Statement on Dobbs v. Jackson

by Jun. 24, 2022

Rushing McCarl LLP’s Statement on Dobbs v. Jackson

Today, the United States Supreme Court overturned 50 years of precedent protecting a sphere of privacy for American women to make decisions about their reproductive health free from government interference. The Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson to eliminate a long-established constitutional right is, as acknowledged even in Chief Justice John Roberts’ concurring opinion, a “dramatic step,” a “serious jolt to the legal system,” and a “departure from the fundamental rule of judicial restraint.”

The Dobbs decision will have far-reaching and unforeseeable consequences, as it paves the way for the government to intrude on the most sensitive areas of private life and medical care. Women will lose not only access to essential reproductive healthcare, but also control over their bodies and their right to self-determination.

As members of the bar, we know that the rule of law is of fundamental importance to American society. Citizens need to be able to trust judges to use their vast authority prudently and separate their judicial decisions from their personal political views.

Many voices deserve to be heard about this decision. We leave the reader with the following excerpt from Justice Breyer’s dissent:

One result of today’s decision is certain: the curtailment of women’s rights, and of their status as free and equal citizens. Yesterday, the Constitution guaranteed that a woman confronted with an unplanned pregnancy could (within reasonable limits) make her own decision about whether to bear a child, with all the life-transforming consequences that act involves. And in thus safeguarding each woman’s reproductive freedom, the Constitution also protected the ability of women to participate equally in this Nation’s economic and social life.

But no longer. As of today, this Court holds, a State can always force a woman to give birth, prohibiting even the earliest abortions. A State can thus transform what, when freely undertaken, is a wonder into what, when forced, may be a nightmare.

Dobbs v. Jackson, 597 U.S. ___ (2022), slip op. at p. 154 (2022) (Breyer, J., dissenting) (cleaned up).

Photo by Levi Meir Clancy on Unsplash