A codified Roe first requires the constitutional right to privacy, former AG explains

Jul 7, 2022, 2:44 PM | Updated: Jul 8, 2022, 6:28 am
Photo by David McNew...
Photo by David McNew

With the decision from the U.S Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and remove federal protections of abortion rights, many are left wondering how this happened with these protections that have been in place for over 50 years.

Rob McKenna, former Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate in 2012, went on Seattle’s Morning News to speak with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien to talk about the decision from a legal standpoint.

One of the reasons Justice Samuel Alito wrote the court majority opinion in the case cited even though the Constitution makes no mention of abortion, the Court held that it confers a broad right to obtain one.” In essence, the six concurring justices made the argument that because there was no concrete right to privacy, only an implied one, based within the 14th amendment the Supreme Court could not confer rights to abortions.

King County Council pledges $1 million to help those seeking abortions from out of state

“The argument that Alito and others have been making for a long time is that it’s dangerous for the federal courts to create rights that didn’t exist,” McKenna said. “There is a way to create new constitutional rights, it’s amending the Constitution.”

Many have brought up the issues that this brings to other court decisions decided on the same precedent of a right to privacy, including Griswold v. Connecticut, Lawrence v. Texas, and Obergefell v. Hodges. These other court decisions protect the right to contraception, the legality of same-sex intimacy, and same-sex marriage.

“On the other hand, in the history of the country was construed to be a marriage between a man and woman. So it also could be at risk. therefore, I think people who depend on rights found in privacy, you’re properly concerned about where the court goes from here.”

Many critics on both sides of the aisle have long since taken issue with the original ruling on Roe, citing many of the same issues of precedent that are found in the Supreme Court’s decision. In her time before becoming a justice of the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsberg said that “the court ventured too far in the change it ordered,” despite being the American Civil Liberties Union head of the Women’s Rights Project and supporting legal abortions.

“I would support [an amendment guaranteeing a right to privacy.] But you know, it would get tangled up in the abortion issue. Why? Because in Roe v. Wade, they decided to ground the right to an abortion in this concept of privacy. If they hadn’t done that, it might not be so controversial.”

Because of the shaky precedent, it has been built on, Roe has been overturned, and the next step to protecting abortion rights in America is to codify it into the constitution as an actual right, according to McKenna. This has its own challenges, with Constitutional amendments being relatively rare. There have been a total of 17 amendments (plus the original starting 10) in the 233 years since the constitution was ratified, and a new one would require either a supermajority in congress or to be passed in three-quarters of state constitutions.

According to a study done by the Pew Research Center, 61% of Americans support legalizing abortion in all or most cases, while 37% think that it should be illegal in all or most cases.

“Will the pro-life anti-abortion groups oppose it because they’re afraid it’ll open the door to a federal constitutional right to abortions? So it’ll be challenging, but procedurally, that’s exactly what we’re supposed to do, and we think it’s important enough to establish a new right,” McKenna concluded.

Local News

(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)...
Nicole Jennings

Skykomish businesses staying open amidst Bolt Creek Fire

Between evacuations and repeated closures of Highway 2, the Bolt Creek Fire has created a challenge for small businesses in Skykomish.
20 hours ago
Harrell...
MyNorthwest Staff

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell introduces $7.4 billion biennial budget

Mayor Bruce Harrell unveiled a new budget that plans to address homelessness, rising crime rates, and increase funding for transportation infrastructure.
20 hours ago
Iran Protest...
Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin Show

Local business owner urges immediate action after death of Iranian woman

On Sunday evening the death of Mahsa Amini earlier this month at the hands of the Iranian police sparked protests 6,600 miles away in Bellevue.
20 hours ago
sunshine...
Meteorologist Nick Allard, KIRO 7 News

Hazy sunshine with reduced air quality in some areas

Friday through next weekend will be mainly sunny and warm with highs in the 70s. Nice start to October as summer tries to hang on one more weekend!
20 hours ago
kraken...
Frank Sumrall

New Seattle Kraken mascot to be announced on Saturday

The Kraken did not have a mascot last year, joining the New York Rangers as the only mascot-less franchises.
20 hours ago
IG: @hilareenelson...
Shawn Garrett, KIRO 7 News

Mountaineer and Seattle-native Hilaree Nelson missing in Nepal

Hilaree Nelson, a ski mountaineer and the first woman to summit Everest and Lhotse in one 24-hour push, is missing after apparently falling into a crevasse in Nepal, according to The New York Times.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
A codified Roe first requires the constitutional right to privacy, former AG explains