Pro-choice law clerk: Roe V Wade “borders on the indefensible”

Edward Lazarus, former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, who authored the Roe V Wade decision:

“As a matter of constitutional interpretation and judicial method, Roe borders on the indefensible. I say this as someone utterly committed to the right to choose, as someone who believes such a right has grounding elsewhere in the Constitution instead of where Roe placed it, and as someone who loved Roe’s author like a grandfather….

What, exactly, is the problem with Roe? The problem, I believe, is that it has little connection to the Constitutional right it purportedly interpreted. A constitutional right to privacy broad enough to include abortion has no meaningful foundation in constitutional text, history, or precedent ­- at least, it does not if those sources are fairly described and reasonably faithfully followed.”

The Lingering Problems with Roe v. Wade, and Why the Recent Senate Hearings on Michael McConnell’s Nomination Only Underlined Them” FindLaw Legal Commentary, Oct. 3, 2002

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Roe vs. Wade

Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated that the Roe decision was “not the way courts generally work.”’

Ruth Bader Ginsburg “A Conversation with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg” University of Kansas Law Review 53, June 2005, 962

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Yale Law Journal on Roe v. Wade

Law Professor John Hart Ely, who is affiliated with Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School says the following about Roe v. Wade:

Roe “is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be….What is frightening about Roe is that this super­protected right is not inferable from the language of the Constitution, the framers’ thinking respecting the specific problem in issue, any general value derivable from the provisions they included, or the nation’s governmental structure. Nor is it explainable in terms of the unusual political impotence of the group judicially protected vis­à­vis the interest that legislatively prevailed over it.… At times the inferences the Court has drawn from the values the Constitution marks for special protection have been controversial, even shaky, but never before has its sense of an obligation to draw one been so obviously lacking.”

“The Wages of Crying Wolf: A Comment on Roe v. Wade,” 82 Yale Law Journal 920, 935­937 (1973)

He is pro-choice.

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Ruth Bader Ginsberg calls Roe v. Wade “heavy-handed”

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

“Roe, I believe, would have been more acceptable as a judicial decision if it had not gone beyond a ruling on the extreme statute before the court. … Heavy­handed judicial intervention was difficult to justify and appears to have provoked, not resolved, conflict.”

North Carolina Law Review, 1985

Quoted in:

TIMOTHY P. CARNEY “In criticizing Roe, Sessions aligns with most legal scholars” Washington Examiner 1/10/17

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Harry Blackmun’s former clerk speaks about Roe V. Wade

Edward Lazarus — Former clerk to Harry Blackmun, who wrote Roe V. Wade:

“As a matter of constitutional interpretation and judicial method, Roe borders on the indefensible. I say this as someone utterly committed to the right to choose, as someone who believes such a right has grounding elsewhere in the Constitution instead of where Roe placed it, and as someone who loved Roe’s author like a grandfather….

“What, exactly, is the problem with Roe? The problem, I believe, is that it has little connection to the Constitutional right it purportedly interpreted. A constitutional right to privacy broad enough to include abortion has no meaningful foundation in constitutional text, history, or precedent ­- at least, it does not if those sources are fairly described and reasonably faithfully followed.”

The Lingering Problems with Roe v. Wade, and Why the Recent Senate Hearings on Michael McConnell’s Nomination Only Underlined Them” FindLaw Legal Commentary, Oct. 3, 2002

Quoted in:

TIMOTHY P. CARNEY “In criticizing Roe, Sessions aligns with most legal scholars” Washington Examiner 1/10/17

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