I find this dangerous thinking, because what happens in this case is you can have an activist court (I am not going to get into the disagreements that Liberals and Conservatives have over the term activist) make a ruling one way, then you get a different court later and they have no ability to overrule a previous decision even if it was made in error. I will use an example here. Lets say Biden gets to replace Thomas with a liberal justice on the supreme court, giving the court a 5-4 liberal majority. Now lets say Citizens United is relitigated. If you apply the standards that Roberts did in this case, Citizens United could not be overturned under this precedent.
Actually, Citizens United is a bad example; it could easily be overturned, because in Justice Kennedy's written opinion, he indicated his support could necessarily be reconsidered and changed if the decision's outcome should prove be detrimental to elections and to democracy. There is ample evidence that is what has happened, and reconsideration by a more liberal Court is certainly not out of the question.
Another concern I have is there are many licensing requirements that state and local health boards will implement on Health providers in order to ensure the safety of their patients. For whatever reason, no one challenges these requirements on any other medical thing other than abortion. But when Abortion is targeted, suddenly all hell breaks loose and lawsuits get filed.
It is no secret that most of these "licensing requirements" were not put in place to make abortion safer, but to eliminate the procedure itself. Sponsors of such legislation are infantile in their obsession to eliminate abortion, and none of their bills have ever been based on recommendations of recognized medical groups or associations. Indeed, these bills are usually written by anti-abortion lobbyists, and merely copied-and-pasted by legislators as they introduce them.
I don't think you can name any other health requirements that follow that path into law.
Furthermore, another troubling thing that I see is that Abortion providers would rather sue than comply with stricter regulations. If the industry would just comply in the first place, women would still have access to Abortion no problem
These formidably restrictive laws are usually written in a way to make it virtually impossible for providers to comply; indeed, that is their raison d'etre
- to make it impossible. Thus the Court majority's ruling that the Louisiana statue presented an "almost impossible burden" on the medical providers and their patients.
As for the politics of this. My wife is a woman who prioritizes the Abortion issue above anything else, and will not vote for any candidate who wont work to end Abortion. She voted Trump exclusively because of this one issue. I know lots of Women who are in the same boat here.
I don't know your wife, so I can't (and shouldn't) comment on her personally, but I tend to think that anyone who is so obsessive that he/she would vote for any scoundrel just because of a single issue probably is not a benefit to democratic institutions. Once we outgrow our obsession with this issue - and, with it now becoming closer and closer to being "settled law" - they better off we will be to face the real governmental (as opposed to religion-dictated social issues) that face our nation.
Another issue that I see in this is because the political leaders who tend to be Pro-Life are also from the corporate and libertarian wing of the GOP, it gives the appearance that most pro-lifers only care about the baby when its in the womb and as soon as its born the woman is on her own. This is not true, but its a big problem that people who are pro-life need to address. Maybe if groups such as Live-Action also came out and supported single payer health care, this would give the pro-life movement a lot more credibility. But until this happens, pro-lifers will be seen by many as wanted to control Women's bodies, which is not true at all. (Most pro-lifers I know believe that the pro-life position gives women more control over their bodies than the pro-abortion position) It would also help if people who fought for pro-life causes weren't also tied as much to religion as they are. (Specifically Anti-Gay groups)
While I am not so sure that most anti-abortion disciples care about the baby after he/she leaves the womb - they certainly have made no efforts to improve post-natal child care, family leave requirements, or support for public education, just to cite a few examples - it would help their position if they were to provide any support to mothers and families after delivery of the child. And good luck prying "pro-lifers" away from their religious dogma; most of them justify their position by simply citing religion - or the indoctrination they get from some self-proclaimed "religious leader", claiming to be connected directly with god to get his message.
Does this have an effect on the election? It's tough to say. This is an issue that I think will be forgotten in a couple of months in general unless it comes up in a debate. The question is, do conservatives place enough emphasis on the courts to override any other concerns about Trump? Or is Trump a lost cause, and they instead focus on keeping a republican majority in the Senate, where Mitch McConnell can block any Biden nominee (if the GOP holds the senate, and Biden wins the White House, look for the filibuster on Judicial nominees to be put back in), forcing Biden to nominate someone in the mold of Gorsuch?
There is also a possibility that single-issue voters may realize their time has come and gone, and might just feel less-energized to go to the polls - particularly in light of the recognition some have already express about Trump's almost-total incompetence and the realization that he is in office only to satisfy his personal ego (and in hopes of padding his bank accounts in the process).
As a sidelight, your mention of Gorsuch brings up another issue; specifically commenting on Roe v. Wade at his nomination hearing, Gorsuch explained, “[the opinion] is a precedent of the United States Supreme Court. It was reaffirmed in Casey in 1992, and in several other cases. So a good judge will consider it as precedent of the United States Supreme Court, worthy as treatment of precedent, like any other case.” He also repeated his respect for precedent in a personal meeting with Susan Collins. So there is now reason to believe that Trump's nominee was either (1) coached to lie; or (2) decided on his own to lie. (Kavanaugh also confirmed that he had told Senator Collins, who supports abortion rights, that he considered Roe vs. Wade to be “settled law,” so the same possibilities apply to him).
The other wildcard here, and this is worthy of its own thread, is the possibility that Trumps poll numbers may get so bad he will drop out and the GOP will run someone else. (My money in this case would be on a Nikki Haley-Jeneane Hampton ticket. The GOP dream ticket would be Nikki Haley and Tim Scott, but that cant happen since both are from South Carolina). If someone else runs, you can be sure that this issue will motivate voters and now they are freed from the Trump nonsense.
You are right; that would be worthy of another thread. Unfortunately, I don't see Trump willing to admit defeat. He won't even admit to his own quotes, when it is inconvenient.
One other thing I am going to point out about this court that I find interesting. I have noticed that the court has ruled on high profile cases that get lots of media attention, but other cases that are very important have been decided on the same days and those opinions get buried under the radar. During the Gay rights case, another opinion on the same day allowed construction of an oil pipeline to proceed for example. The other case today that is noteworthy is the court gave the President the authority to fire the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). This is significant because the design of this as an independent agency was supposed to free it from political considerations, but now that the president has more control over the Bureau, that design goes out the window.
The Court has specific "decision days"; during May and June, the Court meets at 10 a.m. every Monday to release opinions. In months when the Court is hearing oral arguments, decisions may be handed down before the arguments are heard. While the latest Roe v. Wade
interpretation may be the first thing most observers are waiting for, the other decisions might even have more importance, in the long term, for many Americans. But abortion has become an obsession - an unhealthy obsession for the body politic, I would argue - for people on both sides. So today entire factions in out country will either be crying in their beer or celebrating with it.
All while social distancing, I hope.