The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in Dobbs’ Women’s Health Foundation v. Jackson.
The case has the potential to overturn earlier Courts Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which say women have the right to an abortion at around 24 weeks’ gestation.
Mississippi law prohibits nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The case heard this week challenges that law.
After 24 weeks, a fetus is generally considered viable (able to exist outside of the uterus), so the law says it cannot be aborted anymore.
The arguments for Jackson’s Women’s Health Foundation are based primarily on the idea that abortion is a matter of rights, freedoms, and autonomy, and that for those reasons it must be upheld. But Justice Clarence Thomas question whether abortion is a constitutional right.
Julie Rikelman on behalf of the Jackson Women’s Health Foundation told the court, the last abortion clinic in Mississippi, along with US Attorney General Elizabeth Prelogar, who Discuss, “If this Court waives the liberal interests recognized in Roe and reaffirmed in Casey, it will be an unprecedented narrowing of individual rights and a complete departure from from the principles of assertiveness. [precedent].
Prelogar added, “The court has never revoked a fundamental right for so many Americans and so vital to their ability to participate fully and equally in society. Courts should not abuse the central component of women’s liberties. “
Thomas then immediately asked Prelogar to clarify exactly which rights were being contested.
“General, can you tell me specifically – what exactly is a right? Specifically abortion? Is that freedom? Is it autonomy? Is that privacy? ‘ Thomas asked.
Should Mississippi law be upheld?
Yes: 96% (414 Votes)
No: 4% (17 votes)
Prelogar replied that right abortion on the basis of liberty, found in the Fourteenth Amendment, as well as autonomy and privacy.
Justice Thomas responded by asking a more clarifying question, seemingly aimed at questioning constitutional precedent and the “right” being assumed.
“I understand we’re talking about abortion here, but what’s confusing is that we – if we’re talking about Second Amendment, then I know exactly what we’re talking about. If we’re talking about the Fourth Amendment, I know what we’re talking about because it was written. It’s there. Specifically, what is the right here that we are talking about? ‘ said Thomas.
Mississippi State Attorney General, Scott Stewart, who represents Dobbs, has argued that Roe and Casey have in fact no constitutional basis.
“Mr. Chief Justice, and it may please the Court: Roe versus Wade and Planned Parenthood versus Casey haunt our country. They have no basis in the Constitution,” Stewart said.
Stewart also argues that, based on Supreme Court precedent, assuming a right based simply on privacy and autonomy is not how the Courts operate.
“Yes, the Constitution provides certain conditions – protection of certain aspects of privacy, autonomy, and the like, but, as this Court said in Glucksberg, goes directly from general concepts of autonomy, privacy, bodily integrity, to – to Stewart said.
That seems to be the heart of the matter, and that’s what Thomas got when he asked the question. The issue is not just whether there is a right to an abortion, but whether that right derives from the Constitutional right to certain bodily autonomy.
Thomas told Rikelman: ‘I’m trying to look into the matter of body self-control and whether she has body autonomy in the case of ingesting an illegal substance and harming her unborn baby.
Of all the current Supreme Court Justices, Justice Clarence Thomas has longest court. He took his seat in 1991.
He was present at the Court for the Casey ruling in 1992 and joined previous Chief Justice William Rehnquist, saying, “Roe made the wrong decision, and … it can and should be dismissed. cancel.”
But his particular question on Wednesday shed some important light on the abortion debate: The choice to have an abortion is not, in and of itself, a constitutional right. But the Constitution still upholds liberties, and it promotes some ideas of autonomy. So does abortion fall under that constitutional freedom box, specifically outlined in the Fourteenth Amendment?
That’s what Justice Thomas is trying to make clear. His question pointed to a weakness in the core argument of Jackson’s Women’s Health Foundation.
https://www.westernjournal.com/justice-thomas-sinks-pro-abortion-lawyers-one-simple-question/ Justice Thomas engulfs abortion lawyers with one simple question