A Not So Supreme Decision, by Rich Paschall

When the news leaked that the Supreme Court was going to overturn Roe vs Wade, it was quite a shock to the nation. Wasn’t this 1973 decision a matter of settled law? The case was decided by a 7-2 vote, after all. Wasn’t the court inclined to follow the precedent set by previous decisions? The abortion ruling had been challenged before. In 1992 the Supreme Court reaffirmed the Roe decision in a challenge that was brought in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey. Three Republican appointees Justices Anthony KennedyDavid Souter, and Sandra O’Connor voted in favor of NOT overturning Roe. That was a time when Republican appointees were still there to follow the law. That does not seem to be the case now.

“The Supreme Court of the United States has held that Roe v. Wade, that a fetus is not a person for purposes of the 14th Amendment… That’s the law of the land, I accept the law of the land, senator. Yes,” – Neil Gorsuch to Senator Durbin, March 2017 confirmation hearings.

“As a judge, it is an important precedent of the Supreme Court. By ‘it,’ I mean Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, been affirmed many times. Casey is precedent on precedent.” – Brett Kavanaugh to Senator Feinstein, September 2018.

“I’m answering a lot of questions about Roe, which I think indicates that Roe doesn’t fall in that category (a “super-precedent”) And scholars across the spectrum say that doesn’t mean that Roe should be overruled. But descriptively, it does mean that it’s not a case that everyone has accepted and doesn’t call for its overruling.” – Amy Coney Barrett in confirmation hearings, October 2020.

While Justice Barrett may have been a bit vague in confirmation hearings, she did say she would not let her personal religious views affect her legal decision-making. Were all of the Trump appointees lying to Congress in their confirmation hearings? Are they placed on the Supreme Court to do the bidding of the ultra-right wing of the Republican party? Will they be rolling back protections in other areas of civil and human rights?

Justice Clarence Thomas has already indicated as much in a written “concurring opinion” to the decision to overturn Wade. “In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents,” Thomas wrote “Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’ we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.” He specifically mentioned cases regarding contraception and same-sex marriage. That could be a signal to the ultra-right to bring such challenges to the court again so they can toss out those protections as well.

Taken April 28, 2015, the day of oral arguments to the Supreme Court, CC License

Lost in all the furor over Roe were decisions made by the same conservative justices in other 6-3 rulings. In NEW YORK STATE RIFLE & PISTOL ASSOC. V. BRUEN the group struck down a long-standing New York law regarding carrying handguns in public. This will put similar laws in other states at risk. If you are thinking that a Democratic majority will be able to strengthen gun control after the mid-terms, think again. The NRA or one of its members would likely challenge any new law and you already know what the appeals court or the Supreme Court will decide.

In WEST VIRGINIA V. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY the court limited the power of the EPA to reduce carbon emissions. This is a blow to the current administration’s desire to promote clean energy and battle climate change.

Although the federal government has set workplace standards many times through OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and other federal agencies, a 6-3 decision in NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS V. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR struck down a requirement for COVID-19 vaccination or testing at the nation’s largest companies.

The Conservative Six got behind school prayer rather than maintaining a separation of Church and State. In KENNEDY V. BREMERTON SCHOOL DISTRICT the court upheld a coach’s right to pray at the 50-yard line of a football game. Some thought his players felt pressured to join in.

In addition to three Supreme Court appointments made by Donald Trump, he is also responsible for 53 circuit judges to the US Court of Appeals, or close to one-third of all circuit judges. He appointed 171 federal district judges or about 28 percent of the current total. A cynic might say that Senator McConnell pushed through these appointments while he was Senate majority leader as a way of protecting Republicans against criminal prosecution. If the former president is found guilty of violating The Espionage Act, for example, what are the odds that one of his appointees or the Supreme Court will let him off the hook?

How many of these Trump judges are there to actually uphold the Constitution of the United States of America?  Since the Supreme Court has already demonstrated its willingness to ignore legal precedent and reinterpret the law, what is the probability that some or all these other Trump appointees will do the same?

