Legal analysts and news network experts are scrambling to decipher Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s intentions when he wrote an ominous line in his concurring opinion for Gamble v. United States, released Monday. The implications, many agree, represent an initial baseline for addressing Roe v. Wade.
“When faced with a demonstrably erroneous precedent, my rule is simple: We should not follow it,” he wrote.
With the likelihood of abortion laws passed in states across the country setting up a near-future examination of the 46-year-old abortion legalization decree, the timing of Thomas’s mention of precedent is conspicuous.
Kristen Clarke, the President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, told Fox News that Thomas’ comments were part of a larger attack on abortion rights.
“One can’t ignore the timing of Justice Thomas’s concurring opinion which comes at a moment when we are seeing a coordinated and relentless attack on Roe v. Wade across the country,” Clarke said. “The laws that have been adopted in several states violate the Court’s settled precedent in Roe. In his concurring opinion, Justice Thomas has made clear his willingness to reject precedents that he personally deems incorrect, a position that unnecessarily politicizes the Court.
We can debate all day (and I often do) about whether or not abortion is acceptable. As an adamant pro-lifer, clearly I do not think it is. But one thing that should not be up for debate is whether or not this is a state issue. Healthcare laws generally fall to the states despite attempts to impose single-payer healthcare on us, so the chants by pro-abortionists that it’s a women’s healthcare issue belies the need for it to be a national law.
The divided opinions on whether or not a fetus has rights, the role choice at multiple levels plays into abortion decisions, and at what stage an abortion becomes too barbaric is the very reason Roe v. Wade is obsolete. Is abortion healthcare? If so, then laws pertaining to it must be decided by the states. With no consensus about the status of a human being at the earliest stages of life, allowing federal laws to blanket it removes the righteous debate that must be held continuously as more knowledge becomes available.
There are arguments that this should not be a religious issue, but it’s false to claim there are no arguments against abortion outside of religion. If anything, the fact that we’re still debating it on scientific, ethical, and philosophical grounds is a clear indicator the debate must continue. That cannot happen in its fullest form as long as Roe v. Wade is the standing precedent.
“The Constitution tasks the political branches—not the Judiciary—with systematically developing the laws that govern our society. The Court’s role, by contrast, is to exercise the ‘Judicial Power,’ faithfully interpreting the Constitution and the laws enacted by those branches.” – Clarence Thomas
Abortion legalization at the national level is demonstrably erroneous, fitting Thomas’s definition of precedent that should not be followed. Could abortion laws finally be left solely to states? Stay tuned.
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