Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, the enabler of the two worst SCOTUS evils, dug deep in his decision to overturn Roe v. Wade — 17th century deep. In Alito’s 60-page draft opinion that would end the precedent set by Roe v. Wade to give women reproductive freedom, he cited jurist and marital rape supporter Sir Matthew Hale, who under his jurisdiction also saw two women executed for witchcraft. In the draft opinion, Alito highlights the centuries-long-dead jurist’s position on both rape and witchcraft in defense of his SCOTUS reasoning.
Here’s an example of Sir Matthew Hale’s own outdated and reactionary school of thought in regard to marital rape:
“For the husband cannot be guilty of a rape committed by himself upon his lawful wife for by their mutual matrimonial consent and contract the wife hath given up herself in this kind unto her husband which she cannot retract,” Hale wrote.
The absurdity of this has not been lost on the public. Many are taking to social media to call out Alito’s archaic ruling and his references.
Alito’s draft heavily references English legal precedent, including that of famed jurist Sir Matthew Hale who, it should be noted, had at least two women executed for witchcraft and wrote a treatise supporting marital rape pic.twitter.com/YijPlbkcq3
— emily bell (@emilybell) May 3, 2022
It’s worth noting that Alito starts the introduction of his decision that “Roe and Casey must be overruled” by engaging in an unprecedented form of judicial activism. He goes on to write:
“Procuring an abortion is not a fundamental constitutional right because such a right has no basis in the Constitution’s text or in our nation’s history.
Neither does spousal rape or hanging a woman suspected of witchcraft – yet here we are.
Justice Alito has long been considered a clueless reactionary. His appointment to the nation’s highest judicial body was fraught with controversy, mainly due to Alito’s history of anti-equality judgments, opinions, and beliefs that would seek to move this country backward. When nominated in 2005 by then-president George W. Bush, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights sent a letter to Senators Arlen Spector, Chair, and Patrick Leahy of the Senate Judiciary Committee, calling for a rejection of Judge Alito’s nomination. They were alarmed by his opposition to Affirmative Action and his subversive actions to undermine anti-discrimination laws on the books. As they stated in the letter, Alito’s
“troubling decisions in the areas of civil rights, civil liberties, and fundamental freedoms, decions that undermine the power of the Constitution to protect the civil and human rights of all Americans.”
Needless to say, if you have to go 400 years in the past to justify your position, then you just may be on the wrong side of history. Denying progress by parroting discredited and abominable ideas from the past is no way to decide the reproductive futures of half of the American populace. Congress must enshrine the principles of Roe v. Wade into federal law to circumvent the judicial activism of right-wing religious extremists seeking to impose their values on the rest of the nation, and they must do it quickly before the final Supreme Court ruling negating women’s right to make decisions about their own bodies is formally issued.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick