SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) Justices discuss abortion, judicial philosophy and when a prior case should be overturned in interviews, discussions and lectures. Their insights are surprising and enlightening from a variety of perspectives. Their comments bring up pressing questions for us today:
1.) Should the Supreme Court 'create' law in the way they interpret and apply the constitution?
2.) Was Roe correctly decided in the first place, or was there a better way to decide that case?
3.) Should Roe be overturned?
Roe v Wade was the SCOTUS decision in January of 1973 that along with Doe v Bolton overturned the laws in every state that were protecting the human in the womb by prohibiting/restricting abortion. The Roe decision created a trimester framework that prevented the peoples representatives at the state and federal level from passing laws prohibiting abortion and thereby protecting the human in the womb prior to the 3rd trimester. Planned Parenthood v Casey was decided in 1992 and changed the standard from a trimester framework to a viability standard, allowing states to prohibit abortion only after the human in the womb was deemed viable, based on the technology at the time. Viability is generally agreed to be somewhere between 22-24 weeks, near the end of the second trimester. The question today is, should the people through their representatives be determining the law on abortion (in which case Roe would need to be overturned) or should SCOTUS prevent the people from deciding these laws (in which case Roe should stand)? Currently, there are over 1 million abortions each year. If abortion were added to the CDC leading cause of death list, it would be the leading cause of death. This statistic suggests the question for us today: Is there a better way than Roe?
The Supreme Court is today the last branch of gov't where even though differences clearly exist, the Justices are cordial and even encouraging to one another. I have a great deal of respect for their civility, mutual respect and deep legal insight, even when I don't agree with their decisions. I am grateful for their willingness to share their insights with all of us and I hope their comments will help all of us gain a better appreciation and understanding of the pivotal and powerful role of the Supreme Court.
Please note: This video is for nonprofit educational purposes and contains a variety of small portions of factual works (direct quotes from SCOTUS Justices).