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Letters: Reversing Roe v. Wade

The leak of the Supreme Court’s draft decision reversing Roe v. Wade tells us that, for the Republican Party, the ends justify the means — including seating judges who lie under oath — and the good old days that Republicans want to revive are from 1250 not 1950.

EACH of the conservative justices testified under oath at his/her Senate confirmation hearing that Roe v. Wade was “well-settled law.”

The phrase “well-settled law” is significant when it comes to interpreting the U.S. Constitution. It comes from Founding Father James Madison, the primary author of the Constitution. He said apply the law as it is written unless the words are ambiguous. If ambiguous, then debate and come to a well-settled meaning. Madison understood that times and people change. Therefore, the law should change, too.

The fact that the current conservative justices would not have supported the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 is legally irrelevant today. Roe is clearly well-settled law NOW and it cannot be thrown out absent overwhelmingly clear reasoning.

I have read the draft decision. What is overwhelmingly clear is the court has no overwhelming clear reasoning for overturning that well-settled case. Instead, they figuratively travel back to 1973 and explain why they would have voted against the abortion law back then. That is intellectually dishonest, no matter how many good points they make. It’s shameless smoke and mirrors that no honest jurists would entertain.

What also disgusts me is their reliance on the writings of medieval English judges to support their reasoning in 2022. They quote medieval (1250) Judge Henry de Bracton, who wrote that a man was guilty of homicide if he struck a pregnant woman and caused the death of her fetus. In other words, a fetus was a human being. They failed to mention that medieval law recognized life when the mother felt a fetal heartbeat, upwards to 25 weeks out from conception. But the judge clarified that women who claimed to be pregnant were not to be trusted. Judge Bracton also favored burning people alive, supported execution by sword, said that women were inferior to men, and wrote that they could give birth to monsters.

Today’s conservative majority also relies on the abortion views of the “eminent” Sir Matthew Hale. Hale was a judge in the 1600s, who sentenced two witches to death, and wrote that marital vows put men in dominance over wives, allowing husbands to rape their wives at will.

I’m surprised that the court did not cite “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Republicans have been working for nearly 50 years to place conservatives on the high court to overturn Roe v. Wade. The best they can come up with is

judges who lie under oath to join the high court so they can dishonestly subvert the process of law to espouse legal jurisprudence from medieval judges who believed in witchcraft, the inferiority of women, the legality of spousal rape, and burning people at the stake.

And Republicans denounce Sharia law?

— Charles Wieland,



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