The Worst Supreme Court Decision of All-Time

As bad as yesterday’s Supreme Court decision was, it doesn’t hold a candle to one handed down twenty years ago today. On this date in 1992, the Court decided the case of Casey v. Planned Parenthood. People might be disappointed with John Roberts right now, but the fury at Justices O’Connor and Kennedy, and to a lesser extent Souter, after they voted to uphold Roe v. Wade dwarfs that.

Ed Whelan links to post by Michael Stokes Paulsen in which he calls Casey the worst Supreme Court decision of all-time. Part one is here, and part two is here. I wholeheartedly agree. I also ranked Casey as the worst when compiling my list of the worst decisions of all-time. Sure, there have been several atrocious decisions handed down by the Court, and Paulsen highlights some of the worst defenders in part one. But what makes Casey so egregious is the combination of the sheer awfulness of the decision from a constitutional perspective, as well as the devastating real world impacts it had.

Paulsen details all that is wrong with the decision. The plurality opinion relied on stare decisis to reach its conclusion, treating the doctrine as though it were sacrosanct. If you listened to the plurality you would come to the conclusion that Court had never struck down a decision it considered to be wrongly decided. What’s more, the plurality opinion is simply a mess of contorted logic, rightfully mocked by Scalia in his brilliant dissent. Most damning, it ensured the continued legal protection of abortion, dooming millions more unborn children to their premature death.

I’ll leave you to read both articles in their entirety.

Roe v. Wade may have made abortion legal in all 50 states, but Casey entrenched that decision. Worse still, it did so in a way that made the Roe majority opinion seem like a masterwork of originalist logic by comparison.

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  1. Paul:

    Funny you should mention the Casey case on occasion of yesterday’s Obamacare decision. The reason is that in both cases, the swing votes flipped. Kennedy with Casey and Roberts with Obamacare, according to Jan Greenburg’s book Supreme Conflict (pg. 155), Scalia and Kennedy took a walk near their homes shortly before the decision came out. Scalia went away thinking the conservatives could still count on Kennedy. But alas, we now know different.

    Nothing really new under the sun.

  2. The worst scourge of the Supreme Court was Jan 22, 1973. We have lived under the pallor of death since that day. Nothing good will happen until that death sentence is stopped in it’s tracks. God is the only One we can “count” on to change the bitter hardened hearts of not only arrogant judges but misguided Christians. Rev 3 15-16.

  3. A Catholic wrote the majority opinion in Roe v Wade. Kennedy is an alleged Catholic, and so is Roberts.

    We are our own worst enemy. No Protestant, Muslim or atheist has ever caused as much arm to the Catholic Church as bad Catholics.

    Sometimes, I too am a bad Catholic due to my thoughts and deeds, lest anyone think I only practice “j’accuse”.

  4. Abortion kills a person. The United States Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade said: “We do not know if it is a PERSON, so kill it anyway.” Thomas Jefferson said: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal”
    The Supreme Court said: “We do not know if there is a God, so get rid of Him, His Son and His followers.” Thomas Jefferson said: “…and endowed by their Creator”
    The Supreme Court said: “We may tax and penalize conscientious objectors to our killing of persons.” Thomas Jefferson said: “with certain unalienable rights, that among these rights are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” The Ninth Amendment says that “the person has rights not enumerated in the Constitution” like conscientious objection to the killing of persons.
    Bishop Fulton J. Sheen in his Patriotism said that Thomas Jefferson believed in the dignity of man and in the sovereignty of God. St. Just, Thomas Jefferson’s opponent believed man had no inherent rights, that there was no God and violence was the only language to be spoken. 1) Terror, destruction of civil Liberty, confiscation of property. Government built upon a pile of corpses.
    2) Political Mysticism: My will or nothing.
    Spiritual Mysticism: God or nothing.
    3) Satanism: Destruction of law and order, violence. The new Violence.
    The choice is ours: Thomas Jefferson: God or nothing, or Obama: “My will or nothing”.

  5. Until the recent Obamacare decision, my vote for “Worst Supreme Court Decision of All Time” would have been “Wickard v. Filburn”, the case that decided that interstate commerce included everything, including things that weren’t interstate and were not commerce (like growing wheat on your own land for your own use).

    Eliminate that one case, and perhaps as much as 85% to 90% of all the filth the government pushes would lose its “justification”.

    But now Roberts has informed us that non-taxes (penalties) are really taxes and constitutional, so anything can be justified by attaching a penalty and calling it a “tax”.

    In case anyone hasn’t figured it out, the Founding Fathers included the Second Amendment in the Constitution for just such an occasion as appears to be forming… to ensure that oppressive government maybe overthrown, violently if necessary, by the People.

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