Clarence Thomas calls on court to undo rulings on same-sex relationships and contraception: 'We have a duty to correct the error'

Clarence Thomas calls on court to undo rulings on same-sex relationships and contraception: 'We have a duty to correct the error'
U.S. Supreme CourtJustice Clarence Thomas in 2007, Wikimedia Commons
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Justice Clarence Thomas on Friday confirmed some of the darkest warnings about the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.

The conservative-dominated court overturned the landmark decision that enshrined a woman's right to an abortion and said individual states can permit or restrict the procedure themselves.

"The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives," the court said.

The right-wing court had been expected to overturn the ruling after a draft circulated showing that Justice Samuel Alito had written a decision striking down Roe in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, and many warned the court would next target other agreed-upon rights.

Thomas opened the door to that in a concurring opinion to the 6-3 ruling in Dobbs, saying the court should reconsider rulings that protect the rights to contraception, same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage.

"In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell," Thomas wrote. "Because any substantive due process decision is 'demonstrably erroneous' ... we have a duty to 'correct the error' established in those precedents ... After overruling these demonstrably erroneous decisions, the question would remain whether other constitutional provisions guarantee the myriad rights that our substantive due process cases have generated."

Democrats blasted Thomas for his opinion.

"If you think the Dobbs decision doesn’t affect you, think again. Justice Thomas says the quiet part out loud: he thinks the Court should revoke protections for contraceptive care, sexual intimacy, and marriage equality. This radical Court can’t be trusted to protect your rights," said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) in a message posted on Twitter.

“This is the first time in our nation's history that the Supreme Court has ruled to eliminate a right that it had previously protected. As Justice Thomas states in his concurring opinion, other rights could follow,” Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NY) wrote on Twitter.

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