Wednesday, 1 December 2021, the state of Mississippi argued before the US Supreme Court that the 1973 Roe vs Wade decision [410 U.S. 113 (1973)] giving women a constitutional right to have an abortion was in error; that it should be overturned. During Wednesday’s oral arguments, Justice Sotomayor asked Mississippi’s Solicitor Stewart whether Mississippi’s challenge was premised on religious grounds.
No doubt about that. In Missouri, Alabama, Mississippi, and in a dozen and more other states they would rather that the people of the state decide when a human embryo becomes a human being. No science or philosophy, please.
The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, is being heard by nine Supreme Court Justices, six of whom are avowed Catholics. Five of these six Catholics are opposed to abortion on personal/religious grounds. Another, Justice Gorsuch, an Anglican/même chose, is also opposed to abortion on personal/religious grounds. For the six opposed to abortion, their opposition to abortion played a perceptible role in both their nomination and confirmation.
The makeup of the current Court was carefully crafted over a period of years to, among other things, overturn Roe vs. Wade. From their appointment, six of the current Justices were tasked with interpreting the Constitution in a manner that would facilitate this overturning. Most, if not all, of their careers have been built around their ability to interpret to Constitution in ways that suited their patrons; all six were groomed and sponsored by right wing organizations. Now, they advocate for right wing positions from the bench of the highest court in the land. Some, from this high bench, publicly solicit cases for overturning those Supreme Court rulings the factions on the right disapprove of.
During Wednesday’s oral arguments, all six of the Republican appointees advocated for overturning Roe vs. Wade. All did so, not on the basis of politics, religion, or personal belief, but on the basis that Roe was unconstitutional; was so for forty-eight years now. That women had no right to an abortion under the Constitution and that therefore under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution the right to control this right fell to the states. No mention was made of the Ninth Amendment’s possibly according them a retained right. Which is not all that surprising given that the original Constitution accorded women no rights; not even those of a slave.
James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and others realized that by enumerating rights the Constitution implied that, unless enumerated, these rights were denied; thus the Ninth Amendment:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The current US Supreme Court has been masterfully assembled by America’s rich and powerful. In doing so, they have skillfully manipulated such religious groups as Catholics and Evangelical Christians into providing the political muscle to stack the court with right-wing ideologues. For both these Religious groups, abortion was the wedge issue that got them to the polls to vote for politicians that would confirm Justices that would overturn Roe.
The Catholic Church priesthood has long opposed abortion. Many Catholic girls and women do get abortions; it’s a female thing. Nixon got Evangelical Christians going on opposing abortion in 1973 in order to get them to the polls and vote for him. Many Evangelical Christian girls and women get abortions; it’s a female thing. Abortion itself has been around as long as humans.
In recent elections, both the Catholics and Evangelical Christians have swarmed to the polls to vote for politicians gladly willing to oppose abortion in exchange for these votes.
Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz are disturbingly overly ambitious politicians. Before their nominations, all six conservative of the current conservative Justices had for years made it abundantly clear that they were the right person for the rich and powerful to groom for appointment to the highest court in the land.
Today’s U.S. Supreme Court majority is the product of money spent convincing the easily manipulable to vote for craven politicians who would help them groom, and get approved overly ambitious, less than imminent, conservative Justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. A winning combination, indeed. Like their brothers before them, the rich and powerful have shown themselves to be masters at taking advantage of the Constitution’s flaws.
When history is writ (by google, of course) no addressment of what happened to that noble experiment that was America would be complete without describing the role of the current US Supreme Court. Whereas the Court may have, for the most part, en balance, for the first two-hundred years played a constructive role in the Nation’s development, nothing good can be said of the Rehnquist and Roberts courts, those so instrumental in America’s demise.
Greenhouse does an excellent job. Might add that while Brown granted rights denied by Plessy, Dobbs would deny rights granted by Roe; the two could hardly be more different.