TURES COLUMN: All kinds of freedoms are on trial after Supreme Court opinion on abortion

Published 10:30 am Thursday, May 12, 2022

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With the draft opinion of the Supreme Court ruling on abortion from the Dobbs case, we have a better idea about how the court feels about a number of issues. And we’ve learned that contraception, interracial marriage, gay marriage, and a host of other landmark rulings could be undermined, thanks to a new ideology that challenges the application of the 14th Amendment.

I don’t support the leak of this Supreme Court opinion, by the way. This person who provided these documents to the press undermined the confidence of Americans in the judicial branch, and increased the chance that a fake brief might be used to sew anger and confusion. It’s a breach of trust that should be prosecuted. Such a ruling would have come out eventually, and the timing of the decision was not worth providing it early to the public. It also distracts from the ruling, when we should be focused entirely on what the justices wrote, and what they based it upon. And false accusations of leakers are equally reprehensible, and should be condemned as well.

As someone who is sympathetic to the pro-life movement, I should have been in a celebratory mood. While I am sure some religious leaders and individuals focused on the sanctity of life, they’re being drowned out by opportunistic politicians on the right who have used the leaked opinion to dunk on those they perceive to be members of the pro-choice movement, with tweets that make me sick. Those touting the GOP’s new power position with regards to fundraising and poll potential make me wonder if that was the real goal for some who claim to be antiabortion. 

I haven’t seen near as much outreach for helping those who must carry the baby to full term, or legislative attempts to reduce infant mortality rates for children born in dangerous environments due to crime and toxicity. Giving everyone a gun and expanding the death penalty don’t seem like pro-life solutions. Those who carry a child to term will hear “no” a lot afterwards.

With an attempt to roll back protections involving the principle of substantive due process, the court may not protect many fundamental rights from government interference, unless it is specifically enumerated.

This will likely open a wave of legal challenges to those rights.

Rights to contraception, gay marriage, and even interracial marriage will receive attacks as to the constitutionality of their protection from state and local governments who seek to score points with their “base.” And I can’t see this court protecting any of them with their attack upon substantive due process as a guiding principle. The individual is now at the mercy of the state as long as this current court is in session.

Others giddy from their apparent victory, having read the leaked draft, are ready to undo any particular law they don’t like, in the hopes of another sweeping ruling. A prominent pundit even wrote on social media that the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas would be next (Former ‘National Review’ Editor Calls for Supreme Court to Overturn Brown v. Board Next (msn.com)).

There are certainly those who pooh-pooh such claims, insisting it’s only abortion that will be ruled upon this way, and that states and courts won’t want challenge such freedoms. Then again, a U.S. Senator in confirmation hearings argued that interracial marriage should be left up to the states, though a number of them had once banned such unions. 

An Arizona Senate candidate is calling for overturning the case allowing contraception. They’re hardly the only types of these politicians, or the only freedoms facing assault. With a greater emphasis on primaries where one might distinguish himself or herself by calling for the most extreme policy, no one’s rights are safe, no matter what super-majorities of Americans support these freedoms.