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:
“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.
How’s Uncle Clarence feeling about Overturning Loving v Virginia??!!
— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) June 25, 2022
NEW: Samuel L. Jackson just called out Clarence Thomas’ hypocrisy for calling to overturn same-sex marriage and contraception but not interracial marriage, which was decided on the same grounds: “How’s Uncle Clarence feeling about Overturning Loving v Virginia??!!”
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) June 25, 2022
So Clarence Thomas wants to invalidate my marriage protected by Obergefell but not invalidate his marriage protected by Loving. Got it.
— Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) June 24, 2022
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.
Some members of the GOP have publicly stated they’d be open to an overturning of Loving v. Virginia.
Just weeks ago, a Republican senator said that the Supreme Court was wrong to legalize interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia.
They will not stop at Roe v. Wade.
— Rep. Gerry Connolly (@GerryConnolly) May 3, 2022
REPORTER: "You would be okay with the Supreme Court leaving the issue of interracial marriage to the states?"
SEN. MIKE BRAUN (R-IN): "Yes. If you are not wanting the Supreme Court to weigh in on issues like that, you are not going to be able to have your cake and eat it too." pic.twitter.com/jiVTMOpC01
— Heartland Signal (@HeartlandSignal) March 22, 2022
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