Home Breaking News Once the dog catches the car.

Once the dog catches the car.


Once the dog catches the car…

When the U.S. Supreme Court threw reproductive rights and abortion laws in America into upheaval a year ago with the Dobbs decision, a cliché emerged.

Republicans and conservatives, the joke went, was the dog that caught the car.

Once they had it, they didn’t know what to do with it.

The results in Ohio’s special election seem to validate the cliché. Ohio once was a swing or purple state, but now it is a solid red, reliably Republican in almost every statewide and national election.

Citizens of the Buckeye state went to the polls to vote on a measure that aimed to make amending the state constitution more difficult. At present, a simple majority in a statewide vote can change the state constitution.

Both proponents and opponents of the measure saw it as an early skirmish in the war to entrench reproductive rights in the Ohio constitution, which then would invalidate the draconian laws restricting abortion the state’s Republican legislators and governor adopted following the Dobbs ruling.

Ohio voters decisively rejected the attempt to make the constitution harder to alter, 57% to 43%. Turnout was high for a special election, which suggests that the Dobbs decision is reshaping the political dynamics of even red states.

That does not bode well for Republicans as they head into the 2024 election.

But the Ohio vote is important in other subtle ways.

Absent the turmoil created by a high court that seems unbound by precedent, constitutional precept or logic, the proposal to establish tougher standards for altering a state constitution makes sense.

Because, among other things, constitutions enshrine fundamental rights and processes, they should be difficult to amend. A simple majority should not be able to change a constitution because that would put individual liberties on the ballot in every election.

Thus, temporary majorities could deny people rights long considered inherent and turn the way we view constitutional questions into a game of ping pong.

In fact, part of the reason that we Americans are at each other’s throats over abortion is because that is what happened at the national level.

For much of this country’s history, judges—particularly U.S. Supreme Court justices—could not be appointed to the bench without the equivalent of a super-majority vote in the U.S. Senate.

But, as our national politics became more and more rancorous and partisan, both parties realized that a well-organized minority could block court appointments. The entire judicial branch found itself held hostage to politicians who cared more about scoring political points than serving the nation.

To get around this impasse, then U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, embraced what was supposed to be the “nuclear option”—a process that allowed a simple majority to give someone a lifetime court appointment. It was called the nuclear option because it was supposed to be used only in rare circumstances.

When Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, became majority leader, he turned the nuclear into the normal.

He also enhanced the leverage his party enjoyed by inventing a rule that Supreme Court appointments couldn’t be made during election years. He used this new standard to deny President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, even a hearing.

Then McConnell dispensed with his self-created rule to push through Supreme Court appointments during the 2018 and 2020 election years.

All told, McConnell managed with his maneuvering to stack the high bench with three justices—Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett—who likely could not have won appointment under the old system.

Those three justices provided the votes that overturned more than a half-century of precedents regarding reproductive rights—and led the court for the first time in American history to restrict rather than expand individual liberty.

Worse, all three of the new justices said during their confirmation hearings that they considered Roe v. Wade settled law.

Clearly, they were less than truthful.

The result of these shenanigans has been predictable. When the rulebook is dispensed with, debates quickly become arguments and arguments rapidly escalate into all-out brawls.

In state after state, we’re now seeing and setting up clashes in which rights Americans consider guaranteed—rights of conscience, the right to bear arms—could be put on ballots.

When the Supreme Court issued its ill-thought-out decision, Republicans and conservatives weren’t the only ones who caught the car.

Thanks to them, we all did.

Now, we must figure out what to do with it.

FOOTNOTE: John Krull is director of Franklin College’s Pulliam School of Journalism and publisher of TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students. The views expressed are those of the author only and should not be attributed to Franklin College.

This article was published by the City-County Observer without bias, opinion, or editing.


  1. There is no disputing Krull’s assessment.

    VICTORY? This guy…who I bet is a conspiratorial believer that the government has been hiding Bigfoot for years now….VICTORY, he is not gonna like how Krull says it in today’s column, he is not gonna like that Krull IS saying it, but he will not dispute the accuracy off Krulls’ column.

    Victory is not alone. There are lots of Trump supporters who believe anything Trump says, have poor respect for women’s choices, and they send their Friday paychecks to that rich clown who owns them. They don’t like Krull’s assessment either.

    These are the facts:
    1. The Trump GOP, trying to seize personal reproductive choices from women and their familes is LOSING THE TRUST OF MOST INDIANA WOMEN VOTERS.

    2. The Supreme Court case ending women’s right to make their own reproductive decisions, and allowing the STATE to interfere with their own decisions, about their own bodies, and decisions that should be restricted internal family matters?
    IT PISSED OFF WOMEN THROUGHOUT the State of Indiana.

    3. That Supreme Court Dobb’s case?
    It changed everything for the GOP, which is now seen as being anti-women because of it.

    3. Women now see the real consequences of these bans.
    They see children having to cross state lines to get care.
    They see women almost dying in childbirth.

    Thank you CCO for being unafraid the post Krull’s columns.

  2. Typical Krull garbage. Republicans shouldn’t use the rules imposed by a Democrat controlled Senate under the leadership of Reid because why? According to the carnival barker, Krull, it should only be used when Democrats want to use it.

    The three justices Krull mentioned were correct about “settled law”, so they did what SCOTUS has always done…they erased “settled law” that wasn’t Constitutional. They did nothing to prohibit any of the states from making abortion legal, but rather, the states being democracies, unlike the nation which is a representative Republic, are free to do as the majority of voters decide.
    If a resident of a state is in disagreement with the abortion laws of that state, they have the Constitutional right to move to a state whose laws they agree with.

    Krull, forever the purveyor of misdirection znd lies, knows this, but his lack of integrity allows him to feed the lesser minds his tripe, who, it appears, hang on his every word.

    • Wow.

      ATTENTION Republican Candidates:

      Read what VICTORY wrote here today. Follow that logic?

      (That is the sound of your votes from INDIANA WOMEN disappearing from your Voter Card setion, and instead, it going to your oppoenent in your race against the Democrat.)

      Trump is going to lose again. He is an abject disaster, except to some GOP MEN, who like the way he treats women.

      Go ahead. Follow Victory’s advice. (He just told you to leave the State!!)

      • It’s so good to know that you care about the Republican party. Most leftest only care what they want no matter the cost. Even the cost of an innocent life. But it’s good you care about women. Except the unborn women. They are just fodder for the abortion industry.

  3. Reproductive rights=abortion rights=killing an innocent and helpless human being in a horrendous manner. That’s why you can’t call it what it is. But you didn’t say Trump. Sort of.
    And Jack Clark? Now ther is a creative mind.

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