statutory provisions.rnThe Court also said that it couldn’trnoverturn Roe because it would be seenrnas acceding to public pressure, therebyrnjeopardizing its institutional legitimacy.rn”But whatever the premises of oppositionrnmay be, only the most convincingrnjustification . . . could suffice to demonstraternthat a later decision overruling thernfirst was anything but a surrender to politicalrnpressure.” “So to overrule underrnfire .. . would subvert the Court’s legitimacyrnbeyond any serious question.”rnAlso noteworthy is Justice Blackmun’srnswan song. “I am 83 years old,” hernwrote, “I cannot remain on this Courtrnforever, and when I do step down, thernconfirmation process for my successorrnmay well focus on the issue before usrntoday. That, I regret, may be exactlyrnwhere the choice between two worldsrnwill be made.”rnThe verbal sparring between the jointrnJustices and the dissenters is remarkable.rnThe Chief Justice decried the unsupportedrn”generalized assertions about thernnational psyche.” He labeled as “undevelopedrnand totally conclusory” the jointrnJustices’ “unconventional and unconvincingrnnotion of reliance, a view basedrnon the surmise that the availability ofrnabortion since Roe has led to ‘tworndecades of economic and social developments’rnthat would be undercut if thernerror of Roe were recognized.” In fact,rnhe added, “one cannot be sure to whatrneconomic and social developments thernopinion is referring”: “Surely it is dubiousrnto suggest that ‘women have reachedrntheir places in society’ in reliance uponrnRoe, rather than as a result of their determinationrnto obtain higher educationrnand compete with men in the job market,rnand of society’s increasing recognitionrnof their ability to fill positions thatrnwere previously thought to be reservedrnonly for men.”rnFurthermore, the Chief Justicernseemed astounded that his colleaguesrnhad argued to uphold Roe because peoplernhad grown accustomed to abortion.rnCiting other major decisions that thernCourt had reversed and the long periodsrnof time before reversals, he wrote:rn”However, the simple fact that a generationrnor more had grown used to thesernmajor decisions did not prevent thernCourt from correcting its errors in theserncases, nor should it prevent us from correctlyrninterpreting the Constitutionrnhere.”rnSaying “the Imperial judiciary lives,”rnJustice Scalia castigated the joint Justicesrnfor their “contrived” doctrine ofrnstare decisis, for claiming to uphold arnprecedent but revising it: “It seems tornme that stare decisis ought to be appliedrneven to the doctrine of stare decisis, andrnI confess never to have heard of this newrnkeep-what-you-want-and-throw-awaythe-rnrest version.” Rehnquist pointedrnout that the “unworkable” new unduernburden standard “had no roots in constitutionalrnlaw.”rnAsserting that true “fundamentalrnrights” could be applied by the Courtrnonly to those areas where there is longstandingrnAmerican legal tradition, fourrnJustices declared that Roe erred in construingrnabortion as a fundamental right.rnAs Scalia argued, the “issue is whetherrn[abortion] is a liberty protected by thernConstitution of the United States. I amrnsure it is not.” He cited “two simplernfacts: (I) the Constitution says absolutelyrnnothing about it, and (2) the longstandingrntraditions of American societyrnhave permitted it to be legally proscribed.”rnTo the notion that overturning Roernwould be surrendering to political pressure,rnthe Chief Justice retorted: “This isrna truly novel principle. . . . Under thisrnprinciple, when the Court has ruled on arndivisive issue, it is apparently preventedrnfrom overruling that decision for the solernreason that it was incorrect, unless oppositionrnto the original decision had diedrnaway.” Scalia noted that “the notionrnthat we would decide a case differentlyrnfrom the way that we otherwise wouldrnhave in order to show that we can standrnfirm against public approval is frightening.”rnFor political pressure goes bothrnways: “What makes all this relevant tornthe bothersome application of ‘politicalrnpressure’ against the Court are twin factsrnthat the American people love democracyrnand the American people are notrnfools. As long as this Court thoughtrn(and the people thought) that we Justicesrnwere doing essentially lawyers’ workrnup here—reading text and discerningrnour society’s traditional understandingrnof that text—the public pretty much leftrnus alone. Texts and traditions are factsrnto study, not convictions to demonstraternabout.”rnScalia then added: “But if in realityrnour process of constitutional adjudicationrnconsists primarily of making valuernjudgments… then a free and intelligentrnpeople’s attitude can be expected to bern. . . quite different. The people knowrnthat their value judgments are quite asrngood as those taught in any law school—rnmaybe better . .. then the people shouldrndemonstrate, to protest that we do notrnimplement their values instead of ours.rnNot only that, but confirmation hearingsrnfor new Justices should deterioraterninto question-and-answer sessions inrnwhich Senators go through their constituents’rnmost favored and most disfavoredrnalleged constitutional rights . . .rnValue judgments, after all, should bernvoted on, not dictated . . . Justice Blackmunrnnot only regards this prospect withrnequanimity, he solicits it.”rnThe average citizen sensed the truthrnall along—and couldn’t have said it anyrnbetter.rn—^Anne Marie MorganrnT H E SOUTHERN CLASSICS Seriesrnis a new venture of J. S. Sanders andrnCompany. John Stoll Sanders and hisrnseries editor M. E. Bradford are systematicallyrnresurrecting worthy titles thatrnhave disappeared from the pages ofrnBoo^s In Print. In so doing, they arernmaking a valuable statement about thernSouthern tradition in American literature.rnI purposely use the word “tradition”rnrather than “canon”—that cant phrasernof the cultural left. To speak of a literaryrncanon is to suggest an analogy with thernfixed body of sacred texts that embodyrnChristian revelation. In contrast, thernliterary tradition is, as T. S. Eliot envisionedrnit, an expanding patrimony thatrnconnects us in various ways with thosernwho have gone before. We honor thatrninheritance not by “preserving” it, but,rnlike the prudent servant in the parable ofrnthe talents, by enhancing it. Just as therntradition nurtures us, we enrich it and,rnin so doing, alter the past by altering ourrnrelationship to it.rnNot surprisingly, the Southern traditionrndefined by Sanders and Bradfordrnseems to have reached its full flowerrnwith the Fugitive and Agrarian movements.rnOf the 20th-century “classics”rnthey have published or promised, all butrntwo are products of the Vanderbilt Renascence.rn(I am including works byrnCaroline Gordon, who, as Mrs. AllenrnTate, was part of the Fugitive-Agrarianrncircle, if not an official member of eitherrngroup.) Not only are these booksrnthemselves artifacts of the past, but severalrndeal with an even earlier time.rnAllen Tate’s biography of Stonewallrn8/CHRONICLESrnrnrn