In this episode of New Ideal Live, Onkar Ghate and Ben Bayer discuss the recent oral arguments in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case before the Supreme Court. They analyze what the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade would reveal about the Court’s grasp of individual rights and the role of government.
Among the topics covered:
- A brief history of abortion jurisprudence since Roe v. Wade;
- Ayn Rand’s view of Roe and her support for abortion rights;
- Why abortion rights are not grounded in a right to privacy;
- Why activities don’t need to be concretely enumerated to be protected by fundamental rights;
- Why we need abstract principles to state fundamental legal principles;
- Why conservative sympathy for the reversal of Lochner v. New York implies a presumption in favor of government power;
- Whether the potential to feel pain is the basis of rights;
- How Roe v. Wade tries to balance competing interests, not to protect rights;
- Why regarding life as sacred from conception is a baseless religious viewpoint;
- Why it’s arbitrary to regard viability as the limit for justifiable abortion;
- Whether religion or judicial philosophy motivates Justice Thomas;
- Whether “individual responsibility” means a woman who chooses to have sex should carry a pregnancy to term;
- The Supreme Court Justices’ unphilosophical approach.
Mentioned in the discussion are Leonard Peikoff’s essay “Abortion Rights Are Pro-Life,” Ben Bayer’s essays “Ayn Rand’s Radical Case for Abortion Rights” and “Science without Philosophy Can’t Resolve Abortion Debate,” and Tom Bowden’s “Justice Holmes and the Empty Constitution.”
This podcast was recorded on December 9, 2021. Listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.