L'Emmerdeur wrote: ↑
Wed May 15, 2019 3:35 pm
The majority opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas on the recent US Supreme Court decision in Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt
set aside stare decisis
. The dissenting opinion written by Justice Breyer includes a clear warning that the conservative majority has shown a willingness to overturn established precedent if it conflicts with ideology.
'Supreme Court Justice Breyer Just Issued an Ominous Warning About Judicial Threats to Roe'
In Monday’s case, Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt
, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to overrule Nevada v. Hall
, a 1979 decision that allowed an individual to sue a state in the courts of another state. While the conservative judges voted in favor of states’ rights, Breyer argued that “stare decisis
requires us to follow Hall
, not overrule it.”
In his dissent, Breyer cites Planned Parenthood v. Casey
, a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that upheld Roe v. Wade
on the basis of precedent. Then, Breyer issued what many are viewing as a warning given recent legislation restricting abortion in states such as Ohio and Georgia, calling the disregard for states’ right precedent “dangerous.”
“The majority has surrendered to the temptation to overrule Hall
even though it is a well-reasoned decision that has caused no serious practical problems in the four decades since we decided it,” Breyer wrote. “Today’s decision can only cause one to wonder which cases the Court will overrule next.”
Mother Jones overstates the matter by far. I just read through the opinion and Breyer's dissent. The Majority opinion doesn't go off half-cocked, and overrule the precedent without cause. It is a reasoned opinion, and devotes its final section to explaining the grounds on which case precedent is overruled and the factors taken into account. Breyer disagrees, and thinks that even if Hall was wrong, it should be adhered to because it didn't cause many issues in the last 40 years. He closes the dissent by stating that the opinion will cause people to wonder what other precedent will be reversed - he does not suggest what other precedent will be considered to be a wrong constitutional decision. He cites Planned Parenthood v Casey, because that case discussed the issue of whether the SCOTUS reverses itself. So, people are taking this as implying some sort of telegraphed intention to reverse Roe v Wade. Only, Planned Parenthood v Casey did, partially, reverse Roe v Wade, by changing the rule about "regulating" abortion, while retaining the rule about "restricting" abortion.
The SCOTUS has many times reversed itself. This isn't some new "ominous" sign. Lochner was reversed by the Parrish decision, for example (in 1905 SCOTUS said the states can't invade freedom of contract by limiting the number of hours a baker can agree to work, but in 1937, the SCOTUS reversed itself and said never mind, the Constitution didn't require what we said it required, after 32 years of "settled" precedent....
Adler v Board of Ed decided in 1952 that teachers who were fired under a New York law which allowed schools to fire teachers who were members of the Communist Party were out of luck, because the law was Constitutional. In the 1960s, however, that was reversed in the Keyishian case which ruled that such a law violated free speech and association rights of the teachers. SCOTUS reversed itself.
Lawrence v Texas reversed Bowers v Hardwick, and Loving v Virginia overturned Pace v Alabama - and Austin v Michigan was reviersed by Citizens United v FEC - all three rightly so, in my book - which demonstrates that some decisions are wrong, and that the Court being allowed to correct its own errors is important.
Wolf v Colorado being reversed by Mapp v Ohio is an interesting one. There, the Wolf case involved a doctor who was arrested for a crime, and the cops had obtained evidence through a warrantless search and the evidence was illegally seized. The SCOTUS at that time said that the Constitution did not require (because nothing in the Constitution says) that evidence improperly seized without a warrant has to be excluded from evidence at trial. That "exclusionary rule" was created in Mapp when it reversed Wolf, saying that evidence seized improperly was to be excluded from trial, even if that means a person goes free when the evidence shows his guilt. SCOTUS reversed its prior precedent on that.
And, of course, one of the most famous reversals is Plessy v Ferguson (separate but equal) being reversed by Brown v Board of Education.
So, the SCOTUS seems to reverse itself from time to time. But, there is a political motive to make it seem "ominous" -- they're coming for you! SCOTUS is up there scheming -- well the evil justices - not the good, kind, wonderful Democrat leaning ones - the evil justices are up there scheming and twirling their mustaches, setting the stage, moving the chess pieces, to make sure they can reverse Roe v Wade. Given that the case cited in the article doesn't add a power to the SCOTUS that it didn't already have, it's unclear how it makes it "easier" for a reversal. You mean after many times over the last 235 years that the SCOTUS has reversed itself, it's now this opinion - this is the one -- this is the harbinger of doom for Roe v Wade?
“When I was in college, I took a terrorism class. ... The thing that was interesting in the class was every time the professor said ‘Al Qaeda’ his shoulders went up, But you know, it is that you don’t say ‘America’ with an intensity, you don’t say ‘England’ with the intensity. You don’t say ‘the army’ with the intensity,” she continued. “... But you say these names [Al Qaeda] because you want that word to carry weight. You want it to be something.” - Ilhan Omar