Lexington, SC 07/18/2022 (Rich Bolen) - When the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) issued its decision in the Dobbs Vs. Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization, et al, 597 U.S. xxxx (2022) case ruling that Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act was a valid act of the state it effectively overruling the famous case that discovered a “right to abortion” Roe Vs. Wade 410 U.S. 113 (1973). In the Roe case the Court found that the U.S. Constitution, created a vague right to privacy which itself has a “penumbra”, which is defined as “a partial shadow between regions of full shadow” that contains a right to an abortion. This decision was made up out of whole cloth and had no limitations in practical application except what five judges on the Supreme Court arbitrarily decide it has. As a practical matter the Roe decision invalidated every single abortion law, in every state, that restricted abortion regardless of what the people of that state believed.
The worst effect of the Roe decision is that the “right to privacy” could be applied to anything that a person does in private if SCOTUS says that it applies. So, if SCOTUS says you have a right to privacy to use drugs or to eat endangered species in the privacy of your home then the states cannot make laws to outlaw or regulate that activity. That is what happened with the Roe case where SCOTUS said you have the privacy right to have an abortion and the states cannot regulate that activity.
In the Dobbs case SCOTUS said that the “penumbra of rights emanating from the due process clause” was false, that when the Court made that ruling, they were wrong, that there is no vague undefined bundle of rights that exist under the theory of a “right to privacy”. So, with there being no vague “right to privacy” then there would be no restriction on the power of the states to make law and regulations on abortion. The Dobbs decision merely says the federal government does not have the power to control the states in their regulation of abortion.
Thus, the Dobbs case expands the freedom of the states and the people of the various states to control the practice of abortion. It allows states like California and New York and Illinois to allow abortion all the way up to and beyond birth and states like South Dakota and Louisiana can make abortions illegal in all cases and of course anywhere in between in the various states. So, the Dobbs case gives the states more power and limits the power of the federal government which is the original design of the Constitution.
An additional upside of the Dobbs case is that it explicitly restricts the power of the federal government to claim powers away from the states by claiming the due process clause authorizes it to veto states laws and regulations. There are virtually hundreds probably thousands of areas where the federal government has thrown its weight around to dictate to states how they should run things such as how much water a toilet can use and when gas must be blended. The Dobbs case is a good precedent to challenge the overreach of the federal government and a basis for the lower courts to reign in the overzealous feds.
Over all the Dobbs case has great impact on abortions and the murder of millions of babies but it does not require a ban of abortion or an allowance of abortion. It also has great impact on the balance of power between the federal and state governments and the people. It increases the freedom of the people of the United States to control their government and have more options by moving state to state to find a place with the laws they like. Overall, this case increases freedom and self-government.