Roe for the New Deal: A Fair Trade?

Over at TPM Cafe, there is a discussion about some of the things Bush can do to get an anti-Roe judge through the senate. One suggestion is to make sure that this judge is at least centrist in other respects.

I had this exact conversation with my wife at dinner. There’s no way Bush can appoint anyone who’s not a sure anti-Roe vote. I’m even worried that the test case is a piece of federal legislation. But poor Harry Reid, who himself is anti-abortion, will have trouble holding on to 41 Democrats if the candidate is otherwise non-conservative. Both Nelsons, Max Baucus, and maybe Landrieu will be problems here — assuming none of the Republicans would vote against cloture, which I assume is a reasonable expectation (even if they vote no on the nomination).

I also think we’ve only got 50, not 51, votes against the nuclear option, and I’m struggling to count 51 that would vote no on an anti-Roe nomination. Assuming all Democrats, Linc, the Mainers, Specter … that’s only 49. Shit.

So, it seems clear that Roe rests in the hands of Justice Kennedy. And I just don’t think the man has the courage to be the 5th vote.

Bush can get this person through. It’s simple. He only needs to peel off one or two Democrats on non-abortion issues. Someone who would uphold New Deal-era economic legislation and other civil rights laws would probably be all it would take.

Is it a fair trade? I haven’t decided, but it may be what happens.

And, let’s face it, there’s no guarantee Justice Stevens can hang on until 2006, let alone 2008.

I’m sure I’ve denied it before, that Roe would ever be repealed. Now, I think I was wrong.