Justice Clarence Thomas suggests reconsidering ‘all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents’

2JE2AY9 GULFPORT, FLORIDA; United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas speaks during a law school visit February 2, 2010 in Gulfport, Florida.

Photo: Alamy

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas suggested Friday that the court should take a second look at the precedent set in rulings such as Obergefell v. Hodges, which established the Constitutional right for same-sex marriage, and Griswold v. Connecticut, which argued the right of married persons to obtain contraceptives.

Justice Thomas’s suggestion was included in his concurring opinion with Friday’s ruling to overturn the previous rulings on Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992).

“The Court’s abortion cases are unique,” Thomas stated. “…and no party has asked us to decide ‘whether our entire Fourteenth Amendment jurisprudence must be preserved or revised…’” He added, “Thus, I agree that [n]othing in [the Court’s] opinion should be understood to case doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.”

“For that reason,” he continued, “in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence and Obergefell.”

According to a report from The Epoch Times, Thomas argued for reconsidering these cases because they are categorized as prior due process precedents.

Justice Thomas added, “we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.”

While it is rarer for the Supreme Court to reverse past decisions, it is not impossible. Friday’s overturning of Roe v. Wade clearly demonstrated the court’s readiness to reverse previous rulings if necessary.

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Justice Samuel Alito stated in the majority opinion. He continued, “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to people’s elected representatives.”

Justice Thomas added in his concurring opinion, questioning the precedents set forth by the previous cases of Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell:

“After overruling these demonstrably erroneous decisions, the question would remain whether other constitutional provisions guarantee the myriad rights that our substantive rights announced in this Court’s substantive due process cases are ‘privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States’ protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.”

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