Friday's Supreme Court opinion eviscerating Roe v. Wade relied heavily on the argument that the issue should go back to the states: "That is what the Constitution and the rule of law demand." The majority contends the Constitution does not guarantee a women's right to reproductive freedom.
Many GOP-dominated state legislatures have passed, or are attempting to pass, laws that would allow their states to extradite citizens who have sought abortion in another state for criminal prosecution. Some states are making it legal to sue anyone who aids a woman in seeking an abortion, regardless of where they live. Exactly how do they reconcile Justice Samuel Alito's states'-rights determination with their obvious faux-federal overreach? It is clear, it has nothing to do with states' rights. These states are intent on extending their laws beyond their own borders and usurping other states' laws masquerading as a federal governing body.
Do not believe the radical right justice's argument. It holds as much water as the statements made by Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh during their hearings: None at all.
Susan Barrett, Mora, Minn.
Ideology on display. On one day, the Supreme Court says state and local leaders cannot require certain gun-safety measures, even if that's what their constituents want ("Justices expand right to carry guns," front page, June 24). On the very next day, the Supreme Court establishes the very opposite principle, saying the decision on whether a woman can end a pregnancy must be left to the states to decide.
David Pederson, Excelsior
Well, it took 50 years of contentious debate, but here we are back to the way it was before Roe v. Wade. Thankfully, science and medical knowledge have advanced over those long years to finally add reason supporting this court decision. Unfortunately, millions of children were never given a chance for a full life, a basic human right that we have all enjoyed from the generous decisions of our parents to bear and raise us. Raising children is not easy and certainly requires sacrifice and heartache at times, but the miracle of life is such a gift. Hopefully, more potential parents will now choose life.
As for the marriages that choose life, they must bravely meet all the challenges of maintaining a relationship and raising their children right. The June 16 Catholic Spirit newsletter outlined some of the traits of good marriage partners, including kindness, trust, modesty, humbleness, politeness, gentleness, self control, compassion, forgiveness, truthfulness and virtue as they grow closer to each other and our Creator, who is likely rejoicing throughout the heavens for the court decision on Friday!
Michael Tillemans, Minneapolis
Why is a person's right to carry a gun more important than a woman's right to control what happens to her body?
Why do we rename lakes and schools and take down statues based on current beliefs but have a Supreme Court that views things with a 235-year-old lens, interpreting our Constitution as it was signed in 1787?
Maybe it's time for another constitutional amendment to limit the term of Supreme Court justices.
Mary Macaulay, Bloomington
The U.S. Supreme Court will erase our Constitution's First Amendment line of separation between church and state school funding ("Supreme Court puts a hole in the wall," Opinion Exchange, June 23). Chief Justice Roberts' arguments are highly nuanced, but they fail to identify the crater that they create: funding from public tax dollars have strings attached.
Public schools must, not may, provide education for all students. Thus private, religious schools must, not may, provide special education programs and faculty. They must, not may, provide fully licensed, state-certified teachers. They must, not may, provide equal sport teams for male, female and trans students. Their students must, not may, take all state-mandated tests, whose scores are publicly published in local newspapers and posted on state education websites.
Thus, private will, not might, become public and be held accountable according to federal and state law requirements.
Robert Strandquist, St. Paul
I wonder how Justice Samuel Alito and the other conservatives on the court will spin their ruling in Maine regarding the use of public tax dollars to fund religious schooling? ("Court OKs public funds for religious schools," June 22.) As a part of his reasoning for overturning Roe v. Wade, Alito points out, "The Constitution makes no express reference to a right to obtain an abortion, and therefore those who claim that it protects such a right must show that the right is somehow implicit in the constitutional text." OK. But with regard to the separation of church and state, the Constitution is pretty clear in saying that the government will not support (provide tax dollars to) any one religion — the establishment clause of the First Amendment. The Maine decision was 6-3 with all six conservative justices voting in favor of religious schools receiving public funding. Alito asserts that the Constitution does not specifically mention a right to an abortion, so there cannot be one. But then Alito and his cohorts on the bench "create" a right for a publicly funded religious education, when the same document clearly states that there is no right to publicly funded religion — education or otherwise. How does that work?
The latest numbers I can find from the National Center for Education show that 66% of K-12 private school attendees are white. It also shows that the poverty rate for K-12 private school students is at 9%, compared to their public school peers at 17%. The Council for American Private Education's latest statistics show that of the private schools operating nationally, most are Christian-based, and of those, most are Catholic.
Of the six conservatives on the Supreme Court, all but one are white. Five of the six conservatives grew up in middle-class or above families. Five of the six conservative justices attended private Catholic K-12 schooling, and two attended the same preparatory school. There appears to be a strong correlation between the conservative majority's personal beliefs and experiences, and the rulings and opinions they are handing down.
The vast majority of schools that will potentially benefit from this will be Christian ones, more specifically Catholic ones, and it will be at the expense of public schools. I wonder how taxpayers will react if these schools come calling for more referendums asking for more money. What will the 77% of the country that are not Catholic think? What about the 35% of Americans who identify as something other than Christian? And what about the men that wrote the Constitution 235 years ago — what would they think?
David McCuskey, Orono
Often, critics of Supreme Court decisions base their criticisms on the effects that the decision will have. For example, Kathy Hochul, governor of New York, called the ruling on the New York gun law "reckless." And, in the same case, Justice Stephen Breyer, in his dissent, said that his colleagues acted "without considering the potentially deadly consequences."
Supreme Court decisions should not be judged based on the consequences, but rather on whether the decision is legally correct and complies with the U.S. Constitution. If there is an undesirable outcome, the responsibility is on the lawmakers to either draft a law that complies with the Constitution or change the Constitution.
James Brandt, New Brighton
Now that we have the recent Supreme Court decision about New York's gun law and the good possibility that it may affect all states, here's what our Legislature could do with some of our surplus money. Make sure every citizen is issued the most up-to-date body armor so that when we go out to do the most mundane, everyday things in our lives, we can protect ourselves from those who could be carrying concealed weapons and intent on doing us harm. By the same token, all — and I mean all — public places should have armed guards (paid for from the surplus) every minute they are open to the public so we can be doubly sure we'll come home safe, even if we are wearing our body armor. Oh, and to make it fair to all of us, state offices, the Legislature, the courts and the halls of Congress should all allow concealed weapons. After all, what's good for the goose ...
Linda McGowan, Blaine