A recent Boston Globe article described what appears to be a growing popular movement in South Dakota aimed at overturning the legislation that prohibits all abortions except in the case of women for whom the pregnancy threatens their life.
I thought this article was interesting for at least two reasons (others welcome). One, if the referendum passes and a majority of South Dakotans vote to overturn the recently passed state law, it shows how the state legislature may be very out of touch with its own electorate. Lesson: the state legislature may be more responsive to what appear to be national trends (as embodied in Republican party discourse) than to its own local citizenry. Two, as on example of a concerted effort by Planned Parenthood Federation of America to mobilize South Dakotans, we see how civil rights organizations might be moving away from litigation as a tool for social change. Lesson: the stability of the meaning of the Constitution (insofar as that is a value, perhaps it is not), depends as much on stare decisis, as it does on popular consciousness.