Joe Biden’s departure on the Amtrak train yesterday is a good reminder of how close we are to the end of an era.
Biden took the oath of office as Senator on January 5, 1973 – seventeen days before the Roe v. Wade ruling. He was the very last person to join Congress before the ruling came down.
With Biden’s term as President of the Senate over, there are now exactly two people left who were in Congress on the fateful, and fatal, day of January 22, 1973. They are Representative John Conyers (D-MI), elected in 1964, and Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), elected as a Representative in 1972. Cochran only got to serve for nineteen days before the ruling, and he will almost certainly retire when his Senate seat comes up for re-election in 2020. Conyers is nearing age 90, and probably won’t be around in too many more years either.
In the next few years, Roe v. Wade may finally get overturned by a Court filled with new Trump Justices. But Conyers and Cochran may both be gone by the time it happens. It’s been 44 years, and we will be doing well if an anti-Roe ruling comes down before the 50th anniversary. This has been a very, very long era. God would only punish Israel with 40 year penalties, and we’ve blown right past that milestone.
The day Roe gets overturned, we must not only react with joy, but with mourning for the decades of lost time.