Supreme Court Justice Thomas states gay rights judgments available to be tossed

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Supreme Court Justice Thomas says gay rights rulings open to be tossed

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Associate Justice Clarence Thomas postures throughout a group image of the Justices at the Supreme Court in Washington, April 23, 2021.

Erin Schaff|Pool|Reuters

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Friday stated landmark high court judgments that developed gay rights and birth control rights need to be reassessed now that the federal right to abortion has actually been withdrawed.

Thomas composed that those judgments “were demonstrably erroneous decisions.”

The cases he pointed out are Griswold vs. Connecticut, the 1965 judgment in which the Supreme Court stated couples can acquire contraceptives; Lawrence v. Texas, which in 2003 developed the right to take part in personal sexual acts; and the 2015 judgment in Obergefell v. Hodges, which stated there is a right to same-sex marital relationship.

Thomas’ suggestion to reevaluate that trio of choices does not have the force of legal precedent, nor does it oblige his associates on the Supreme Court to take the action he recommended.

But it is an implicit invite to conservative legislators in specific states to pass legislation that may contravene of the Supreme Court’s past choices, with an eye towards having that court possibly reverse those judgments.

That is the tack conservative legislators took in numerous states, where for many years they passed limiting abortion laws in the hopes that a difficulty to them would reach the Supreme Court and unlock for federal abortion rights to be reversed as an outcome.

That circumstance played out on Friday when the Supreme Court, in promoting a Mississippi abortion law that enforced much more stringent constraints on the treatment than those enabled by its 1973 choice in Roe v. Wade, reversed Roe entirely. Also reversed was another case dating to the1990 s that explained there was a constitutional right to abortion.

Thomas, in the concurring viewpoint that he composed siding with other conservative justices in voting to reverse Roe, pointed out the reasoning for throwing out that choice as he required other old cases unassociated to abortion to be reassessed.

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“The Court well explains why, under our substantive due process precedents, the purported right to abortion is not a form of ‘liberty’ protected by the Due Process Clause,” of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment, he composed.

That provision ensures that no state will “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”

Thomas argued that the right to abortion under that provision “is neither ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition’ nor ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.’ “

Thomas kept in mind that the 3 cases he now states need to be reassessed by the court “are not at issue” in Friday’s judgment reversing Roe.

But, he composed, they all are based upon analyses of the Due Process Clause.

Specifically, he stated, they are based upon the concept of “substantive due process,” which in a previous case he called “an oxymoron that ‘absence[s] any basis in the Constitution.’ “

Thomas stated the concept that the constitutional provision that ensures just “process” for denying an individual of life, liberty or residential or commercial property can not be utilized “to define the substance of those rights.”

While Thomas stated that he concurred that absolutely nothing in the Roe- associated judgment Friday “should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion … in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.”

“Because any substantive due procedure choice is ‘demonstrably incorrect’ … we have a responsibility to
‘ remedy the mistake’ developed in those precedents,” Thomas included.

In a furious dissent to Friday’s judgment, the Supreme Court’s 3 liberal justices indicated Thomas’ concurring viewpoint as one of a number of risks to people’ rights that streamed from the choice.

“We cannot understand how anyone can be confident that today’s opinion will be the last of its kind,” composed the liberals, justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor,

“The first problem with the majority’s account comes from Justice Thomas’s concurrence — which makes clear he is not with the program,” the dissent stated.

“In saying that nothing in today’s opinion casts doubt on non-abortion precedents, Justice Thomas explains, he means only that they are not at issue in this very case,” the liberals continued.

“But he lets us understand what he wishes to do when they are. ‘[I] n future cases,” he states, ‘we need to reevaluate all of this Court’s substantive due procedure precedents, consisting of Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.'” the dissent kept in mind.

“And when we reevaluate them? Then ‘we have a responsibility’ to “overrul[e] these demonstrably incorrect choices.’ “

“So at least one Justice is planning to use the ticket of today’s decision again and again and again,” the dissent stated.

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