but limited. But now, the moment that rank-and-file conservatives have awaited since the Nixon administration is at hand: A Republican president has a deep roster of talented and highly qualified conservatives on which he can draw in making Supreme Court nominations.

There is every reason to believe that Samuel Alito will prove the kind of Supreme Court justice that Republican presidents have promised, but rarely delivered, since 1969, and that the Court will shift in a more conservative direction as a result.

Good Riddance Roe v. Wade!

Why Democrats Oppose Emancipation For The Unborn

BY: JOHN DANIEL DAVIDSON at the Federalist:

JUNE 24, 2022

The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe was as shameful as its decision in Dredd Scott — and for the same reason.

Author John Daniel Davidson profile


The end of Roe v. Wade is perhaps the greatest political and cultural event in a generation. It will change American politics forever, and — what’s more important — it will save the lives of countless unborn children. The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs is a great victory for the U.S. Constitution, for the American people, and for justice and truth and the common good.

It is also a turning point. We should now expect Democrats and the left to call more explicitly for violence, initially against places like crisis pregnancy centers and Catholic churches, as we have already seen, and eventually against ordinary people who disagree with them. We should expect not just calls for physical attacks against the justices in the Dobbs majority, but, as we have also already seen, attempts to carry out such attacks.

This violence will likely be accompanied by rhetoric that more explicitly posits abortion not just as a positive good — “shout your abortion” — but a necessary one for women to enjoy their full rights as citizens under the Constitution. The argument, already gaining steam in public discourse, is that without a constitutional right to kill the unborn, women are relegated to a kind of second-class status, stripped of their full humanity. This rhetoric will be used in part as a justification for violence, but it also reflects the actual views of Democrats and the left on abortion.

Indeed, the very first paragraph of Justice Stephen Breyer’s dissent in Dobbs makes this claim: “Respecting a woman as an autonomous being, and granting her full equality, meant giving her substantial choice over this most personal and most consequential of all life decisions.” Note the phrase “full equality.” Without a right to abortion, women do not have full equality, goes the argument.

It is not the first time Democrats have asserted absolute constitutional rights that for their vindication require the total abnegation of rights or even personhood of entire classes of people. The modern Democratic Party’s stance on abortion rights is almost indistinguishable from its antebellum stance on the constitutionality of slaveowner rights.

Prior to the Civil War amendments, Democrats asserted that the inherent rights of white men, not just property rights but all of them, required the complete denial of the rights of black Americans. Today, Democrats assert that the inherent rights of women require the complete denial of the rights of the unborn.

Chief Justice Roger Taney in his infamous 1857 Dred Scott decision perhaps captured this view best when he argued that when the Founding Fathers wrote “all men are created equal,” they did not really mean it. They only meant white men are created equal. If they had really meant that all men are created equal, including black men, wrote Taney, the Founders “would have been utterly and flagrantly inconsistent with the principles they asserted; and instead of the sympathy of mankind, to which they so confidently appealed, they would have deserved and received universal rebuke and reprobation.”

Taney’s view, and the view of all pro-slavery Americans at the time, was that the Constitution held no protections whatsoever for black people. They had zero rights, and indeed only the formal recognition of this could fully vindicate the constitutionally protected rights of southern slaveowners. After all, if a white man could be equal to a black man, then a white man was nothing: he could be enslaved, segregated, subjected to all the deprivations the black man was subjected to. The inherent rights of the white man depended on the denial of all rights to the black man.

That’s why, three years after the Dred Scott decision, the southern slave states seceded from the Union following the election of Abraham Lincoln. If slavery were to be curtailed or prohibited, even in the territories, southern slaveowners believed their entire way of life would be destroyed, and with it their constitutional rights. Given the stakes, and the principles in question, they felt they had no choice but to secede. 

For example, Mississippi’s declaration of secession, passed on January 8, 1861, states the case plainly:

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery — the greatest material interest of the world… Utter subjugation awaits us in the Union, if we should consent longer to remain in it. It is not a matter of choice, but of necessity. We must either submit to degradation, and to the loss of property worth four billions of money, or we must secede from the Union framed by our fathers, to secure this as well as every other species of property. For far less cause than this, our fathers separated from the Crown of England.

Lawrence Keitt, a congressman from South Carolina, expressed the same idea in a speech to the U.S. House of Representatives on January 25, 1860:

African slavery is the corner-stone of the industrial, social, and political fabric of the South; and whatever wars against it, wars against her very existence. Strike down the institution of African slavery and you reduce the South to depopulation and barbarism.

Those quotes are broadly representative. Southern Democrats believed the denial of all rights to black people — and indeed the denial of their personhood — was integral to what they understood to be their constitutionally protected rights, without which they would cease to be citizens with equal rights as their northern counterparts.

The exact same thing can be said of today’s pro-abortion Democrats. They believe that the denial of all rights to the unborn is integral to what they understand to be women’s constitutionally protected rights, without which they will cease to be citizens with equal rights as their male counterparts. If women are not allowed to kill their unborn babies, they will be stripped of their full humanity, just as stripping slavery from southern whites meant, to them, stripping full humanity from white people.

The Dobbs decision and the end of Roe have exposed the Democrat view of the Constitution for what it is: not, as Frederick Douglass called it, “a glorious liberty document,” but a slave Constitution that relies for its operation on the total subjugation, indeed the extermination, of an entire class of people whose very humanity must be denied for the rights of women to be vindicated.

We should rejoice in the end of Roe, but we should also be realistic about what lies ahead. It took a civil war and three constitutional amendments to correct the Supreme Court’s error in Dred Scott. This time it took 60 million unborn dead before the Supreme Court corrected the error of Roe.

In the coming days and weeks, expect Democrats to sound the same notes of secession their forebears sounded. A constitutional order that vindicates the rights of the unborn is not a constitutional order they want to be a part of. We will hear the same arguments we heard in the 1850s and 60s, but instead of objecting to the emancipation of black Americans they will object to the emancipation of the unborn. Understand what this means. The last time Democrats openly made these kind of arguments, war soon followed.