In an interesting chain of events, Clarence Thomas, the senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, part of the conservative majority, was almost prevented from serving due to “a high-tech lynching,”, led by then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Joseph R Biden Jr.
As part of President Biden’s campaign pitch in 2019, the former Vice-President under Barack Obama said his administration would work to protect abortion “rights” and Roe.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has again gone on the record saying that he believes the Roe v. Wade ruling from 1973 that allowed virtually unlimited abortions should be overturned.
Abortion activists for years have attempted to elevate Roe into some sort of ultra-precedent that can’t be overturned because it has been on the books for decades, claiming stare decisis.
“Stare decisis is a legal doctrine that obligates courts to follow historical cases when making a ruling on a similar case. Stare decisis ensures that cases with similar scenarios and facts are approached in the same way. Simply put, it binds courts to follow legal precedents set by previous decisions.”
In reality, though, the nation’s highest court has overturned other precedents previously when needed, such as cases related to slavery and civil rights.
In a decision earlier this week, the Supreme Court ruled on a case unrelated to abortion — but one that could have a massive impact on Roe. And its ruling, authored by Justice Kavanaugh, set examples of cases that might be overturned and explained why overturning precedent is definitely allowable.
In his own concurring opinion, Justice Thomas listed three “incorrect decisions” he said used a faulty interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Those included Obergefell v. Hodges, Roe v. Wade, and Dred Scott v. Sandford.
Last year Thomas hinted at his willingness to overturn the infamous abortion ruling Roe v. Wade on Monday in an opinion about a gun rights case. he questioned the high court’s tendencies to lean on precedent for its decisions.
“When faced with a demonstrably erroneous precedent, my rule is simple: We should not follow it,” Thomas wrote in his decision.
He said the court should not “elevate” court precedent over the U.S. Constitution, and some precedents are “demonstrably erroneous.” At one point in his decision, he mentioned the abortion case Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The 1992 case, which upheld Roe, says that states cannot place an undue burden on women’s access to abortion. Thomas dissented in the case.
Thomas said the court should “restore” its jurisprudence relating to precedents to ensure it exercises “mere judgment” and focuses on the “correct, original meaning” of laws it interprets.
“In our constitutional structure, our rule of upholding the law’s original meaning is reason enough to correct course,” Thomas wrote.
Speculation is growing about whether the high court will hear an abortion case in the future and overturn Roe v. Wade. The justices recently refused to hear an Indiana case involving a law that protects unborn babies from discriminatory abortions based on their race, sex or a disability. Though the ruling was disappointing, the Supreme Court did uphold a second part of the law that requires abortion facilities to cremate or bury aborted babies.
Thomas wrote an opinion urging the court to consider laws that protect unborn babies from eugenics.
“… this law and other laws like it promote a State’s compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics,” he wrote. “Although the Court declines to wade into these issues today, we cannot avoid them forever. Having created the constitutional right to an abortion, this Court is dutybound to address its scope.”
What the SCOTUS rules on ROE will have a profound effect on the makeup and availability, if any, of abortion in each of the 50 individual sovereign states making our Constitutional Republic.