It is easy enough to write off laws like this as somebody else's problem, the work of radicals in a red state. The Oklahoma legislature is overwhelmingly Republican in both houses. And the Republicans have considerably more party leadership positions, signaling strong party control. It is therefore no surprise, looking at the median voter theorem, that such a seemingly radical bill passed. With only about 25% of the seats in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, for instance, it would be nearly impossible for Democrats to push back against the Republican agenda, let alone move forward with their own. The fact that this case has moved up to the Supreme Court provides a needed reminder of the relevance of state legislatures and state laws on a national level. The states are supposed to be able to experimental in their laws, and the multiplicity of choices they make can influence and inform other states' governance and national policy. Here, however, as Linda Greenhouse alluded in the New York Times earlier this month, a challenge to a restrictive state law has provided an opportunity to walk back decades of abortion rights jurisprudence. As Greenhouse puts it,
"With Justice O’Connor replaced by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., there may no longer be a majority on the court to strike down any burden on access to abortion, even one that is obviously and purposefully “undue.” All that binds the current court to the Casey standard — whatever that standard can be said to mean today — is stare decisis, respect for precedent. As the Roberts court begins Year 9, that may not count for much."The repercussions of state laws can be felt on a national level, a fact which should be taken account in any good policy analysis.