Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a concurring opinion in Friday’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, arguing the court should “correct the error” of rulings that protect same-sex marriage and contraception access.
The high court overturned the landmark case of Roe on Friday, with Justice Samuel Alito writing an opinion in favor of Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks of gestation.
In a concurring opinion by Thomas, the Republican-appointed justice wrote that the court should also reconsider other cases that fall under previous due process precedents.
“For that reason, in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” Thomas wrote.
“We have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents,” the justice said.
Democrats, including President Joe Biden, have warned that Friday’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization could lead to the high court reversing other precedents established under the Constitution’s due process clause.
“Mark my words: They are going to go after the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage,” Biden said last month at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Chicago.
Shortly after the opinion came down, Jim Obergefell, the plaintiff in the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges case that allowed same-sex couples to become legally married, argued that “families do not need” Thomas “imposing his individual twisted morality upon them.”
Notably, Thomas was the justice who assigned the majority opinion to Alito, who is not in favor of revisiting the due process precedents suggested by Thomas. Because Thomas is the most senior justice in the majority, he chooses who writes the opinion for the high court.
However, President Carrie Severino of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network said that Thomas “has spoken out against sensitive due process for a long time,” including on cases such as Griswold v. Connecticut, which allowed for married couples to buy and use contraception.
“The rest of the court is very clear that that’s not where they’re interested in,” Severino told the Washington Examiner.
However, even centrist Democrats such as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) expressed growing doubts about the conservative bloc of justices who previously testified in confirmation hearings that Roe was settled law.
“I trusted Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh when they testified under oath that they also believed Roe v. Wade was settled legal precedent and I am alarmed they chose to reject the stability the ruling has provided for two generations of Americans,” Manchin wrote in a statement.