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Life, Liberty, and Law

Clarke Forsythe on Roe v. Wade’s anniversary, the Supreme Court’s need for courage and humility, and decades judicial and scholarly criticism

“There is a wide-spread myth that Roe v. Wade is settled and entitled to respect as judicial precedent. The purveyors of this myth must ignore the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions going back to the earliest days of the Court—which point to judicial criticism and legal-scholarly criticism as keeping prior decisions unsettled. 

“Most importantly, they purveyors of the myth that Roe is settled and entitled to respect as judicial precedent must ignore four decades of detailed, comprehensive, and specific judicial and scholarly criticism of Roe itself. It is precisely because Roe has never been settled that it is entitled to no respect as precedent. In fact, because Roe is radically unsettled, long-standing principles of precedent dictate that it must be reconsidered.”

These words are from Clarke Forsythe, Senior Counsel at Americans United for Life and author of AUL’s just-released, “A Survey of Judicial and Scholarly Criticism of Roe v. Wade Since 1973: Legal Criticism and Unsettled Precedent”. We speak with Clarke today about his new and important survey of judicial and scholarly criticism of Roe and what lessons that advocates and lawmakers can take away from the past half century of popular, constitutional criticism of Roe and abortion culture.

A Survey of Judicial and Scholarly Criticism of Roe v. Wade Since 1973: Legal Criticism and Unsettled Precedent
https://aul.org/2022/01/20/a-survey-of-judicial-and-scholarly-criticism-of-roe-v-wade-since-1973/