As Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Clarence Thomas Signals Focus on Gay Marriage, Birth Control

The Supreme Court on Friday overturned Roe v. Wade but Justice Clarence Thomas signaled that the court is not done revisiting precedent, The Hill reports.

The court’s conservatives on Friday ruled against federal abortion rights, allowing states to ban the procedure entirely.

"The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives," the majority said in a decision by Justice Samuel Alito.

The court’s three remaining liberals condemned the ruling.

"Whatever the exact scope of the coming laws, one result of today's decision is certain: the curtailment of women's rights, and of their status as free and equal citizens," the justices wrote, ripping the decision for effectively ensuring that “from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of.”

Gay marriage, birth control on the chopping block:

Thomas in his opinion argued that since the Constitution’s Due Process clause does not protect the right to an abortion according to the court, the justices should revisit other cases as well.

“In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” he wrote, referring to cases that protect the right to contraception and same-sex relationships.

But Alito stressed that the opinion should not be extended to other cases.

“Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion,” Alito wrote.

Liberals warn:

The liberal minority also warned that the court is likely to come for other cases next despite Alito’s remark.

“And no one should be confident that this majority is done with its work,” the three liberals wrote. “The right Roe and Casey recognized does not stand alone. To the contrary, the Court has linked it for decades to other settled freedoms involving bodily integrity, familial relationships, and procreation. Most obviously, the right to terminate a pregnancy arose straight out of the right to purchase and use contraception. In turn, those rights led, more recently, to rights of same-sex intimacy and marriage. They are all part of the same constitutional fabric, protecting autonomous decisionmaking over the most personal of life decisions.”

“The majority could write just as long an opinion showing, for example, that until the mid-20th century, ‘there was no support in American law for a constitutional right to obtain [contraceptives],'” the justices added. “So one of two things must be true. Either the majority does not really believe in its own reasoning. Or if it does, all rights that have no history stretching back to the mid-19th century are insecure. Either the mass of the majority’s opinion is hypocrisy, or additional constitutional rights are under threat. It is one or the other.”


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