Who Defines Fundamental Human Rights? by David Carlin

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*The “Roe” Court *Image: Justices of the Supreme Court (1972). Front row: Potter Stewart, William O. Douglas, (Chief Justice) Warren E. Burger, William J. Brennan Jr. and Byron R. White. Back row: Lewis F. Powell Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Harry A. Blackmun, and William H. Rehnquist. [Getty Archive]

By David Carlin,  The Catholic Thing, March 20, 2020

David Carlin is a professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island, and the author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America.


David CarlinPeople who (like me and, I suppose, most readers of The Catholic Thing) object to the Roe v. Wade ruling made by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 – the ruling that declared that the U.S. Constitution contains a right to abortion – often point out that despite reading the Constitution very carefully, often with a magnifying glass, we can find no mention in it of a right to abortion.

We find rights to freedom of speech and freedom of press and freedom of religion; we find a right to bear arms; we find a right to trial by jury; we find a right to vote; we find a right not to be a slave; we find a right to purchase alcoholic beverages; and so on.  But we find no right to abortion.

Therefore, we conclude that there is no such Constitutional right.  We conclude that the Court invented this “right.”  The Court, by a 7-2 margin, made it up.  It didn’t make it up exactly out of thin air.  No, it made it up out of the very thick air of sexual revolution that was characteristic of the cultural atmosphere of the sixties and seventies.

The younger generation had discovered sexual freedom, which to be complete required freedom of abortion; and so seven of the nine old men of the Court (no women in those days) decided to show that they too, despite their advanced corporeal age, were young in spirit.  …

Read more here:  https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2020/03/20/who-defines-fundamental-human-rights/