How the 'Dobbs backlash' could affect the 2022 midterms: conservative
When the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, Sr. named his activist group the Moral Majority back in 1979, it reflected a belief that the majority of Americans agreed with his far-right Christian fundamentalist views. But with the U.S. Supreme Court having overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022 and moved as far to the right as Falwell hoped it would, the Court’s popularity continues to plummet — and Never Trump conservative Jennifer Rubin, in a July 21 column for the Washington Post, wonders if the “Dobbs backlash” could result in a lot of anti-Republican votes in the 2022 midterms.
By “Dobbs backlash,” Rubin is referring to public reaction to the High Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. With that ruling, the Court’s Republican-appointed majority overturned Roe v. Wade after 49 years and ended abortion as a national right.
“The Supreme Court’s transparent right-wing bent and disregard for precedent, facts and history — not to mention the justices’ increasingly nasty and injudicious tone — have had two predictable results,” Rubin argues. “Neither is good news for the right-wing activists who fought for decades to pack the Court with unbridled partisans.
READ MORE: How Clarence Thomas went from a 'fringe figure with extremist views' to the Court’s 'center of gravity': report
Rubin continues, “The most immediate impact is on the Court’s standing with the public…. A new Marquette University Law School national poll, for example, shows ‘approval of the U.S. Supreme Court has fallen to 38 percent, while 61 percent disapprove of how the Court is handling its job.’ Specifically, ‘The percentage saying they have little or no confidence in the Court has more than doubled since 2019.’”
Rubin also notes that a Quinnipiac University poll released on July 20 found that only 37 percent of Americans approve of the job the Supreme Court is doing.
Discussing Marquette poll’s, Rubin observes, “The plunge has been dramatic and swift. In May, the Court’s approval stood at 44 percent. In March, it was 54 percent, and in September 2020, it was 66 percent. Voters have figured out that the Court is exercising raw power.”
Rubin emphasizes that the Dobbs ruling is causing the Court’s reputation to sink lower and lower, and she wonders if voters will express their disdain for the Court by voting against Republicans in November — even voters who have grown critical of President Joe Biden. The Court, according to Rubin notes, has trigged a “resurgence in support for abortion rights.”
READ MORE: This former anti-abortion activist believes Alito used his rhetoric in Dobbs ruling
“Multiple states will include referendums on their November ballots to protect abortion rights,” Rubin observes. “There has also been a more general surge in support for Democrats in the midterms. The great ‘decoupling’ continues — that is, a sizable number of voters who disapprove of President Biden’s performance nevertheless plans (to) vote Democratic in November. A Politico-Morning Consult poll found that 18 percent of Biden disapprovers plan to vote for Democrats in the midterms. Polls from CNN and the New York Times-Siena put that figure at 19 percent. We’ll see whether this lasts until November. If so, it might be labeled the ‘Dobbs backlash’…. In the end, the Court’s turn toward aggressive partisanship will likely come with a heavy price — both for the Court and the right.”
READ MORE: Is the Supreme Court coming for our Miranda rights?
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