Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Kalman on Roe at Forty

The December 2013 issue of Reviews in American History is out. Full content is available to subscribers only, but over the next few days, we'll spotlight some items of interest -- starting with Laura Kalman's review essay "On Roe at Forty." Here's an excerpt from the opening paragraphs:
Jack Balkin opens What Roe v. Wade Should Have Said with the observation that the most important difference between the 1954 decision of Brown v. Board of Education and the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade “is the degree of public acceptance each has enjoyed.” . . . .

As a cantankerous academic, I want to challenge this view, which is widely accepted, before addressing Roe’s reception and evaluating its “lessons” for us about the relationship between Supreme Court opinions and social change. I argue that Roe is doing better than conventional wisdom indicates and that Brown is doing worse.
Subscribers may read on here.