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General News    H3'ed 6/26/22

Samuel Alito on Abortion (REVIEW ESSAY)

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Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) June 26, 2022: The U.S. Supreme Court giveth a constitutional right to abortion. And the U.S. Supreme Court taketh away.

Oops! The Supreme Court made a mistake in its Roe ruling in 1973. But the Supreme Court is now correcting that mistake in its 2022 Dobbs ruling. In May 2022, the draft of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's majority ruling in Dobbs was leaked. The leak was unprecedented. The leaker has not yet been identified. Did the leaked draft in May mute the shock of the now official Dobbs ruling in June?

The New York Times published an annotated version of the June Dobbs ruling ("The Dobbs v. Jackson Decision, Annotated," dated June 24, 2022):

Click Here...

Because legalized abortion has been strongly debated in the U.S. since the Roe ruling in 1973, will the Dobbs ruling in 2022 now further inflame the national debate in favor of Democratic candidates in the 2022 mid-term elections, or will Republican candidates prevail in the 2022 mid-term elections? Your guess is as good as mine.

As everybody knows, at the present time, seven of the nine Supreme Court justices come from a Roman Catholic background - a percentage far out of proportion to the percentage of Roman Catholics in the U.S. population. Ironically, as recently as the 1960 presidential election, anti-Catholic sentiment has been strong in the United States.

In any event, worldwide, the Roman Catholic Church has been strong in opposing abortion. However, as the practicing American Catholic writer Garry Wills has cogently noted, in his op-ed commentary "Abortion isn't a religious issue" (dated November 4, 2007), the reasons for the Roman Catholic Church's opposition to abortion are debatable, to say the least:

Click Here

The indefatigable Garry Wills renewed his cogent critique of the American Catholic bishops' opposition to abortion in his more recent op-ed commentary "The Bishops Are Wrong About Biden - and Abortion" (dated June 27, 2021):

Click Here...

However, the majority ruling in Dobbs makes it clear that that the constitutional legal debate is about more than a philosophical and ethical position about abortion. According to the Dobbs majority ruling, the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe ruling was mistaken in granting a constitutional right to abortion based on a supposed right to privacy. About twenty years later, according to the Dobbs majority ruling, the Supreme Court's 1992 Casey ruling was similarly mistaken in granting a constitutional right to abortion based on a supposed right under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. According to the Dobbs majority ruling, the constitutional legal debate is about constitutional law and how to properly secure a claim to a constitutional right to abortion, which the opening sentence of the ruling characterizes as "a profound moral issue."

But can Democrats today use the Supreme Court's June 2022 Dobbs ruling about this "profound moral issue" now to galvanize women and men to vote for Democratic candidates in the upcoming November mid-term elections?

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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; Ph.D.in higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)

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