When the news came down earlier today I was doing some outside activities with my son. I finished those up and then, because weather-wise it is a glorious day in Omaha, I strung up my hammock and decided to forego what else I had planned and read the opinions. I've long had a habit of reading SCOTUS opinions I'm interested in. In fact, I think Roe was the first one I ever read, back in Junior High. And I wanted to read the opinions themselves before reading any articles or analyses. My initial thoughts, then.
Alito's majority opinion does not seem to be exactly the same as the draft opinion but similar. Will be interesting to read analyses of what changed. It appears to respond to some of the criticisms that arose after the leak.
I didn't realize till just now that the phrases “deeply rooted in [our] history and tradition” and whether it is essential to our Nation’s “scheme of ordered liberty" used as criteria are actually from a decision written by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. On another issue of course.
As is usually the case with reading something Alito writes (which is rarely the opinion everyone on his side signs onto), there is a coherency to the arguments but a sense that there's something wrong with the perspective, that his starting point is just off and misses something essential. The same follows here, and is drawn out by the dissenters. The key issue of women's equality and liberties and how that embeds within our tradition is pretty much missed completely by Alito. Again, as if he missed the whole point of the issue and what the precedents were attempting to do. (See far below for some general thoughts on abortion).
Thomas's concurrence is frightening. He's always been this radical minority voice, but I begin to dread that he now can sway other votes.