Clarence Thomas Urges SCOTUS To Overturn “Demonstrably Erroneous” Court Decisions
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas made a bold remark Monday regarded court decisions that have erroneous precedent.
In a court case that had nothing to do with abortion at all, Clarence Thomas seized the opportunity to speak on matters regarding precedent that is demonstrably erroneous.
In other words, the Court has deferred its decision to prior precedent in order to make their decision easy. So they’re resorting back to old decisions to determine their new decisions. Even if the situation is different or in what Thomas is referring to, the precedent is based on a prior decision that is proven wrong.
According to Fox News,
In a concurring opinion in a Supreme Court case announced Monday, Justice Clarence Thomas issued a lengthy call for his colleagues to overturn “demonstrably erroneous decisions” even if they have been upheld for decades — prompting legal observers to say Thomas was laying the groundwork to overturn the seminal 1973 case Roe v. Wade, which established a constitutional right to abortion.
Thomas’ blunt opinion came in Gamble v. United States, a case concerning the so-called “double-jeopardy” doctrine, which generally prohibits an individual from being charged twice for the same crime. But both pro-life and pro-choice advocates quickly noted the implications of his reasoning for a slew of other future cases, including a potential revisiting of Roe.
Thomas had the following to say about cases like this in general – though I believe he had Roe v. Wade in mind:
“When faced with a demonstrably erroneous precedent, my rule is simple: We should not follow it,” Thomas wrote, adding that precedent “may remain relevant when it is not demonstrably erroneous.”
He continued, “The Constitution tasks the political branches—not the Judiciary—with systematically developing the laws that govern our society. The Court’s role, by contrast, is to exercise the ‘Judicial Power,’ faithfully interpreting the Constitution and the laws enacted by those branches.”
As I see it, we would eliminate a significant amount of uncertainty and provide the very stability sought if we replaced our malleable balancing test with a clear, principled rule grounded in the meaning of the text. The true irony of our modern stare decisis doctrine lies in the fact that proponents of stare decisis tend to invoke it most fervently when the precedent at issue is least defensible.”
“In my view, if the Court encounters a decision that is demonstrably erroneous—i.e., one that is not a permissible interpretation of the text—the Court should correct the error, regardless of whether other factors support overruling the precedent. A demonstrably incorrect judicial decision … is tantamount to making law, and adhering to it both disregards the supremacy of the Constitution and perpetuates a usurpation of the legislative power.”
With any luck, this will lay some groundwork for reversing Roe v. Wade and continue progressing forward with the goal of ending this terrible practice.