SCOTUS Has A History Of Overturning Cases – Roe v Wade Wouldn’t Be The First
(LibertySociety.com) – Ever since someone leaked the draft opinion regarding the future of Roe v. Wade from the Supreme Court of the United States, much of the country has been up in arms at the prospect of such a move, but it wouldn’t be the first time. The truth is, if the justices ultimately decide to overturn the 1973 landmark case, it would be one in a long line of decisions that changed laws once recognized in the United States of America.
Plessy v. Ferguson
Plessy v. Ferguson was another landmark case decided in 1896. It concluded segregation of the races was okay and did not violate the Constitution of the United States. For 58 years, segregation was not against the law of the land until the case of Brown v. Board of Education made its way to the Supreme Court in 1954. During the case, the justices overruled Plessy v. Ferguson, setting a new precedent that ruled it unconstitutional to separate kids in public schools based on their race.
Obergefell v. Hodges
In 1971, the Minnesota Supreme Court held in Baker v. Nelson that restricting marriage to include only those of the opposite sex was not against the US Constitution and SCOTUS agreed with the decision in 1972 — setting a precedent. In 2015, Obergefell v. Hodges reached the US Supreme Court, and the legal standing changed to allow same-sex marriages across the United States.
Gideon v. Wainwright
From 1942 to 1963, defendants did not have the right to an attorney, even if they couldn’t afford one. Upon the SCOTUS review of Gideon v. Wainwright in 1963, the court decided citizens of the United States couldn’t get the fair trial everyone is entitled to without an attorney. Justice Hugo Black wrote even those who were “too poor to hire a lawyer” should have the right to one regardless of income to ensure their constitutional rights. That decision overturned a precedent set for over 20 years.
Roe v. Wade
Although pro-choice advocates and others seemed shocked at the possibility of a 50+ year standing law being overturned by the Supreme Court, the measure is not unheard of. These are just a few of the many cases where the justices sitting on the SCOTUS bench have done just that over the years.
However, the leaked draft opinion is not the final SCOTUS ruling, and the justices may have changed their decisions since it was written by Justice Alito months ago. The court is expected to hand down its final ruling on the matter this summer, when either the old precedent will continue or a new one will take its place.
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