When the Supreme Court last heard oral arguments in a landmark abortion case, it was April 1992, the case was Planned Parenthood v Casey, and Sandra Day O’Connor was the lone female justice.
Twenty-four years later, there are three women on the court. And if you count Justice Stephen Breyer as one of history’s great feminists -- and I do -- then you can view the arguments in this term’s landmark abortion case, Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt, as creating a neat 4–4 split. On one side, you have a group of testy male justices needling a female lawyer for Texas clinics about whether it was even appropriate for them to hear this appeal. On the other, you’ve got four absolutely smoking hot feminists pounding on Texas’ solicitor general for passing abortion regulations that have no plausible health purpose and also seem pretty stupid.