Clarence Thomas suggests court reconsiders same-sex marriage case

In his unanimous opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas said the court should review other precedents, including its 2015 decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

WASHINGTON — As part of his consensus of opinion to overturn the nation’s constitutional protections for abortion, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has asked the nation’s highest court to overturn other key decisions.

Thomas, the member of the court most willing to jettison previous decisions, specifically urged his colleagues to review other precedents, including the court’s 2015 decision legalizing same-sex marriage, a decision from the 2003 that struck down laws criminalizing homosexuals and a 1965 decision declaring that married couples have a right to contraception.

Judge Samuel Alito wrote in the final opinion released Friday that Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision upholding abortion rights was wrong the day it was decided and must be overturned.

Alito was joined by Thomas and judges Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. The last three judges are appointed by Trump.

Four judges would have left Roe and Casey where they were.

Thomas, who first voted against Roe 30 years ago, said in his unanimous opinion that abortion rights are not a form of “liberty” conferred by the due process clause of 14 life, liberty or property without due process legal proceedings.”

He emphasized that the due process clause “does not secure any substantive rights” and “guarantees at most one procedure”. Then he attacked other cases where due process is applied.

Such cases include Griswold v. Connecticut, which secures the right of married persons to obtain contraceptives; Lawrence v. Texas, which secures the right to private, consensual sex; and Obergefell v. Hodges, the right to same-sex marriage.

While he wrote that the court “today refuses to interfere with these cases,” he suggested that in future cases it should reconsider these decisions based on due process precedent.

“Since every material due process decision is ‘provenly wrong’, we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ found in these precedents,” the statement said.

President Joe Biden, speaking about the court’s decision that allowed states to ban abortions outright, called out Thomas’s proposal.

“He specifically called for a reconsideration of the right to marital equality, the right of couples to make their birth control choices. This is an extreme and dangerous path that the court is now leading us down,” Biden said.

Lucille Lannigan contributed to this report. Clarence Thomas suggests court reconsiders same-sex marriage case

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