Are there other rights at stake after the end of abortion rights in the USA? In one ruling, one of the constitutional judges actually calls for previous precedents to be revised – such as the right to contraception.

After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned abortion rights, the first Supreme Court Justice advocated abolishing further rights to sexual self-determination. These include the right to contraception and homosexual rights.

Death threat against constitutional judge

As conservative jurist Clarence Thomas writes in his closing remarks on the current ruling, the Court should “reconsider key precedents going forward, including Griswold, Lawrence and Obergefell.” These three names stand for fundamental judgments from which the right to contraception (Griswold), consensual sex between homosexuals (Lawrence) and gay marriage (Obergefell) are derived.

So far, Thomas is the only constitutional judge who brings such a far-reaching restriction into play. His colleagues Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh had made it clear in their verdict that contraceptive rights and same-sex marriage were not up for negotiation. There was even praise for this from the conservative side. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said while he welcomed the abortion ruling, Alito struck the right tone in the debate.

Rights are abolished for the first time

The decision of the Supreme Court outraged many Americans. The New York Democrat Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez is calling for the impeachment of both conservative judges Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. In the history of the court, only once has a lawyer been removed from office in this way, but that was 218 years ago. Above all, Clarence Thomas drew severe criticism after the publication of his verdict and even received death threats. Some politicians are already calling for his resignation. Critics of the abortion decision also complain that it is the first time in the history of the country that a fundamental right has been abolished.

Many commentators believe that the constitutional judge’s legal perspective is pursuing a political agenda. On the other hand, he sees himself as an “originalist”, which means he feels committed to a case law that corresponds to the texts of the founding fathers. To put it simply, the proponents of this school only consider regulations to be permissible that are explicitly mentioned in the constitution – which does not include abortions.

“Extreme outliers could go mainstream”

In recent decades, however, the Supreme Court has oriented itself to the “substantive due process”. This principle provides that fundamental rights can also be introduced that are not mentioned in the US Constitution. Home marriage and contraception were permitted with reference to this principle. According to lawyers like Clarence Thomas, however, the constitution does not justify such rights, instead elected governments must grant them or not.

“The ‘substantive due process’ has damaged our country in many ways. It should be abolished at the earliest opportunity,” said Thomas. Whether that will ever happen, and if so, when, is not foreseeable. The Washington Post writes: “His transgression is more than a doctrinal provocation. It invites conservative activists to challenge the principle. What starts as an extreme outlier can migrate into the conservative mainstream.”

Quellen: “NBC News”, “Washington Post”, Fox8, “The Hill”, Yahoo News, US-Supreme Court, ABC, Reuters