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Ramesh Ponnuru

What the Supreme Court Would Gain If It Reverses Roe v. Wade

It would lose its pretension to political and moral leadership that it has built up over the years. But its historical legitimacy would be restored.

Maybe going backward would be progress.

Maybe going backward would be progress.

Photographer: Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/Bloomberg

President Joe Biden’s commission on reforming the Supreme Court did not make any recommendations in its final report. Biden did not ask it to. It did, however, show what is on the minds of legal experts of varying political stripes.

What they are worrying about, more than anything else, is the court’s “legitimacy.” Some version of that word appears more than 70 times in the report. Among the questions it takes up: Would packing the court reduce its legitimacy? Would term limits for the justices harm it? Has partisanship already lowered it to a dangerous level?