The New Yorker
by Jeffrey Toobin
May 28, 2013
As the Supreme Court’s term winds to a close this month, the Justices will be addressing a series of issues that reflect a changing agenda—the country’s and their own. There are two major same-sex-marriage cases, a challenge to the Voting Rights Act based on the changing politics of the South, and even a futuristic dispute about the patenting of human genes. But before too long—indeed, probably next fall—the Court will have to return to one of its most enduring controversies: abortion.
The Court may agree to hear one or more abortion cases in its next term. For the most part, these cases have their roots in the Republican landslides in the 2010 midterm elections. At the time, those electoral victories were largely portrayed as being based on economics; the Tea Party was often described as almost libertarian in orientation. But soon after new state legislators took office it became clear that social issues, and especially abortion, were among their highest priorities. In state after state, those Tea Party lawmakers passed new restrictions on abortion, and as the restrictions have taken effect challenges to them have started to work their way through the courts.