Justice Clarence Thomas Wants The Supreme Court To Revisit Previous Rulings On Contraception And Gay Marriage

By Gina Florio··  2 min read
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Clarence Thomas

Today marked a historic day in American history—Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court by a 6-3 decision. The 1973 ruling granted federal constitutional protections to women to abort their unborn babies. Now the decision is left up to the states.

Justice Clarence Thomas was nominated in 1991 to the Supreme Court by former President George H.W. Bush, and he succeeded Thurgood Marshall. He has been known to have an "originalist" take on the Constitution. The conservative justice ruled in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade, and he's now pointing to more work that needs to be done.

Justice Clarence Thomas Wants the Supreme Court To Revisit Previous Rulings on Contraception and Gay Marriage

The majority opinion was written by Justice Samuel Alito, and Thomas of course agreed with Alito, but shortly after said it was time to look back on some previous rulings in regards to same-sex marriage and contraception. “For that reason, in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents," Thomas wrote.

He named the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut ruling that granted married couples the freedom to buy and use contraceptives without any federal government overreach, the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case that ruled that the government can't convict sodomy (or same-sex relations), and the famous 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges case that granted the right to gay marriage.

“As I have previously explained, ‘substantive due process’ is an oxymoron that ‘lack[s] any basis in the Constitution,’” Thomas wrote. He referred to it as "legal fiction." Substantive due process is when courts protect rights that aren't explicitly named in the Constitution, and it was applied to matters relating to the right to privacy.

“In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell. Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’ we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents,” Thomas continued.

Thomas even suggested the court would get rid of substantive due process altogether.

"Respondents invoke one source for that right: the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee that no State shall 'deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.' 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. Such a right is neither 'deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition' nor ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty," he wrote.

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