The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is one of several recent cases that highlight the Constitutional crisis that grips our nation. Last week, nearly 50 years of precedent regarding the Constitutionally protected right to reproductive autonomy was erased by an increasingly politicized Court.
The decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey is not only about abortion access. It is about reproductive justice and self-determination; the decision will restrict women’s choices, education, careers, and opportunities in life. It will no doubt disproportionally impact women of color and women with limited financial resources – who all deserve to make their own decisions about reproductive health and their lives. What’s more, the Court has opened the door to upend a host of other fundamental liberties.
Abandoning the Constitutional protection for the right to an abortion is a dangerous omen for the future of individual rights. Marriage equality, contraception, privacy for LGBTQIA individuals, and other substantive due process rights are now susceptible to threats from the Court. Further, in the next term, the Court will consider the Constitutionality of race-conscious admission measures in higher education, an issue especially important to SALT’s mission. We must therefore continue the struggle to expand access to justice and uphold the protections afforded by the Constitution.
The Society of American Law Teachers recognizes the urgency of mobilizing to resist these assaults on our Democracy. As we prepare for the challenges ahead, we are more committed than ever to work with our membership and allies to advance the Rule of Law, protect marginalized communities, and boldly use the law to promote social justice.
Photo courtesy of Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons