State-by-state scramble defines the immediate post-Roe future: The Note

The fallout won't be national -- and, indeed, will be intensely personal.

June 27, 2022, 6:00 AM

The TAKE with Rick Klein

The era of "settled law" has given way to an unsettled immediate future. That's likely to mean much different things for politics depending on the race, the state and the bigger-than-ever stakes.

Tossing aside Roe v. Wade doesn't make much of anything automatic, notwithstanding the states with "trigger laws" and the quick fundraising bursts fueled by either outrage or relief at the Supreme Court's bombshell decision last week.

Justice Samuel Alito's majority opinion anticipated part of what comes now, writing that the best course "for this Court and the country" would be "to face up to the real issue without further delay." But any real issues diverge dramatically depending on the jurisdiction.

Red states are acting on trigger laws (set to automatically enforce bans in the aftermath of the court's ruling) and pursuing special legislative sessions to restrict abortion rights. Blue states are expanding access and make sure women seeking abortions in other states can find their way to appropriate services.

PHOTO: Abortion-rights advocate Eleanor Wells, 34, wipes her tears during a protest in Los Angeles, on June 24, 2022.
Abortion-rights advocate Eleanor Wells, 34, wipes her tears during a protest in Los Angeles, on June 24, 2022.
Jae C. Hong/AP

New battles are being joined in battleground states that have already been the focus of a divided and divisive political era. In Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin -- just for starters -- it's not a stretch for candidates to say that abortion rights will be on the ballot this fall.

The end of Roe naturally brings demand for national responses, particularly given frustrations with a rightward policy march during a time of Democratic governance, and the way this played out as a direct result of former President Donald Trump getting three Supreme Court picks confirmed.

But any fallout won't be national in nature -- and, indeed, will be intensely personal for countless women. It marks a test for candidates in both parties and carries timing that makes pat predictions silly to even suggest.

The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper

Backlash to a tweet from Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, has called further attention to other rights that could be in jeopardy after Roe's overturning.

In response to former President Barack Obama's statement decrying the Supreme Court's decision on abortion as reversing "nearly 50 years of precedent," Cornyn tweeted, "Now do Plessy vs Ferguson/Brown vs Board of Education."

That post set off a flood of social media outrage accusing the senator of wanting to see the landmark decision that outlawed racial segregation in schools overturned. Cornyn later attempted to clarify his comment.

"Thank goodness some SCOTUS precedents are overruled," he wrote, referring to the fact that Brown overturned the previous ruling that infamously upheld the notion of "separate but equal."

PHOTO: Sen. John Cornyn speaks to members of the news media on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 23, 2022.
Sen. John Cornyn speaks to members of the news media on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 23, 2022.
Michael Reynolds/EPA-EFE/Shuttertock

Regardless of his intent, Cornyn's comparison gets at growing fears that the conservative majority on the Supreme Court could take actions that would overturn other court precedents. It's something Justice Clarence Thomas explicitly called for in his opinion concurring with the reversal of Roe.

Thomas named specific cases: Griswold v. Connecticut, which established the right of married couples to use contraception; Lawrence v. Texas, which forbid the criminalizing of intimate same-sex relationships; and Obergefell v. Hodges, which guaranteed the right to same-sex marriage. The liberal wing of the court, Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, issued a stark warning about this in their dissent.

"No one should be confident that this majority is done with its work," they wrote.

The TIP with Alisa Wiersema

Donald Trump's Saturday rally in Mendon, Illinois, made unsavory headlines amid the political fallout over the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade. While taking the stage with Trump, freshman Republican Rep. Mary Miller said the court's decision was a "historic victory for white life."

"President Trump, on behalf of all the MAGA patriots in America, I want to thank you for the historic victory for white life in the Supreme Court yesterday," Miller said in an apparent reference to the former president having appointed three of the justices delivering the opinion.

According to The Associated Press, Miller's spokesperson, Isaiah Wartman, called it "a mix-up of words" and said the congresswoman intended to say "right to life."

"You can clearly see in the video ... she's looking at her papers and looking at her speech," Wartman told The AP.

Although the newly redistricted boundaries of the 15th Congressional District still cover much of Miller's old district, she is facing off in a tough primary on Tuesday with six-term incumbent GOP Rep. Rodney Davis, who chose not to run in the 13th District. Prior to redistricting, Davis' 13th Congressional District had an eight-point Republican lean, according to FiveThirtyEight's analysis. Under the new parameters, the 13th District now covers a sliver of its former land mass and leans in favor of Democrats by seven points.

The race in the ultra-red district is becoming yet another example of intraparty divisions over Trumpian loyalty -- Davis voted to create an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 capitol attack, while Miller voted against the measure, which landed her Trump's endorsement in January. Miller also has the backing of the Club for Growth, an anti-tax super PAC.

In a tweet addressing Miller's comments this weekend, Davis took a jab at President Joe Biden, while also raising the congresswoman's past statements that quoted Adolf Hitler in 2021.

"Mary Miller's comments [Saturday] are just another part in a disturbing pattern of behavior she's displayed since coming to Congress. This is why she uses the Biden basement strategy and refuses to answer questions or hold public events," Davis said.

PHOTO: Donald Trump arrives to give remarks during a Save America Rally in  in Mendon, Ill., June 25, 2022.
Donald Trump arrives to give remarks during a Save America Rally in in Mendon, Ill., June 25, 2022.
Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

NUMBER OF THE DAY, powered by FiveThirtyEight

9. That's the number of key Democratic primaries to watch in Illinois and New York on Tuesday night during the June 28 primaries. (We're not expecting competitive Democratic primaries in the other seven states voting Tuesday.) And as FiveThirtyEight's Nathaniel Rakich writes, there's a wide array of Democratic primaries this Tuesday, including an incumbent-versus-incumbent matchup, several progressive-versus-moderate skirmishes, more involvement from the cryptocurrency industry and multiple races where Democrats could elect new female, nonwhite or LGBT candidates to Congress. We'll be back tomorrow with the key GOP primaries to watch and, of course, live-blogging on Tuesday, so be sure to follow along.


ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. "Start Here" kicks off the week with a special episode focused on the immediate aftermath of the Supreme Court's ruling to overturn Roe. Brad travels to Little Rock, Arkansas to tour a Planned Parenthood facility with Dr. Janet Cathey, a physician at the clinic. And later, we talk to Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge about her reaction to the decision and what her state's newly enacted abortion ban will and won't mean for the women of her state.


  • President Biden will attend the Group of Seven nations summit in Schloss Elmau, Germany, including a session on Ukraine, according to the White House. He will also meet with various "outreach partners" and organizations focused on climate, energy and health.
  • The chair of the House's Oversight Committee, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, will hold a remote hearing focused on the "federal government's response to the overdose and addiction crisis." The hearing begins at 1:30 p.m. ET.
  • The Senate is in recess.

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The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the day's top stories in politics. Please check back on Tuesday for the latest.

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