Letter to the Editor | Time to review Roe v. Wade

Letter to the Editor | Time to review Roe v. Wade

Much has been made of the Supreme Court's 1973 "Roe vs. Wade" abortion rights ruling as being "the law of the land."

How is that? Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is such a right declared. Oh wait, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled our Constitution's 14th Amendment says so.

Really? A lot of constitutional scholars disagree. Here's the reasoning:

Article VI mandates only the Constitution as the supreme law of the land, and acts of Congress authorized by it. And Article III says the high court can only hear cases "arising under this Constitution."

Since there was only a confusion of state law at the time, which Congress was unable to remedy, it was left to the Supreme Court to bring order to the chaos. But there needed to be a constitutional basis.

None existed, so it had to be created. Which the justices did by going to the 14th Amendment and redefining "liberty" in the due process clause to include "privacy." It was a tortured solution, but that's what they did.

Without that change, there would be no "arising," no authority to hear the case.

Another problem was, the 14th Amendment was intended solely to prohibit states from violating freed slaves' rights to "life, liberty or property." It had nothing to do with privacy or abortion.

Clearly, to procure a ruling favorable to abortion, the court had to change the definition of "liberty" and the original intent of the 14th Amendment. They made new law.

They can't do that. But they did, and everybody yawned. A correction is long overdue.

R. STAN MARSH

Champaign

-