GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — We are digging deeper into what Roe vs. Wade being overturned could possibly mean for us here in Wisconsin.
“My first reaction was that it was completely unprecedented to leak a decision like that. And then I put my historian’s hat on and I realize it wasn’t unprecedented,” said Jerry Podair, a history buff and emeritus professor of history at Lawrence University.
Podair said to truly understand what is happening is to better understand the original ruling itself.
“The original Roe decision was based on a right to privacy that was not explicitly in the Constitution, but was implied in the Constitution,” he explained.
The rest depends on what he refers to as your “judicial philosophy.”
“If you are a strict Originalist, and five of the justices are, if it’s not specifically in the Constitution, then it is not in the Constitution, then it’s the role of the states,” explained Podair.
Of course, there’s the other side.
“If you do believe that the Constitution has implications, and that you can draw conclusions from language that is not in the Constitution that is not necessarily explicit, then you are in favor of Roe,” said Podair.
The biggest question is also one that might be unanswered for a while — what could happen in Wisconsin?
“If Roe is overturned I think what we’re going to see is litigation happening in the state courts almost immediately,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “There’s a ban on a vast majority of abortions that’s been on the books since 1849.”
That first court case will determine a lot, admits Kaul.
“I think there’s a lot of uncertainty over that, and I think that’s hard to predict ultimately how that would be resolved,” Kaul said.
Another implication would also happen almost immediately. Kaul said abortions would likely cease across the state, at least for the time being.
Wisconsin will not be alone. The Supreme Court’s decision will have a ripple effect across the country.
“It’s quite possible that half the states in the union will restrict or abolish abortion and the other 25 will permit it,” said Podair.
The final opinion by the justices is expected sometime this summer.