During a recent Supreme Court ruling, Justice Clarence Thomas referred to Roe v. Wade as one of many “incorrect decisions” in relation to the Fourteenth Amendment. Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision, imposed abortion on demand across the United States.
In the same context of “incorrect decisions,” Thomas also mentioned the 2015 ruling Obergefell v. Hodges, which guaranteed a “right” to homosexual “marriage.”
The final decision Thomas classified as “incorrect” was Dred Scott v. Sandford, according to which the Constitution of the United States was not meant to include American citizenship for black people. The 1857 ruling was directly overturned by the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868.
The justice’s concurring opinion comes as part of a ruling concerning the rights of criminal defendants at trial, Ramos v. Louisiana, which was issued last Monday.
In the same ruling, President Donald Trump’s second nominee to the nation’s highest court, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, talked about “erroneous precedents.”
As LifeSiteNews reported, Kavanaugh elaborated on his thought process for when longstanding precedent should be left alone or overturned, using abortion precedent as his example.
“In [Planned Parenthood v.] Casey, the Court reaffirmed what it described as the ‘central holding’ of Roe v. Wade,” while at the same time “expressly reject[ing] Roe’s trimester framework,” Kavanaugh wrote. This, he continued, shows that the doctrine of stare decisis, or deference to precedent, “is not an ‘inexorable command.’”
At the same time, Kavanaugh argued that a mere “belief that the precedent was wrongly decided” would not be enough to justify overturning it.
Instead, he said, justices should make that decision based on criteria such as whether a precedent is “not just wrong, but grievously or egregiously wrong,” whether it “caused significant negative jurisprudential or real-world consequences” for both the legal system and the citizenry, and whether overturning it would “unduly upset” people’s reliance on it.
“Earlier this Term, we were confronted with lower court decisions requiring States to allow abortions based solely on the race, sex, or disability of the child,” he wrote. “Today, we are confronted with decisions requiring States to allow abortion via live dismemberment. None of these decisions is supported by the text of the Constitution….”
The above comes from an April 22 story on LifeSiteNews.