5.03.2022

All Hands on Deck as Supreme Court Plans to Overturn Roe

US Supreme Court building
Image by Mark Thomas from Pixabay

I grew up in a family with a small sailboat my dad used to race, but I'm no sailor. That said, I've always liked the expression "all hands on deck." Even when far away from boats and water, it has always resonated with me for some reason. It is such a cool way of saying, "We need everybody working on this if we're going to make it."

Now that it is becoming clear that the U.S. Supreme Court is about to overturn Roe v. Wade, it seems like an apt expression. We need all hands on deck. There is far too much at stake here for anyone who values human rights to sit this one out.

The Court has been veering to the right for some time. The conservative Christian majority has demonstrated a willingness to weaponize "religious freedom." Reproductive rights are not safe. Contraception is not safe. Same-sex marriage is not safe. The separation of church and state is not safe. Taken together, this means that human rights and democratic values are not safe.

When Putin's army invaded Ukraine, we heard a lot about the perils of appeasement. "If we sacrifice Ukraine, what is next?" If we don't fight like hell, won't we soon wish we would have? Something similar now applies to our Supreme Court. Of course, this has been the case for some time.

When a ruling like Shurtleff v. Boston drops and the secular community yawns, we may soon regret it. We may soon look back and wish we had raised hell as the Court chipped away at the separation of church and state.

Now some are asking, "If Roe falls, what's next?" This is a damn good question and one we should have been asking for decades. We should have asked it after Citizens United v. FEC, after Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, after Kelo v. City of New London, after Bush v. Gore, and...you get the idea.

When we move on to the next outrage too soon, we run the risk of signaling that we'll put up with things as they are. Is it possible that this is a mistake? Might we regret it? When we choose the latest celebrity nonsense over real problems, are we missing the boat?

Some are now calling on Americans to take to the streets and protest. Are they right to do so? Are will still capable of coming together as some are saying we must? If we don't, will we soon look back on our inaction and regret that we didn't take a stand before things got even worse?