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Supreme Court Justice wants birth control, same-sex relationships rights revisited after Roe v. Wade reversal

Birth control case goes back to lower courts
Posted at 5:22 PM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 19:23:14-04

MILWAUKEE — The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade means access to abortion is no longer a constitutional right. Legal experts including University of Wisconsin-Madison law professor and former clerk to the Supreme Court, Miriam Seifter, says it is not often that the court invalidates an earlier decision that was declared a constitutional right.

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, June 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

“You know the court does sometimes recognize rights only to narrow them later. That's relatively common, but a decision of this breath and magnitude is highly unusual,” said Seifter.

Justice Clarence Thomas to swear-in Mike Pence

Official portrait of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

This decision has one of the justices calling into question other rights currently protected by law. In Justice Clarence Thomas's opinion he wrote:

“For that reason, in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell."

Those cases include the rights to use birth control, same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage rights. The American Civil Liberties of Wisconsin legal director, Larry Dupuis, said he does not believe there will be immediate action on those issues.

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Miriam Seifter, law professor, University of Wisconsin Madison and former clerk to the U.S. Supreme Court comments on the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“I don't believe they're immediately in question, because five members of the Court have explicitly said they're not in question. Thomas says they are in question,” said Dupuis.

But the ACLU of Wisconsin believes there will be more challenges coming to other personal liberties.

“It signals that this court has now constituted, is willing to reconsider things that were, that this country has fundamentally relied on as core personal individual rights,” said Dupuis.

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Larry Dupuis, legal director, ACLU Wisconsin

However, Seifter believes this decision shows how politics at the local level is more important than ever.

“The majority says multiple times that what it intends to do is leave this as a question for states to decide. And so I think everyone needs to inform themselves about what their state is doing and pay attention to developments at the state level because, for now, it seems like that's where most of the action will be unfolding,” said Seifter.

WATCH: Larry Dupuis, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, talks about the Roe v. Wade decision on how he thinks it will impact everyone.

Larry Dupuis

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