It doesn’t take the keenest observer to realize that the U.S. Supreme Court’s inclination to reverse Roe v. Wade was just the tip of the iceberg.
If the leaked draft opinion from Justice Samuel Alito told us anything, it was that the conservative majority could absolutely pave the way for the loss of other significant and established rulings: same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, and literally any right not explicitly granted in the Constitution by name. And who but Texas Gov. Greg Abbott would step up to seize the worst possible opening.
In an interview on The Joe Pags Show, Abbott said he would consider challenging a Supreme Court decision ensuring that all children have a right to public education—regardless of immigration status, the Austin American-Statesman reports.
“Texas already long ago sued the federal government about having to incur the costs of the education program, in a case called Plyler versus Doe,” Abbott told conservative radio host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo during a phone interview. “And the Supreme Court ruled against us on the issue. … I think we will resurrect that case and challenge this issue again because the expenses are extraordinary and the times are different than when Plyler versus Doe was issued many decades ago.”
“By a 5-4 vote, the Court found that any resources which might be saved from excluding undocumented children from public schools were far outweighed by the harms imposed on society at large from denying them an education,” the American Immigration Council website reads.
But for Republican lawmakers such as Abbott, going after the rights of undocumented students to have an education isn’t really the point for the GOP. The point is to go after public education in general. Conservatives are using buzzwords such as “CRT,” “grooming,” and “social-emotional learning” in an attempt to dismantle public education in favor of vouchers for charter schools, religious schools, or private schools.
Conservatives are taking many of their policy cues on schools from a small southern Michigan Christian school called Hillsdale College. It is quite literally at the epicenter of book banning movements, anti-vaxxer and CRT communities, climate-science deniers, and Republican legislation.
Hillsdale College offers school boards and right-wing policymakers a template for conservative curriculums and attacks on liberalism. The institution espouses that the Jan. 6 insurrection was a hoax and that, according to outstanding reporting from Salon, Russian president Vladimir Putin is a “hero to populist conservatives around the world.”
Reversing Roe v. Wade is an attack on reproductive rights, but more than that it’s a gateway drug for a conservative, rigid, and uneducated nation under extremist minority rule.
As for Roe’s reversal as a bellwether for more challenges? Columnist with The Washington Post, Megan McArdle, dismissed any notion that the landmark civil rights decision Loving v. Virginia could be next, tweeting: “Similarly, it is not 1950. In Georgia, 13-14% of Atlanta and Augusta couples are now interracial! Even in the Deep South, outlawing interracial marriage would be a lift… But also, is Clarence Thomas going to vote to let states outlaw his marriage?”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that “gay marriage” and “civil rights” might be next up on the Court’s reversals.
The day after the leak went public, Laurence Tribe, a legal scholar tweeted that if Roe is overturned, the next “predictable” steps would be a “roll back rights to contraception, same-sex marriage, sexual privacy, and the full array of textually unenumerated rights long taken for granted.”