The left warned that ending abortion was just the beginning, prior to Roe v. Wade’s Dobbs decision being made. “Right-wing extremists” will target LGBTQ rights like gay marriage and legal contraceptives.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in support of Dobbs’ majority and suggested that any decisions made on the basis of “due process”, might be reexamined.
Thomas stated, “In future trials, we should consider all of the Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.”
Griswold legalized contraception without any restrictions, Lawrence tossed out laws criminalizing same-sex relationships, and Obergefell recognized a right for gays to marry. Are the left’s nightmares about the end of Roe coming true?
Thomas’ comments are a worst-case scenario for liberal critics. However, it is not clear if the other conservative justices will be willing to go so far as the court’s most senior member.
Alito stated in the majority opinion that his reasoning only applies to abortion, and rejected any claims that Dobbs’ rationale could be extended to Griswold Lawrence or Obergefell.
Alito wrote, “Nothing in the opinion should be understood as casting doubt on precedents which do not concern abortion.”
There will be conservative groups that argue that Dobbs allows for the repeal of contraceptive laws and gay rights. They won’t get very far.
Alito used the same reasoning to overturn Roe with other precedents which legalize gay marriage and contraceptives. He explained this in his well-written opinion.
“We also explained why this is so: Rights regarding contraception, same-sex relationships, and abortion rights are inherently different because the former (as we have highlighted) only includes what Roe & Casey called ‘potential lives. ‘”
What about Thomas’s concurring statement that other due process cases need to be looked at? A concurrence is of very little legal weight. Alito’s majority opinion is what all six justices endorsed on these matters. Thomas’s opinion, while it is a valid opinion, is still just that: an opinion.
The liberal justices pointed out Thomas’s agreement to warn about other rights that were under threat.
Thomas’ consent was used by the liberal dissenters to challenge Alito’s assurances, that the court wasn’t putting these precedents at risk by overturning Roe.
“The first problem with the majority’s account comes from JUSTICE THOMAS’s concurrence — which makes clear he is not with the program. In saying that nothing in today’s opinion casts doubt on non-abortion precedents, JUSTICE THOMAS explains, he means only that they are not at issue,” the liberals wrote, as they quoted from Thomas’ concurrence.
Others from the left will most likely point to Thomas’s concurring short rather than Alito’s majority opinion. This is a political battle. Trying to scare women by talking about losing their ability to buy contraception or to fear gay people by claiming the imminent end to gay marriage is really a political tactic.