[VIEW 2035] 'True democracy' only exists on paper
The author is a political news reporter of the JoongAng Ilbo
At the start of this month, a draft from the U.S. Supreme Court was leaked to the press, showing that the court was considering attempting to overturn the ruling that legalized abortion in the United States.
Politico, which initially published the draft, wrote that it was obtained through a "person familiar with the court’s deliberations." With the Supreme Court demanding an investigation, whoever leaked the papers will likely soon be exposed.
Something like this is unprecedented. You can’t help but wonder what caused the whistleblower to risk so much.
Some argue that the reason is the draft itself. Justice Samuel Alito, a conservative who wrote the draft, urges that the banning of abortion is "true democracy." He claims that the “Roe v Wade” ruling of 1973 should be overturned because the issue should be discussed by the advocates elected by the citizens, not the court.
In the 1973 ruling, the court justices ruled that a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy should be protected by the constitution by a vote of seven to two.
Alito’s logic can be applied to deprive other minority rights, such as same-sex marriage. The argument won’t be accepted by his political opponents, so it’s probable that the informant aimed to shift public opinion before the midterm elections in November.
But I have to disagree. In my opinion, the informant must have thought that the only way to bring abortion rights to light was through the press.
The U.S. has long lost its ability to work out issues such as abortion as a society. Politics works as a conduit for more conflict instead of mediating it.
The U.S. Congress had more than 50 years to stipulate abortion rights by law, but no politician was up to the task.
It was only after the leak that the Democrats proposed the "Health Protection Law," which seeks to protect abortion rights under federal law. The proposition was voted down, with 49 in favor and 51 opposing votes. The vote was almost a for-show event, as its results were predictable.
Korea essentially has the same problem. Korea’s Constitutional Court ruled that ruling abortion illegal was not consistent with the constitution in 2019 and ordered the National Assembly to reform the corresponding article by 2020. However, the assembly didn’t seem to care.
A PPP lawmaker proposed a national vote to decide on the issue of stripping the prosecution of its investigative authority. The Constitutional Court ruled some articles to be inconsistent with the constitution, but the National Assembly just sat around.
With the article still in action, there is nothing that can be done. It is a depressing comedy. Our political system is not working as it should be.
The "true democracy" that Alito talks about might only exist on paper. In the real world, the people who represent us are hard to trust. The informant must not have had many options to choose from, as the political system has long lost its ability to resolve conflict. The Supreme Court’s credit also took a heavy blow because of the leak.
A situation like this is a forewarned disaster caused by faulty politics. It is the near-future for us, and seems increasingly hard to avoid.