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Why Roe Still Stands: Abortion Law, the Supreme Court, and the Republican Regime

Studies in Law, Politics, and Society

ISBN: 978-1-78635-076-3, eISBN: 978-1-78635-075-6

ISSN: 1059-4337

Publication date: 14 April 2016

Abstract

From one angle, abortion law appears to confirm the regime politics account of the Supreme Court; after all, the Reagan/Bush coalition succeeded in significantly curtailing the constitutional protection of abortion rights. From another angle, however, it is puzzling that the Reagan/Bush Court repeatedly refused to overturn Roe v. Wade. We argue that time and again electoral considerations led Republican elites to back away from a forceful assertion of their agenda for constitutional change. As a result, the justices generally acted within the range of possibilities acceptable to the governing regime but still typically had multiple doctrinal options from which to choose.

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Acknowledgements

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Austin Sarat and an anonymous reviewer for helpful comments and suggestions.

Citation

Keck, T.M. and McMahon, K.J. (2016), "Why Roe Still Stands: Abortion Law, the Supreme Court, and the Republican Regime", Studies in Law, Politics, and Society (Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Vol. 70), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 33-83. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1059-433720160000070009

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Limited