History’s Equation Between the Dred Scott Decision (1857) and Roe/Casey Offers Eerie Echoes

By Donald A. Collins | 30 January 2022
Church and State

Dred Scott (c. 1799 – 17 September 1858) was an enslaved African-American man who, along with his wife, Harriet, unsuccessfully sued for freedom for themselves and their two daughters in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1857, popularly known as the “Dred Scott decision”. (Credit: Louis Schultze / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)

The eerie comparison in American history between the Roger Taney opinion in the 1857 Dred Scott decision which denied a freed slave his freedom and the pending consideration of Roe/Casey by the present US Supreme Court bears reflection.

You can read the facts of the Scott case here.

Ironically, Scott obtained his freedom 3 months after the decision, but of course not without suffering uncertainty and trauma for years in and out of SLAVERY!

In the case of Roe, after the revered Stare decisis status of now being settled law, the overturn by the Court would create as Justice Sotomayor opined a “stench” on the credibility of the Court.

I argue that the stench to the present Court would equal that of the Scott decision which was definitely a negative factor in the leadup to the Civil War in 1860.

In fact, the appearance of a civil war in terms of dangerous strife and violence from the Trump inspired culprits and the undermining of our democracy by attacking the credibility of our government with proven lies forms what might be seen as being like an algebraic equation. Read here my reasoning.

I quote from the above article: “I understand that the expressions on both sides of an equal sign are the same entity, and I know that when you modify one side, the other must be changed because it is referring to the same thing.”

The basic facts about Roe/Casey are well known. You can read a summary here.

However, I repeat my OP ED description from my piece on Judge Breyer’s pending retirement. In that piece I failed to mention the implied promise of Justice Bret Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings when he stressed the importance of adhering to Stare decisis, which is the importance of upholding long standing practice otherwise known in the law as precedence.

Just as our democracy is teetering on the edge of authoritarianism, this assertion of killing Roe with religious bias about a secular matter of personal freedom demonstrates in full measure why ignoring women’s rights has brought our planet’s humans into a potential death spiral.

To return to my mathematical image, I repeat what we know now about our human numbers:

As population in my 91 years has zoomed from 2 billion to nearly 8 billion with over 80 million births over deaths, that is making a population of 11 billion people possible by 2100.

Look around the globe and see the growing pain of human living conditions and one can see how broad denial of women’s rights is leading our species to disaster.

Here we go again as the attached abortion article ends by telling us:

The case reached the Supreme Court around the time of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. So, there were only 8 justices to hear the case. In a 5-3 decision, the Supreme Court found that states cannot place restrictions on abortion clinics that create an “undue burden” for women seeking an abortion.

As the authoritarian GOP now has apparently totally mesmerized their minions to embrace racism, anti-feminism and overall freedom, we can only hope the great awakening needed to keep Congress for the Democrats will occur to voters by the time of the 2022 midterms.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?” and “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?: Leaders Commit to Reduce Human Population”.

Amend: The Fight for America | Episode 1 | Netflix

Why the Supreme Court may reverse Roe in Mississippi abortion ban case

Joyce Vance: ‘It’s Unlikely Roe and Casey Will Survive As They Currently Exist’

How could Supreme Court conservatives change US abortion rights? – BBC News

Sir David Attenborough on overpopulation

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