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.
Thomas M. Keck and
Kevin J. McMahon
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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