In a separate opinion concurring with Friday's majority ruling, the conservative justice urged the court to "reconsider" past rulings rooted in the constitution's Due Process Clause, which prevents the government from taking away “any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." The original Roe decision was based upon the idea that the right to privacy also encompassed a person's right to choose, though Thomas tried to argue that Due Process doesn't actually guarantee the right to an abortion.
However, what made Thomas' opinion even more troubling was his argument about applying the same logic to future rulings that could possibly overturn other landmark cases, specifically Griswold v. Connecticut, Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hodges. In terms of Griswold, the Supreme Court ruled in 1965 that married couples have the right to birth control access. Meanwhile, Lawrence (2003) ensured that that states couldn't outlaw consensual gay sex, while Obergefell (2015) secured the right to same-sex marriage.
Even though Thomas' opinion wasn't co-signed by any of the other conservative justices, his statements are uncomfortably similar to an argument made by Justice Samuel Alito in the court's majority opinion, in which he wrote the Constitution makes "no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision." But as George Washington University Law School professor Paul Schiff Berman told The Guardian, this logic could have severe repercussions for Americans and potentially open up the floodgates for further rulings that undermine the right to privacy.
Read The Guardian's full report here.
Photo via Getty / Erin Schaff-Pool
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