Supreme Court of the United States and Iit Chicago-kent College Essay

Submitted By LoganMounce
Words: 2309
Pages: 10

Logan Mounce
Famous Trials
Dr. Porwancher word count:
Roe vs. Wade an enduring controversy Roe v. Wade (1973) is considered one of the most controversial Supreme Court decisions in American judicial history. Abortion is still a hot political issue to this day. Various states legislatures have passes stringent laws which are making it nearly impossible for women to even seek an abortion. This paper will prove that many states have refused to enforce Roe v. Wade and in doing so state legislatures have passed laws which make it harder for women to obtain an abortion, or have imposed certain restrictions on the medical procedure. Roe established a rule of law that made it an undue burden for states to prevent women from seeking abortion. However state legislatures have tried to circumvent the Supreme Court's ruling by passing tough laws on the accessibility of abortion. Roe is well established common law that the Federal courts have constantly enforced. The battle between states and the Federal courts however has never been more bitter. To fully understand the significance of Roe v. Wade we need look at the facts of the case. Roe was a resident of Texas who sought to terminate her pregnancy. Texas law made it a crime to get an abortion unless the pregnancy threatened the life of the mother or in rare cases of incest. Roe filed suit in federal district court. The district court ruled in favor of Roe and held that the Texas statutes were overly broad and infringed on Roe's Fourteenth Amendment rights. The Supreme Court granted certiorari and took up the case and upheld the lower court's decision. The Court held "that a woman's right to an abortion fell within the right to privacy (recognized in Griswold v. Connecticut) protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision gave a woman total autonomy over the pregnancy during the first trimester and defined different levels of state interest for the second and third trimesters. As a result, the laws of 46 states were affected by the Court's ruling." This Court decision leads to the next significant issue regarding this paper, the right to privacy. Nowhere in the United States Constitution does it explicitly state that an individual has a right to privacy. In fact it was not until the Earl Warren Court era that the right to privacy was even a right guaranteed by the Federal government. Privacy was usually left up to the states to determine for themselves. The Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren created "zones of privacy" by ruling that the Third Amendment, (prohibiting quartering of troops) Fourth Amendment, (unreasonable searches and seizers) and Fifth Amendment (Right not to self incriminate) all implied a right to privacy. In Griswold v. Connecticut (1964) the issue was concerning Connecticut's law restricting birth control. Though it is not quite the same issue in Roe concerning abortion, the premise is the same which is the issue of women's reproductive rights. The Court ruled " Though the Constitution does not explicitly protect a general right to privacy, the various guarantees within the Bill of Rights create penumbras, or zones, that establish a right to privacy. Together, the First, Third, Fourth, and Ninth Amendments, create a new constitutional right, the right to privacy in marital relations." The key to this decision was that the Bill of Rights created a new constitutional right to privacy. This decision is probably the most significant in Griswold and left a door open for the Court to later expand and even broaden more rights and protections not stated in the Constitution. The only difference in Roe is that the Court used the Fourteenth Amendment to expand the right to privacy by implying that privacy applies to due process " the Fourteenth Amendment protects, embraces more than the rights found in the Bill of Rights. But that liberty is not guaranteed absolutely against deprivation, only against deprivation without due process