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Adding to the horrendous blow to reproductive rights today, Justice Clarence Thomas called on the court to “reconsider’ other opinions. Justice Thomas said the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade should call into question other rights the Court has granted under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Thomas, whose wife supported the January 6th insurrection, called earlier Court decisions granting Americans rights “demonstrably erroneous.”
“In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents,” Thomas wrote. “We have a duty to “correct the error” established in those precedents.”
Those decisions, according to Thomas, include cases like “Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.”
Opinion in Dobbs case could open door to other rights being revoked
In the 1965 case Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court upheld that married couples have a right to buy contraception without government interference. The 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case banned states from issuing criminal punishments for consensual gay sex. And the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) decision ensured all gay couples the right to marry.
Thomas said that this particular decision in Dobbs v. Jackson (2022) to overturn Roe doesn’t affect those other cases. However, he believes the Court should still reconsider them to determine if the rights granted are “‘privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States’ protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.”
Nearly half the states in the nation have laws on the books that make all or most abortions illegal. The rights of people to access reproductive healthcare is at risk in each of those states.
Similarly, nine states have laws restricting access to emergency contraception. Twenty-four states still have laws on the books criminalizing consensual gay sex and thirty states have laws banning gay marriage.
If Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell also fall, tens of millions of Americans could see even more rights restricted or revoked.
Liberal justices offer scathing dissent, dire warning as Roe falls
In their scathing dissent of the majority opinion, Justices Kagan, Breyer and Sotomayor condemned the dismantling of Roe.
“The [conservative] majority has overruled Roe & Casey for one and only one reason,” they wrote, “because it has always despised them.”
“Now, it has the votes to discard them. The majority thereby substitutes a rule by judges for the rule of law.”
The three liberal justices warned of the dangerous legislation likely to emerge across the nation in the months and years to come.
“Most threatening of all, no language in today’s decision stops the Federal Government from prohibiting abortions nationwide,” the justices stated.
While most Americans believe abortion should be legal in some form, Breyer, Kagan and Sotomayor say conservatives are likely to limit nearly all abortion rights, including “from the moment of conception and without exceptions for rape or incest.”
And now, as Americans fear more rights are now at risk, the justices offered a chilling warning:
“No one should be confident that this majority is done with its work,” they wrote. “The right Roe and Casey recognized does not stand alone.”