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Court decisions have been wrong in the past


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A letter in the Sept. 8 Roswell Daily Record expressed concern that confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court might cause a reversal of some prior decisions, particularly Roe vs. Wade, which legalized killing unborn children.

A bad decision must be overturned no matter what subsequent rulings might be built on that wrong decision. Opinions built on lies are themselves lies.

We must look at the “constitutional gymnastics” that led to Roe vs. Wade. In Griswold vs Connecticut, 1965, the Supreme Court overturned a law banning all contraceptives citing a “right to privacy.” The phrase “right to privacy” is not in the Constitution. Roe vs. Wade 1973 expanded on that “right” declaring, “The right to privacy is broad enough to include a woman’s decision to terminate her pregnancy.”

Perhaps that writer would want us to live under Plessy vs. Ferguson 1896. Plessy held that states can have separate but equal education facilities for different races. It was overturned in Brown vs. Board of Education 1954. Brown held that separate facilities are inherently unequal, and separation itself is inequality.

We must remember how the Dred Scott Decision of 1857 stated that no Negroes, free or slave, could ever be citizens.

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About abortion, the writer says, “Opponents of abortion must direct their efforts to affecting women who are deciding whether or not to abort … The murdering of innocent unborn will not occur when the law is changed, but only when the hearts and minds of women are changed.”

Well, I guess we should not have laws against robbery. We should be content with trying to change the hearts and minds of robbers.

Actually, he is correct to a limited degree. Real change will not be effected until hearts and minds are changed, but the laws are a good start. Integration was not popular, but I firmly believe it was accelerated with laws prohibiting segregation. Was it moral to deny rights to blacks? We must ask the writer how he feels about that.

Russell A. Scott

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