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Keck Quoted in HuffPost Article on SCOTUS and Fracturing the Conservative Coalition

August 19, 2022

The Huffington Post

Thomas M. Keck

Thomas M. Keck

On Jan. 22, 1973, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Roe v. Wade that women have a federal right to an abortion. In the years that followed, attacks on the court—and abortion rights—served as key party-building tools for Republicans as they put together the conservative electoral coalition that came to dominate American politics.

Roe v. Wade helped conservatives build that coalition, and the Court’s recent decision in Dobbs v. Jackson overturning Roe presents Democrats with the same opportunity to pull at its seam. But even if Democrats can successfully maneuver to take political advantage of Dobbs as Republicans did of Roe, the Supreme Court remains a unique problem.

“Most of the time through the court’s history the process of judicial selection has kept the court within the main lines of public opinion and political support, but that process seems to have broken down,” says Thomas Keck, Michael O. Sawyer Chair of Constitutional Law and Politics. 

The three nominees who proved pivotal in overturning Roe were all appointed by a president who lost the popular vote. They were also confirmed by the votes of senators representing a minority of the American electorate. “That is quite unprecedented and striking,” Keck says. “It helps explain the situation that we are now in.”

Read more in the HuffPost article, "Democrats Are Using An Old Playbook To Attack The Supreme Court And Fracture The Conservative Coalition."

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