Jun 24, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Clarence Thomas wants SCOTUS to reconsider decisions on gay marriage, contraceptives

Picture of Clarence Thomas

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In a concurring opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas said that the Supreme Court should reconsider opinions protecting same-sex relationships, marriage equality and access to contraceptives.

Driving the news: Roe protected abortion rights in the U.S. under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, and Justice Samuel Alito asserted that abortion is not included under that amendment. As a result, Thomas said that the court should reconsider other due process precedents such as Griswold, Lawrence and Obergefell.

What they're saying: Thomas said that "any substantive due process decision is 'demonstrably erroneous,'" quoting a 2020 Supreme Court decision.

  • "[W]e have a duty to 'correct the error' established in those precedents," he added.
  • "After overruling these demonstrably erroneous decisions, the question would remain whether other constitutional provisions guarantee the myriad rights that our substantive due process cases have generated."
  • "[W]e would need to decide important antecedent questions, including whether the privileges or immunities clause protects any rights that are not enumerated in the Constitution and, if so, how to identify those rights."

Don't forget: Thomas is the only justice who has called on the court to reconsider other precedents. It is unclear what immediate effect his concurring opinion will have.

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