Sources include:What the Trump-appointed Supreme Court justices previously said about Roe’s precedent,” ByMeredith Deliso ABC News, June 24,2022.
Justice Thomas hints gay rights and contraception at risk after conservative majority overturns Roe v. Wade,” by Chris Morris, Fortune, June 24, 2022.
How the Supreme Court ruled in the major decisions of 2022,” By Ann E. Marimow, Aadit Tambe, and Adrian Blanco, The Washington Post, June 30, 2022.

Categories: Government, justice, Law, Rich Paschall

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29 replies

  1. Does that even leads to something .’



  2. Biden has talked about increasing the number of justices on SCOTUS but so far, he hasn’t done anything about it. Maybe he’s waiting until after the mid-terms which, due to these terrible decisions, may increase the number of Democrats in the Senate. There are signs that people are pushing back.

    I am worried about the impact the Roe decision may have on women’s health care. Already there have been cases of women nearly dying during pregnancy because doctors are afraid to perform an abortion that is medically necessary. And will miscarriages be “investigated”? Not to mention young girls who are raped by relatives and get pregnant, such as the famous case of the 10-year-old girl who had to leave her home state of Ohio and go to Indiana to have an abortion. Now Indiana will no longer be an option. 10-year-old bodies are not ready for pregnancy, and probably a child that young would have serious complications going forward with a pregnancy. Not to mention the increase in unwanted children. The implications are endless when politicians are allowed to make decisions about people’s health care.

    Isn’t the Republican Party the party of “small government”? It’s OK to regulate people’s personal lives, but not OK to regulate corporations (e.g. the decision to restrict EPA’s power to regulate polluters)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Republicans thinking is narrow minded and not in step with the nation.


    • I think he’s waiting to get a better majority in congress — something of a crap shoot given all the gerrymandering the GOP has done all across the country. We’ll see. If he can, he should. He’s actually getting a surprising amount done and he’s doing it without a lot of hysteria or frenzy. He probably should do some more PR so more citizens realize exactly how much he IS getting accomplished. He’s just doing it in steps rather than in one big bill.

      The Republican party is WAY out of step with reality and they keep getting worse. They aren’t even Americans anymore. I think quite a few people are beginning to get angry. How it will work for elections is another matter… Who knows? After the last insane presidential election, anything could happen. It’s hard to figure out if we’ll have a country going forward.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Over 2 years ago I was saying to people that Trump must be charged with Treason. And the evidence has just kept mounting.
    But his followers and cronies (many of whom are in places of power) don’t care what he’s done.
    Get ready for War.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. it frightens me to see what America is becoming.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Rich Paschall,

      Hello! Thank you for writing this excellent and well-reasoned post. Indeed, I commend you highly for your approach to analyzing those issues, and I concur with Beth about how terrifying the recent decisions from the Supreme Court can be. There is plenty to explore regarding the escalating conflicts between the two major parties. Any reasonable and discerning person can conclude that the USA has been plagued by ignorance, dogma, falsity, blind faith, spiritual stagnation and epistemological impasse . . . . .

      Apart from what you have discussed in your post, even just the fallouts of the main event regarding the SCOTUS’ decisions on abortion and its striking down Roe v. Wade can have various implications and ramifications for the following:

      Reproductive freedoms…
      LGBTQ freedoms…
      Contraceptive freedoms…
      Migrants freedoms…
      The freedom of liberty (common sense gun safety, and police reform)…
      The right to vote…

      Given your position and concerns, you are hereby invited to peruse my latest post entitled “🏛️⚖️ The Facile and Labile Nature of Law: Beyond the Supreme Court and Its Ruling on Controversial Matters 🗽🗳️🔫🤰🧑‍🤝‍🧑💉“, as I am certainly very keen and curious about what you will make of my said post published at

      In addition, given the quality and relevance of your post here, I am pleased to inform you that I have hyperlinked your post to my aforementioned post so that my readers can access your post from the “Related Articles” section of my post.

      I welcome your input and am curious to know what you make of my said post as well as your perspectives on those matters discussed in my post. I look forward to savouring your feedback there!

      Wishing you and Beth a wonderfully productive Sunday doing, enjoying or blogging whatever that satisfies you the most!

      Happy September to both of you soon!

      Yours sincerely,

      Liked by 3 people


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