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With today’s confirmation of Kavanaugh, we enter a new and dangerous era, the end of which I, at my age, will undoubtedly not survive to witness. I doubt we will see the overt reversal of Roe V. Wade. Instead, we will more likely see a process similar to post-civil war Jim Crow whereby states will restrict abortion to such an extent as to make the “right” meaningless. It will be simpler that way than going to all the trouble of overturning the whole thing. Already, states such as Texas and Mississippi have shown the way by devising arcane rules and regulations that make it practically impossible, especially for women of color or limited means, to reach providers. They must travel great distances, endure endless waiting periods, and pass unmedical “tests” in order to exercise their constitutional rights.

Similar harassments await voters, who thanks to the gutting of the voting rights act, now must meet draconian regulations simply to cast ballots. Polling places great distances apart and/or with such limited facilities that they can’t accommodate everyone who wants to exercise the most fundamental right of a democracy.

In the past, as legislatures and local officials and an imperial-minded chief executive seek to restrict those of unpopular (to them) opinions, the courts have been the last bastion of succor. No more.

The redistribution of our political and civil rights life will increasingly go the way of the redistribution of the country’s wealth. And we all know how that’s worked out.


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