I am writing these words in the hours following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson, overturning the 50-year precedent created by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. They will change the mind of no one.

By now, you’ve consumed your media of choice. You understand the decision as an historic move to protect the rights of the unborn, or you mourn the loss of rights for women born years ago. You praise a right-thinking court, or you’re horrified that the high court has lurched to the right. Your mind is made up.

So, let’s talk about the Constitution.

Americans and free people across the world have revered the document for more than 233 years. We often talk about it as if it were a tablet from the mount, written by geniuses as a bulwark against tyranny for ever more. But have you read beyond, “We the people?” Do you know what is in the Constitution? More to the point, do you know what isn’t?

For instance, did you know most of today’s voters would not have been voters under the original constitution? Black people, Catholics, women — even poor men — were not afforded the right to vote. You might be surprised to learn the word “democracy” never appears in the Constitution. While the First Amendment says government shall not establish a state religion and Article VI bans a religious test for public office, “separation of church and state” is not spelled out in the document. There is certainly no mention of same-sex marriage. In 1791, when the Second Amendment was ratified, the guns available to Americans were single-shot muskets and flintlock pistols. I can find no mention of a right to machine guns and high-capacity magazines.

I mention all of this because the Supreme Court majority identified itself as “constitutional originalists.” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the court should go even further than it did on Friday because the original Constitution demands it. If today’s rights are not in the text of the Constitution, they are not rights at all, he suggests.

"… in future cases, we should reconsider all of this court's substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell," Thomas wrote. Those cases were pivotal in rights to contraception, same-sex relations and same-sex marriage.

It is time to read the Constitution, perhaps for the first time. Today we woke up on June 24, 1787.

— Clay Lambert

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(3) comments

August West

This is so absurdly incorrect I don't know where to start.

I mean, we get that you have no legal background, but this is way over the top.


I mean, this is pretty much your stance on everything…

John Charles Ullom

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

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