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Thu Jun 30, 2022, 10:08 AM

The Story This Court Is Telling About Who Deserves Rights

The Story This Court Is Telling About Who Deserves Rights
Men are free to pray everywhere. Women do not even retain autonomy over their own bodies.

JUNE 29, 20226:03 PM

(Slate) The Supreme Court has been on a maximalist legal tear over the past week. First it overruled Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and then a few days later it presumptively overruled Lemon v. Kurtzman. The result of these decisions fundamentally alters the tests for valid abortion regulations and the test for establishment clause regulations in ways that are not yet clear. This term, the high court has proved itself to be a kind of lethal combination of the History Channel and bazooka—if you’re taking the bar exam this summer, I would suggest that the answer to every constitutional law question is, quite reasonably, “facepalm.”

Those arguing that the brand-new jurisprudence emerging this week is markedly more cruel, more overtly theological, and more contemptuous of the regulatory state are all correct. But it also reflects a new kind of lawlessness that is frighteningly untethered from fact, science, and objectivity—untethered in ways that should frighten anyone who depends on the court for truth above all things. But one other theme in this radical new jurisprudence seems to be a redefinition of privacy and autonomy in ways that allow men to be at home everywhere they go, and women to be at peace nowhere.

Justice Samuel Alito’s radical opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is noteworthy for its casual dismissal of the economic and medical hardships of women forced to carry pregnancies to term. But it’s also striking for the dismissal of any privacy or bodily autonomy interests for the mother, who is deemed a vessel for constitutional purposes largely because she was deemed a vessel when the relevant constitutional provisions were written and ratified. After Dobbs, women’s lives will be subject to more invasive ultrasound readings, denials of health care, whims of vigilante neighbors, and electronic surveillance. Women will be spied on, turned in, and arrested. States are attempting to restrict pregnant people’s right to travel and to receive medication through the mail. They are now less protected from their rapists and predators. Effective last weekend, millions of American women will be less safe from government surveillance and intervention everywhere, both in their physician’s offices and in the privacy of their own homes. The Dobbs dissenters warned of this new reality, writing:

Some States have enacted laws extending to all forms of abortion procedure, including taking medication in one’s own home. They have passed laws without any exceptions for when the woman is the victim of rape or incest. Under those laws, a woman will have to bear her rapist’s child or a young girl her father’s—no matter if doing so will destroy her life.

After this week, women and pregnant people will lose, more than anything else, the “right to be left alone.” In half the states, their bodies are as free as the government allows them to be.


In Dobbs, not only are women of reproductive age denied the personal freedom Kennedy enjoys to claim privacy wherever he goes; they are also denied his spiritual liberty. They are given no spiritual authority over their own bodies. Even their personal, private spiritual values are trammeled by the state’s theologically driven interests in “potential life” and “fetal life” and “personhood.” The state’s zone of religious control swallows the spiritual preferences of the mother herself. Whatever her own religious beliefs may be, they are immaterial if she lives in a state that claims that personhood begins at conception. If Kennedy’s very body is a church that travels wherever he goes, a Mississippi mother’s body is not even her own spiritual domain. As she moves from state to state, from public to private, she is a potential crime scene, in which her beliefs and preferences have no relevance. The state may not place itself between a football coach and his spiritual life, but it can insert itself squarely between a woman and hers. ..............(more)


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Reply The Story This Court Is Telling About Who Deserves Rights (Original post)
marmar Jun 2022 OP
Bayard Jun 2022 #1
pfitz59 Jun 2022 #2

Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Jun 30, 2022, 11:37 AM

1. What if?

IF criminal trump was tried and convicted for trying to overthrow the government, would that put the legitimacy of the judges he installed as Supremes at risk? I know they were confirmed by a separate branch of government, but wasn't it under false pretenses?

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Response to Bayard (Reply #1)

Thu Jun 30, 2022, 01:56 PM

2. I hope his entire Presidency would be declared 'null and void'

and every action and appointment he made overturned as tainted.

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