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What Alito Wrote: The Most Powerful Lines in the SCOTUS Decision Overturning Roe

Friday’s momentous Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade has leftist politicians screaming, news anchors sputtering, and Twitter on fire, with both sides of the debate weighing in. All these loud voices, yet few of them seem to have read the opinion.

What does it actually say?

The final opinion was written by Justice Samuel Alito and is mostly similar to the draft that was leaked in May. The opinion ruled on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which centered on a Mississippi law that banned abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Arguably the most important line in the ruling comes on the first page of 213-page pdf document (emphasis mine):

Held: The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.

Boom. Authority is returned to the people and their representatives. Where it should have been all along.

On page 4, in one of his most powerful paragraphs, Alito dunked on the 1973 court for “usurping power”:

Roe was on a collision course with the Constitution from the day it was decided, Casey perpetuated its errors, and those errors do not concern some arcane corner of the law of little importance to the American people. Rather, wielding nothing but “raw judicial power,”… the Court usurped the power to address a question of profound moral and social importance that the Constitution unequivocally leaves for the people.

Even “longtime defender of reproductive and women’s rights,” the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg agreed in 2013 that the Roe was flawed:

She would’ve preferred that abortion rights be secured more gradually, in a process that included state legislatures and the courts… Ginsburg also was troubled that the focus on Roe was on a right to privacy, rather than women’s rights.

The problem with Roe all along is that it distorted the 14th Amendment’s right to privacy and expanded it to include abortion. Alito says:

In interpreting what is meant by the Fourteenth Amendment’s reference to ‘liberty,’ we must guard against the natural human tendency to confuse what that Amendment protects with our own ardent views about the liberty that Americans should enjoy. That is why the Court has long been ‘reluctant’ to recognize rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution.

Alito goes on to discuss the theory of life, soundly rebuking the dissenting opinion signed by Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.

Our opinion is not based on any view about if and when prenatal life is entitled to any of the rights enjoyed after birth. The dissent, by contrast, would impose on the people a particular theory about when the rights of personhood begin. According to the dissent, the Constitution requires the States to regard a fetus as lacking even the most basic human right—to live—at least until an arbitrary point in a pregnancy has passed. Nothing in the Constitution or in our Nation’s legal traditions authorizes the Court to adopt that ‘theory of life.”

He’s rejecting the dissenters’ view that the Constitution regards a fetus as lacking even the most basic right. While he doesn’t specifically say that fetuses have rights, he’s certainly not willing to claim they don’t.

Many on the left, including the dissenting justices, are freaking out that Clarence Thomas, in a non-binding concurring opinion, wrote that the decision calls into question old cases like gay marriage and access to birth control.

Alito’s opinion shut the door on revisiting old cases, though, flatly stating that “nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.”

It’s a powerful opinion, one which is greatly overdue, rights a legal wrong, and hands back power to the states—where it should be. Thank you, Justice Alito.

6 Comments
  • Gary Thompson says:

    They are upset because they know that few of their representatives and senators will come out for killing babies. They want the courts deo do their dirty work for them,

  • Rev. Philip E. Evans CJ says:

    Leaving religion out of the discussion, Human life is created by two people (whether willingly, unwillingly, or by outside artificial assistance). IT STILL TAKES TWO!

    A basic precept of our great nation is the fundamental belief in the “right to life”! Sometimes people make mistakes but, people also must “face up to” and be held accountable for those mistakes.

    Our country has fallen into a sad state where the young are not being taught to be or held responsible for their own decisions and actions. THIS IS WRONG! IT GOES AGAINST NATURE ITSELF!

    America (as well as the rest of the world), needs to face up to reality and start holding the individual responsible for their own decisions and actions, and quit trying to look for the “easy way out”!

    IF YOU HELPED CREATE THE PROBLEM, AT LEAST OWN UP TO YOUR MISTAKE, AND TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR PART!

    DO NOT TAKE ANOTHER HUMAN’S LIFE!

    • lillian day says:

      i AGREE WITH ALL YOU HAVE POSTED. I ALSO WANT TO ADD. WOMEN WANT THE RIGHT TO THEIR BODIES, OK . SO LEGALIZE ABORTION AND LET WOMEN PAY FOR THE ABORTION NOT THE TAXPAYER. GO TO THOSE CLINICS AND PAY FOR IT, YOU PAY NOT ME TAXPAYER!

      • James Daniel says:

        The problem with your “reasoning” is that it’s not a woman’s body. The child within her is a separate human being with DNA that is so different from the mother’s that her body would treat it as an invader if it weren’t separated from her immune system by a physical barrier.

        As to taxpayers paying for the abortions, there is a law already on the books that forbids the use of federal tax dollars to directly fund abortions. This is sidestepped by federal funds to groups like Planned Parenthood being given specifically labeled as not to fund abortions, however, any funding that goes to one area of their operations actually frees up funds that are simply moved from, say pap smears, to abortions on their ledger books. The only way to be absolutely sure to not find abortions would be to completely cut off federal funding for any organization that performs abortions. I would prefer to see all government funding for non-government entities cut out along with most of the government operations that are chiefly conserned with vote buying and employing worthless beaurocrats.

  • Cavalryman says:

    The most important part in the decision as stated in this article is that the constitution does NOT give you the “Right.” It’s taken 50 years to get to the point where the constitution is being considered in its original form. Though this is good news we don’t have another 50 years to drain the swamp. We need your help. Go to Convention Of States and take action. COS NOW!

    • James Daniel says:

      A CoS is a very dangerous idea at this point in history. Once you start it, you can’t control where it would end up going. The last time we had the states call a meeting to revise the Articles of Confederation, they met in secret and co pleteky rewrote the document giving us the Constitution. We don’t have enough intelligence in the political class today to pull together a group intelligent and wise enough to give us a better Constitution today.

      At a CoS, the left would be able to flood the convention with leftist nutjobs like AOC, Pelosi, Hillary, etc. who would be pushing to derail the process in favor of adding “rights” to a universal basic income, “free” healthcare, government funded abortions, gay marriage and now, probably a right to choose your gender and protections against “misinformation” that contradicts the official state disinformation. In addition to the danger of any or all of these fiascos passing, they could derail the attempts to install term limits or balanced budget amendmebts and literally any of the goals conservatives have.

      Leave the COS alone and use the vote to accomplish your goals. Make term limits an election issue and don’t vote for candidates that won’t support a Constitutional amendment. (Instead of term limits that permanently kick good candidates out of office, we need to limit candidates to two consecutive terms with a term sitting it out back in the real world before running again. Also we need to eliminate the ability of incumbents to build up war chests of funds in years they aren’t facing a heavy re-election campaign. Also, the current pay scale is rediculous if we want to attract talent and skilled candidates. Raise the salary to $1,000,000/year for representatives and eliminate the perks and lobbyists gifts.) The same goes for a balanced budget and every other issue.

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