Alito’s Supreme Affront of 9th Amendment Kills ‘Roe’

Today the Supreme Court deserted 49 years of precedent in striking down Roe v. Wade, paving the way for states to ban abortion. In Justice Alito’s majority opinion, he states because the Constitution does not mention abortion, there is no constitutional right to abortion. It’s remarkable to me a sitting Supreme Court justice in 2022 would make such an argument given the long history of such foolish arguments, but this is how religion and righteousness can cloud one’s judgement.

The Founding Fathers debated this in their day, with some arguing against a Bill of Rights because it would potentially allow an argument just like Alito’s to prevail. Still others argued the Bill of Rights was necessary to protect the most important rights, but that these enumerated rights should not be considered a limit on other rights. And so they compromised by including the 9th Amendment, which says the government does not own the rights not written in the Constitution, and that those rights belong to the people.

I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a legal scholar, but it seems a grade school level understanding of the Constitution negates Alito’s reasoning.

Alito also opined that abortion is not “deeply rooted” in our nation’s history, ostensibly blind to the fact that abortion did not suddenly come into existence when Roe was decided in 1973. He also tosses aside the fact that abortion has been a constitutionally protected right for the last 49 years. The choice to have an abortion is deeply rooted, because this right has now existed for the most recent one-fifth of this nation’s history, and because it has always been a woman’s choice to have an abortion, regardless of government overreach in regulating bodily autonomy. The difference now is that in states where abortion is or will be outlawed, much like access to alcohol during prohibition, access to abortion will rely on dark-alley “service providers,” and will undoubtedly lead to higher rates of maternal mortality.

Adding insult to injury, in response to today’s majority opinion, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) are stating their shock about the prospect that three sitting justices on the Supreme Court lied during their respective confirmation hearings. Hello! You were told this! We told you they were lying. For the anti-choice religious zealots, there is no bridge too far. — It’s get it done at all costs. Whatever it takes. If it means lying to the Senate to get Roe overturned, so be it! — We told you all of this. And now you act surprised. 

And now I offer up this gem courtesy of The West Wing.

“If we list a set of rights, some fools in the future are going to claim that people are only entitled to those rights enumerated and no others.”

Am I calling Alito a fool? No, “the brand new state of Georgia was.”