August 15, 2022

RIGHTS ROLLBACK: Why what Clarence Thomas didn’t say is so important

RIGHTS ROLLBACK: Why what Clarence Thomas didn't say is so important

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That someone as reactionary as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has said that he wants the Supreme Court to re-examine decisions securing access to contraception and marriage equality for the LGBTQ+ community isn’t shocking. But the rights that he didn’t mention snatching away are raising eyebrows.  After voting to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case securing abortion rights for women, Thomas went a step further. writing in a separate concurrence to Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion:

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“In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.”

1965’s Griswold v. Connecticut guaranteed a married couple’s right to buy and use contraception. Lawrence v. Texas (2003) and Obergefell (2015) secured LGBTG’s right to marriage equality and the decriminalization of same-sex activities.

What case did  Justice Thomas not mention? Loving v. Virginia,  the 1967 Supreme Court decision that allowed interracial marriage on the grounds that banning interracial marriage is a violation of the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause.

That Due Process Clause is something Thomas explicitly says in his opinion does not secure the constitutional rights protected by the Griswold, Lawrence, Obergefell, and Loving decisions.

His hypocrisy isn’t lost on the public, with even award-winning film actor Samuel L. Jackson weighing in.

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Thomas’ opinion is in direct contradiction to those drafted by Justices Alito and Kavanaugh, who both declared that the decisions Thomas mentioned weren’t in danger. According to The Washington Post, Kavanaugh said “Overruling Roe does not mean the overruling of those precedents, and does not threaten or cast doubt on those precedents.”

But considering both Alito and Kavanaugh lied during their confirmation hearings about their intentions regarding the overturning of Roe v. Wade, I wouldn’t exactly take their word for it.

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Some members of the GOP have publicly stated they’d be open to an overturning of Loving v. Virginia.

It seems the party Thomas has pledged loyalty to may not reciprocate it. His race to turn back the clock on progress may come sooner rather than later – with him getting caught up in the process by potentially losing his own rights and invalidating his marriage to a woman outside of his race. But with Ginni Thomas playing an active role in the January 6th insurrection and attempting to illegally overturn the results of the 2020 election, the couple may soon be torn apart anyway, if – and hopefully when – she’s carted off to jail.

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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