Archive for January 22, 2011
Today marks the 38th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion on demand in the United States.
The Wikipedia entry summarizes the facts of the case leading to the Supreme Court’s decision: Norma McCorvey (known as “Jane Roe”) discovered she was pregnant in June 1969. In an attempt to circumvent Texas law, which then allowed abortion in the case of rape, she first falsely claimed she was raped. That false claim failed because there was no police report.
In 1970, attorneys Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington filed suit in a U.S. District Court in Texas. … The defendant in the case was Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade, representing the State of Texas. …
The district court ruled in McCorvey’s favor on the merits, and declined to grant an injunction against the enforcement of the laws barring abortion [Note: McCorvey has since become an anti-abortion advocate]. The district court’s decision was based upon the Ninth Amendment, and the court relied upon a concurring opinion by Justice Arthur Goldberg in the 1965 Supreme Court case of Griswold v. Connecticut, regarding a right to use contraceptives. Few state laws proscribed contraceptives in 1965 when the Griswold case was decided, whereas abortion was widely proscribed by state laws in the early 1970s.
Roe v. Wade ultimately reached the U.S. Supreme Court on appeal.
…The court issued its decision on January 22, 1973, with a 7-to-2 majority vote in favor of Roe. [White and Rehnquist dissenting.]
I’m always ready to channel my inner Boehner, so here’s the text of the Ninth Amendment. (I’m reading it out loud, I swear, but I refuse to include an audio file link so you’ll just have to imagine it.)
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. (more…)
I first reported here in late November on the court case regarding Bountiful, British Columbia. This case continues to provide daily drama in a Vancouver courtroom, with women in long calico skirts and boots, children in denim overalls, thirty black-robed lawyers and numerous visiting experts in smart business suits, all passing each other on the courthouse steps.
But underlying the colorful, riveting fascination of tearful women claiming abuse, bearded elders reciting scripture and small children speaking to the courtroom via closed-circuit television, is the very real possibility that when it all ends Canada could become the first developed nation to legalize plural marriage, based on Canadian freedom of religion and freedom of association laws.