Stop Saying Supreme Court Made Roe Decision Based On Politics, Not Law
I’m getting sick and tired of mainstream media — if they’re trying to be bold at all, characterizing the decision overturning Roe v. Wade as based in things “political”, not “legal”, however beautifully written their explanations may be — because it’s not political at all. It’s a decision steeped in radical Christian Fundamentalism. So was a separate ruling last week that effectively did away with the separation between church and state, which I learned as a kid, in school, was one of the most important parts of the Constitution. Not anymore.
That’s why when Justice Alito says of his majority decision in Roe:
“The Court emphasizes that this decision concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other right. Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.”
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, p. 7
No one believes him.
That’s why when Justice Thomas writes in a concurring (and clearly contradictory) opinion that the Court ought to now look at previous decisions through the same lens as Roe, they do believe him. Justice Thomas specifically mentions an itch to overturn rulings in favor of same sex marriage, and unmarried people’s access to contraception. And perhaps making it OK for states to outlaw certain sexual acts, even in the privacy of one’s own home. (p. 117)
And of course now that there’s no federally-recognized right to choose, there’d be nothing stopping a nationwide ban on abortion at some point in the future, should religious fundamentalists on Capitol Hill get the votes for it. Conversely, even if pro-choice candidates prevail in a big way, and pass a law making abortion a federal right, no way this Supreme Court wouldn’t declare it unconstitutional.
The only “political” decision would’ve been the one that Chief Justice John Roberts proposes in his concurring opinion: to rule only on the case that was at hand, involving Mississippi, and rule in Mississippi’s favor, but leave Roe v. Wade stand. An opinion that was rejected by everyone on the Court but him.