Editor’s note: In this view of the future, students discuss abortion. Next week, we’ll ask the following question: “The mental health problems – and even the rise in suicide rates – of young people over the past decade are worrying. Are these problems caused by the dissociation of social networks? Anxiety about the economic situation and the pandemic? The fading sense of the purpose of human life? » Students must click here to submit opinions of less than 250 words by May 17. The best answers will be posted that evening.
The Supreme Court should overturn Roe vs. Wade and let the American people decide the abortion issue. Justice Samuel Alito’s legal arguments in the draft decision are strong and commendable. He rightly recognizes that the defense deer based on respect for precedent is untenable. Not only deer himself defy precedent with shameless audacity, but as Plessy v. Ferguson, the decision was “demonstrably wrong from the start”. deerThe constitutionality of has proven fragile at best and a fiery divisive at worst.
Unfortunately, President Biden attacked the leaked draft, calling it a “radical move.” Such so-called radicalism, however, is exactly what is needed from the court. Only the court can conclusively close the litigious jurisprudential chapter deer inaugurated in 1973. The Court’s apparent willingness to cede some of its power in the interest of constitutional principle is encouraging. Such a move would help him “survive the stench,” in the words of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, of constitutional adventurism.
No serious person expects a reversal to settle the matter immediately. But reverse deer will create space for all Americans to democratically decide how to meet the needs of vulnerable women and unborn children. Returning voters to their legitimate right to choose a solution would be wise, fair and in its own way extremely pro-choice.
—Jakob Haws, Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson Law (JD)
Keep the right to choose from a woman
Judge Alito’s draft decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization demonstrates the danger of constitutional originalism in our ever-changing society. Originalists examine the intent of the Constitution and the surrounding historical evidence of the period. Originalism is often praised for its strong foundation and its limitation of judicial power. Our nation’s highest court is governed by nine judges not elected for life, so any incitement to judicial restraint is laudable.
Reversal deer on originalist bases, however, would have serious implications for our society. If a decades-old precedent can be overturned by originalist arguments, so can others. How are we supposed to know what rights we can count on? And how are we supposed to believe in the legitimacy of our justice system if pioneering cases can simply be overturned half a century later?
This decision would weaken the importance of precedent and thus create distrust in our judicial system, which violates the essence of originalism on which this decision itself is based. Fundamental rights cannot be left to the states and must be protected by the Supreme Court. A living constitutionalist interpretation, such as that advanced by Justice Stephen Breyer, marries the good aspects of originalism with an appropriate respect for current social mores. From this understanding, the Constitution actually protects a woman’s right to choose. We must urge the court to respect precedent and approach this case using living constitutionalism to preserve this much-needed right and maintain public confidence in our justice system.
—Ally Fertig, Cornell University, History
Leave it to the States
In Amanda Ripley’s book “High Conflict,” she articulates the principle that while conflict can be beneficial, there comes a time when healthy conflict becomes high conflict. At this stage, we are convinced that our position is correct, the other position is immoral, even bad, and those who agree with us are good, and those who don’t are bad.
Much domestic politics is currently in conflict, and the Supreme Court’s referral of the abortion issue to the states is an opportunity to interrupt this pattern.
Both liberals and conservatives attribute the worst possible intention to the other’s motives, with the left convinced that the right wants to bring about the dystopia of Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and the right convinced that the left has no value for human life. In reality, conservatives place a high value on potential life and liberals place a higher value on individual autonomy.
These discussions are best left to the states, where policymakers and citizens can engage in rhetoric and persuasion to find what each state values most. The legislature, not the judiciary, is the proper place for democratic debate. This is, after all, the purpose of our federalist system, and it will surely allow our great conflict to degenerate into a healthier one.
—Luke Kennedy, University of Iowa, Law (JD)
Don’t Knock Roe Down
Opponents of reversal often cite the regression of women’s rights, but a reversal of deer will also weaken the judiciary. The Roe v. Wade, bolstered in 1992 by Planned Parenthood v. Casey, provides the Supreme Court with an important framework for defending women’s reproductive rights. According to a recent ABC poll, a majority of Americans continue to support Roe’s retention. There is no clear change in social conditions that demands a re-examination of the 50-year-old precedent.
Past decisions should only be reversed when there is a significant change in public opinion. The most famous example of overturned precedent is the 1954 decision Brown v. Board of Education, in which the court, emboldened by the civil rights movement, struck down Plessy v. Ferguson to establish a constitutional mandate for desegregation.
America has been subjected to unprecedented politicization in recent years, and overthrowing Roe will deepen that crisis and challenge the Court’s legitimacy.
—Long Tran-Bui, Swarthmore College, Politics, Philosophy and Economics
End the abuse of justice
Abortion has been divisive for a long time, but I think all Americans should be proud of this draft advice. It redresses a flagrant abuse of power by the judiciary.
The creation of the Constitution accomplished two main tasks: it established a strong federal authority with the ability to perform essential functions, while preventing tyrannical rule by protecting individual liberty and the rights of the states. Federalism is a key element of this system, distributing power to limit its excesses. The 10th Amendment sets its guidelines by reserving non-delegated powers in the Constitution to the states and the people.
Whether or not one believes that there is an inherent right to privacy, it is indisputable that the word “abortion” does not appear anywhere in the Constitution. The 10th Amendment therefore dictates that abortion law should be returned to the states.
In 1803, the case of Marbury v. Madison established that the practice of judicial review would be the primary function of the Supreme Court. Over time, the court became politicized, with judicial activists ruling from the bench. Abortion is a central example.
This leaked draft advisory is a victory over the federal government’s judicial activism and overreach. Policy-making belongs to the legislature, not the courts. This decision will promote democracy, empower the American people, and uphold the integrity of the Constitution.
—Allie Orgen, Yeshiva University, Political Science
Knocking down Roe is just the first step
The new frontier of the pro-life movement will likely be a state-by-state battle to ban abortion. This is a welcome change from the status quo, as the 1973 decision in Roe vs. Wade was the result of simple judicial activism. By returning the debate to the legislative power to which it belongs, the Supreme Court has put the question of abortion back in line with the Constitution.
But that’s not the right reason to be happy Roe’s disappearance. Americans should celebrate sending deer to the ashes heap of history because it is the first step in restoring the unborn child’s God-given right to life. Subjecting the natural rights of anyone, including unborn children, to the fickle whims of majorities goes against the founding ideals of our country.
Our form of government must navigate the difficult tension between democracy, the idea that governments derive their power from the consent of the governed, and liberalism, the idea that the governed have certain inalienable rights. While it is important that the government be accountable to the people, there are certain things that should not be put to a vote. If 51%, 75% or even 99% of the inhabitants of a territory think that a minority is unworthy of life or freedom, this does not mean that this minority should be denied these rights.
This principle must guide the debate on abortion once deer is reversed: unborn babies have a right to life, and the beliefs of a state’s voters take nothing away from them.
—Charles Hilu, University of Michigan, Political Science
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