Supreme Court asserts its role in history

Posted 6/28/22

Regardless of where you stand on the issue of abortion, and most of us stand on one side or the other, it is clear Friday’s Supreme Court decision was historic. It is a good time to look at the …

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Supreme Court asserts its role in history


Regardless of where you stand on the issue of abortion, and most of us stand on one side or the other, it is clear Friday’s Supreme Court decision was historic. It is a good time to look at the role the court has played in our country’s history.

I would venture to guess a larger majority of those protesting or putting opinions out via social media cannot tell you the name of the court case involved. For the record its Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The plaintiff in the case is an abortion clinic in Mississippi.

Anyone who has studied basic civics knows the court makes rulings on specific cases. They didn’t wake up one day and decide to make a new law. The Dobbs case will undoubtedly find itself etched in history books eventually.

The ruling did not simply state abortion is now illegal. What it did was removed federal protections for abortion rights, giving states the right to ban the procedures.

It found there is no Constitutional right to an abortion. Before you start throwing apples in my direction, that is the opinion of Judge Samuel Alito who wrote the decision and not this columnist.

In his opinion, Judge Alito correctly stated there is no mention of abortion in the Constitution. That is not debatable. If you find the word abortion in the Constitution please let me know. I will publicly acknowledge my mistake.

The question is whether the First, 14th or any other amendment protects the right for women to choose to have an abortion. Roe vs. Wade said the right to an abortion was protected by the due process clause of the 14th amendment.

As much as it was a case about the sanctity of human life, the Dobbs case was about states’ rights, a common thread in many court rulings. Justice Alito wrote in his opinion that states should make the best decision for the citizens of their particular states.

Justices stirred a hornets nest with their ruling, but the court has a history of doing that. The nature of the court puts it in line with controversial issues. Many in our history involved the issue of racial equality and segregation.

The Dred Scott case ignited firestorms because it more or less said Black men did not have basic human rights. It said the constitution was not meant to include American citizenship for people of African decent. That is obviously and inherently wrong.

Plessy vs. Ferguson took on the issue of segregation, saying that the process was protected by the Constitution if segregated facilities were equal to others of a similar nature.

Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka Kansas ended segregated schools, something history has shown to be a good thing.

As much as anything, Friday’s case shows the political nature of the highest court in the land. Anyone being honest about the issue realizes three justices appointed by Donald Trump, obviously on the conservative side, swung the balance. As one might suspect he would, the former president is already taking credit for the decision. Not saying whether its a good or bad thing, but politics is very much involved in what happens on the court.

The controversy about abortion will never go away. People are passionate on both sides of the issue. This weekend showed that many are passionate to the point of becoming violent, which is never acceptable.

Regardless of one’s position on any issue, blocking traffic, burning buildings and attacking those who think differently is simply wrong. The fact it happened with this ruling is a black eye to our country. We are all Americans regardless of where we stand on any particular issue.

Tom Woerner writes for The Daily Record and is former editor of the Harnett County News. Reach him at


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