The majority of the Supreme Court in the Dobbs (abortion) decision wrote that compliance with state anti-abortion laws was necessary because abortion is not mentioned in the Constitution, is not of a long standing in history and therefore cannot be a “right” derived from equal protection or substantial due process clauses. Legal gibberish? Yeah. What does this really mean?
Judge Samuel Alito says it means nothing more than a ruling on abortion. Justice Clarence Thomas says it raises questions about other ‘rights’ such as contraception and same-sex marriage. Judge Stephen Breyer, dissenting, says (in my translation): “Don’t trust the majority! More erosion of rights is coming!
Breyer is right. We have a bunch of personal rights that will vanish under the reasoning of the court. What are these rights?
Under the common law, we have a lot. Common law is simply those rules and principles that we use in our daily lives to get along. You have the right to own a dog, buy a house, work, walk the streets, elect representatives, eat and drink, protect yourself and be safe from harm. your private life (your home, your mail, your sleep, your sex life, your beliefs, etc.).
Before, they included a right to abortion, but not anymore. But doesn’t that mean that these other common law rights are potentially not constitutionally protected either? Totally right! According to Alito’s reasoning, unless mentioned in the Constitution or in history, there is no constitutional right to privacy or any other common law right, including Judge Thomas’ interracial marriage. None of the common law rights that govern our daily dealings with each other and with our government are now protected by our Constitution. Any state or Congress can now simply take away the right, for example, to own a pet.
It’s time to take to the streets!