It was a pleasant (but not so surprising) surprise to read this afternoon that the Supreme Court upheld the federal ban on partial-birth abortions. Not so surprising, because it was time for Justice Kennedy to burnish his credentials as a "conservative," so he swung that way. Even so, he is thoroughly unreliable for prolifers.
As I read the news reports, the decision was extremely narrow--it didn't definitively uphold the law; it only said it couldn't find a basis to overturn it "on its face." It left open the possibility of still striking it down, as applied; although what some are saying is that it may be rather hard to do that, in practice.
The rhetoric of the pro-abortion lobby, and the four justices who take the absolutist pro-abortion position, notwithstanding, it very much remains to be seen what this means to Roe v. Wade and related jurisprudence. The good news is, the state of abortion law hasn't gotten worse, and it has gotten marginally better. But I remind you: Justice Anthony Kennedy is entirely unreliable. So don't think about this logically or in terms of legal reasoning, as if the reasoning in this case somehow makes something else more likely.
It is also far too early to say this means Justice Alito and Chief Justice Roberts are the stalwarts they have been promised to be. By definition, an abortion decision that gains Kennedy's vote is the weakest, least impactful decision possible; all we know is that Roberts and Alito agreed. They may be great guys, but we still don't know that--and the great hope was that they'd help overturn Roe; and this tells us almost nothing in that regard.
It is essential that prolifers keep their eyes on the true goal, which is overturning Roe,, legislatively or judicially, and opposing all abortion. The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, which I supported, was and is an extremely modest law that was worth pursuing, but it will prevent extremely few abortions. It must not be understood as a great accomplishment, but rather as a tiny step in a long journey.
We won a battle, a very modest battle; it's not V-J Day.