If you read Robert’s testimony carefully, you can see that he considers Roe settled precedence. However, Casey determines its continuing authority. This does not mean that Roberts will never vote to overrule Roe, as some have suggested. Rather it means that Roe is settled insofar that the precedence does not become vulnerable along the lines set forth by the Casey opinion. Specifically this vulnerability is if the “reliance interest” in the precedent is too large, the precedence proves unworkable, the precedence is undermined by later rulings or new facts arise. This works into the belief, suggested by Prof Jack Balkin and others, that his approach may well be to narrowly read Roe and slowly weaken it. Roberts did acknowledge the existence of a right to privacy and the soundness of Griswold v. Connecticut, but he certainly did not say the right was expansive or in anyway particularly inclusive.
Interesting Blog Post by Karen Pearl, Planned Parenthood of America on the Washington Post.
Funny moment happened earlier today:
Sen. Arlen Specter joked that he was still waiting for answers to questions he had submitted to Reich when he was secretary of Health and Human Services.
“That’s because I was Secretary of Labor,” Reich replied.
Also NY Times news analysis of Specter’s questions with regards to overturning congressional acts. Interesting and important to know, although I do not have a cogent view on the matter.