The satirical outlet’s eight top stories Friday on the homepage were simply headlines — over the same photo of the current Supreme Court justices — that alluded to the court’s 5-4 vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that had established Americans’ constitutional right to abortions.
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“Supreme Court Votes 5-4 To Throw Beer Bottle At Slut,” said The Onion’s lead item.
In other variations on that theme, The Onion reported that the court voted 5-4 to “Lock Nation’s Toddlers In Hot Cars”; “Drive Slowly Alongside Woman Walking Home Alone At Night”; “Add Jesus Into All Paintings”; “Make It Illegal For Women To Deceive Men With Makeup”; “Baptize Constitution”; “Reclassify Women As Service Animals”; and “Reopen Japanese Internment Camps.”
The Onion’s vilification of the conservative-majority court continued lower on the page, with another headline reading “Supreme Court Rules 5-4 To Ride Stephen Breyer Around Like A Horse.” Justice Breyer was among the four judges to vote against overturning Roe v. Wade, alongside Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
Other brutal jabs at the court included “Kavanaugh, Thomas Champion Creating Better Future For Next Generation Of Rapists”; “Woman’s Preventable Death During Childbirth Upheld In 6-3 Supreme Court Vote”; and “Nation Forced To Seek Human Rights From Back-Alley Supreme Court.”
Last month, The Onion staged a similar front-page takeover following the horrific shooting deaths of 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. On May 25, the site posted 21 articles with the same headline — “‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens” — and the same fake quotes it has used for stories following gun massacres since 2014.
Even before the Supreme Court issued the decision nullifying Roe v. Wade, Americans’ confidence in the high court had reached a new 50-year low, according to opinion-polling firm Gallup. Only 25% of U.S. adults said they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the Supreme Court, compared with 36% one year ago and five percentage points lower than the previous low recorded in 2014. The most recent Gallup poll was conducted June 1-20 with a random sample of 1,015 U.S. adults.
The Onion was founded in 1988. The site’s current owner is New York-based G/O Media, which was formed in 2019 after Univision sold Gizmodo Media Group and The Onion to private-equity firm Great Hill Partners and G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller.
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