CNN senior legal analyst and New Yorker staff write Jeffrey Toobin reacted to the news that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring by predicting abortion will be illegal in 20 states in a mere 18 months.
Anthony Kennedy is retiring. Abortion will be illegal in twenty states in 18 months. #SCOTUS
— Jeffrey Toobin (@JeffreyToobin) June 27, 2018
“Anthony Kennedy is retiring. Abortion will be illegal in twenty states in 18 months. #SCOTUS,” he said on Twitter.
Toobin then made an appearance on CNN with Brooke Baldwin on Wednesday afternoon in which he repeated the prediction.
“I think sometimes we talk about the Supreme Court too much in abstractions, about dignity and who is qualified and who is not,” he said. “Let’s talk facts. Let’s talk about what America is going to be like that is different. You are going to see 20 states pass laws banning abortion outright. Just banning abortion, because they know that there are now going to be five votes on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.”
“Abortion will be illegal in a significant part of the United States in 18 months, ” he added. “There is just no doubt about that.”
Toobin’s co-guest on CNN, conservative and former Virginia DA Ken Cuccinelli, disagreed on the 18-month timeline but agreed there was a possibility such dominoes will begin falling.
“Not 20 states. There will be some states, but they will be in a very distinct minority,” he said
Toobin is far from the only legal mind with this take, although other statements weren’t as sensational or specifically dire as Toobin’s.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring. Among other things, his replacement will likely overturn Roe v. Wade, which will allow states to prohibit abortion. The consequences of the 2016 election have never been more stark.
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) June 27, 2018
The Kennedy vacancy brings abortion rights to the fore in the midterms because women can no longer take Roe v. Wade and judicial protection of reproductive rights for granted.
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) June 27, 2018
Justice Kennedy's retirement is a catastrophe for liberals. Abortion access, same-sex marriage, voting rights, environmental regulations—they're all on the line now. This is nothing short of a crisis for the left. https://t.co/J9QK4CBwkQ
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) June 27, 2018
As you can see, pundits are attempting to divine what it will mean for issues like abortion and gay marriage, for instance, now that President Donald Trump has another opportunity to nominate a judge with a conservative philosophy to the highest court in the land. Kennedy, you may recall, was heralded for his majority opinion in the landmark gay marriage case, Obergefell v. Hodges.
With Trump’s addition of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the court and the imminent departure of the 81-year-old Justice Kennedy, everyone is waiting to see how the balance of power on the bench will shift.
[Image via CNN screengrab]