Clarence Thomas: Supreme Court Could Now Restrict Marriage Equality, Contraception

The justice called out three cases protecting contraception access and same-sex marriage.

If Clarence Thomas gets his way, abortion rights are only the beginning of what should fall.

The conservative Supreme Court justice wrote a concurring opinion Friday in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling, which overturns Americans’ constitutional right to an abortion.

Thomas said justices should also reconsider other cases that rest on the right to privacy — specifically cases protecting contraception access and same-sex relationships.

“In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” Thomas wrote.

These cases have long been in the crosshairs for conservatives, who mock the idea that there’s a constitutional right to privacy. Yet in his opinion for the majority Friday, Justice Samuel Alito said the Dobbs outcome absolutely does not mean that conservatives want to go after those decisions. He even mocked the liberal justices’ dissent for drawing comparisons between “the abortion right and the rights recognized in Griswold (contraception), Eisenstadt (same), Lawrence (sexual conduct with member of the same sex), and Obergefell (same-sex marriage).”

“Perhaps this is designed to stoke unfounded fear that our decision will imperil those other rights,” he added.

But as Thomas’ concurrence makes clear, that fear is very grounded in reality.

Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the same-sex marriage case and currently a candidate for the Ohio statehouse, sharply criticized Thomas and his comments about marriage equality.

“Clarence Thomas is a Supreme Court justice appointed by humans, he is not the Supreme Deity,” he said in a statement. “The millions of loving couples who have the right to marriage equality to form their own families do not need Clarence Thomas imposing his individual twisted morality upon them. If you want to see an error in judgment, Clarence Thomas, look in the mirror.”

Already, a number of Republican politicians are going down the same path as Thomas, saying they’d like to see cases like Griswold and Obergefell overturned, and considering legislation that could lead to contraception bans or restrictions.

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