Tip Sheets

Cornell experts on SCOTUS, abortion rights

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Rachel Rhodes

A draft opinion was leaked suggesting that the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide, with a formal decision expected in June.

The following Cornell University experts are available to discuss the legal content of the leaked opinion and potential implications.

Landon Schnabel

Robert and Ann Rosenthal Assistant Professor of Sociology

Landon Schnabel, assistant professor of sociology at Cornell University, is writing a book titled “Is Faith Feminine? What Americans Really Think about Gender and Religion,” and notes that the draft opinion contains barely concealed references to conservative Christian doctrine.

Kate Manne

Associate Professor of Philosophy

Kate Manne is a professor of philosophy at Cornell University and author of the book “Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny.” She says that the Supreme Court opinion represents a new level of misogyny.

Jaclyn Kelley-Widmer

Assistant Clinical Professor of Law

Jaclyn Kelley-Widmer, professor of immigration law at the Cornell Law School, directs the Immigration Law and Advocacy Clinic and is an expert on the DACA program and special immigrant juvenile status. She says that while the threat to immigration law posed by the overturning of Roe v. Wade could be catastrophic, the relationship between Roe and other cases is weak.

Michael C. Dorf

Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law

Michael Dorf, professor of constitutional law at Cornell Law School, has previously commented on abortion cases in Texas and Mississippi, and notes that overruling Roe v. Wade could be just the beginning in the fight for abortion and other rights.

Jared Carter

Associate Director, First Amendment Clinic

Jared Carter is a professor and associate director of the Cornell Law School’s First Amendment Clinic, and a veteran advocate for social, legal and economic justice. He can speak the constitutional issues surrounding the leaked opinion.

Steve Israel

Director, Institute of Politics an Global Affairs

Steve Israel is a former congressman and chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and current director of Cornell’s Institute of Politics and Global Affairs. He says that the leaked opinion may boost voter turnout, as reproductive freedom is one of the issues that ignites “nuclear energy” in the Democratic base.

Nelson Tebbe

Professor of Law

Nelson Tebbe is a professor of constitutional law at Cornell Law School and an expert on religious freedom. He can discuss where religion intersects with abortion, in addition to implications of the draft opinion for gay marriage and other rights.

Katherine Sender

Professor of Communication

Katherine Sender is a professor communication in the feminist, gender, and sexuality studies program at Cornell University. She says that the leak  parallels similar conservatism with Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, though the abortion opinion issued by the Supreme Court questions the right to privacy that also underlies the overturning of anti-sodomy laws and thus marriage equality.

Stephen Vider

Assistant Professor of History and Director of the Public History Initiative

Stephen Vider is an assistant professor of history and the director of Cornell’s Public History Initiatives. His research focuses on LGBTQ relationships and politics from 1945 to present, and he can speak to the impact of the leaked opinion on LGBTQ families.

Thomas Pepinsky

Professor of Government

Tom Pepinsky is a professor of government and public policy, and studies political participation and authoritarian regimes and can discuss how judicial branch developments in the U.S. compare to similar situations in other countries.

Sherry Colb

Professor of Law

Sherry Colb, professor of law at Cornell Law School, is author of a book about abortion and animal rights, “Beating Hearts: Abortion and Animal Rights.” 

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