Overturning Roe v. Wade is not the first time the Supreme Court has driven a dagger into the heart of human rights and further divided a deeply troubled nation. But not since the 19th century have there been other decisions so dreadfully indefensible and consequential.
Friday’s announcement in the Mississippi abortion case, no less shocking for having been leaked months ago, is a new chapter in infamy, as pernicious as Dred Scott v. Sandford in 1857 and Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896.
Dred Scott brought on the Civil War, holding that Blacks could not be citizens, with no rights worthy of respect, and that Congress could not ban slavery in the territories. Plessy condoned separate but equal and legalized much of slavery under the guise of Jim Crow. Millions suffered, and still suffer, from the lingering consequences.