Updated: Jul 28, 2022
On January 22, 1973, the United States Supreme Court issued a 7–2 decision which holds together the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. It provides people the “right to privacy,” which would also protect a pregnant woman’s right to an abortion. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, Associate Justice William O. Douglas, Associate Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., Associate Justice Potter Stewart, Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall, Associate Justice Harry Blackmun, and Associate Lewis F. Powell Jr. voted in the majority.
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Two descended the decision on Roe v. Wade: Associate Justice Byron White and Associate Justice William Rehnquist. However, on June 24, 2022, the United States Supreme Court voted to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Associate Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, and Associate Justice Clarence Thomas voted in the majority. Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Associate Elena Kagan voted to uphold the Roe V. Wade decision.
(Photo Credit: supremecourt.gov)
As the nation progresses, the Supreme Court decisions usually do not change. “Stare Decisis is the doctrine that courts will adhere to precedent in making their decisions. Stare decisis means ‘to stand by things decided’ in Latin.” (Cornell Law) These major decisions are typically expected to remain with stare decisis. However, as we have seen here, the courts have reversed an age-old legal implementation and overturned a constitutional right.
The rights of women have been removed; not only this, but this will lead to the overturning of other cases that regard certain protections and rights. In 2022, we have reached a court that seeks to push its own religious agendas. This is dangerous to the sanctity of our constitutional rights and the courts’ progress in ensuring everyone is equal. Senator John Cornyn of Texas tweeted on June 25, 2022, “now do Plessy vs. Ferguson/Brown vs. Board of Education.”
(Photo Credit: cnbc.com)
Sitting officials are now comfortable reversing constitutional cases and openly sharing a prejudiced opinion. This is not the nation we need to be; in the 21st century, we should be more focused on uniting such a group of diverse people. However, all I can notice is the divide in the nation that seemingly has never closed; it varies in size.
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My call to all who read is, please urge everyone you know, including yourself, to vote. We are facing the repercussions of the election of 2016, showing you how even with a popular vote, a president still may not be elected. This runs deeper than presidential elections; this extends to local elections as well. Senators and Representatives vote Supreme Court Justices into office. As well, the decisions of your local government officials like your mayors, city council, county judges, justices of the peace, aldermen, and boards of directors make the decisions that affect your everyday life. Any and every election there is that you are eligible to vote, you need to! This civil right is too important to neglect, and the price you pay for not doing so is too high!
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