Andersen Responds to June 30th Letter
July 14, 2022
After reading the Letter to the Editor in the June 30 Post Messenger Recorder, I am compelled to write. It is concerning that the author of the letter is a candidate for public office in the 80th Assembly District. While I don’t believe holding public office should be limited to lawyers or legal scholars, or Ivy League graduates, I do believe that a rudimentary understanding of the US Constitution and the US Supreme Court, as well as state and local laws, is helpful, especially if the office holder intends to write laws for his fellow citizen to live by. As an added bonus, it would be great if those who aspire to public office had an elementary understanding of human biology so that, going forward, our conversations on touchy subjects could be rooted in intellectual honesty.
In reading the US Constitution, one will not find an enumerated right to privacy. However, this right was created by the US Supreme Court in the 1965 landmark case of Griswold v. Connecticut.
The aforementioned author claims that the recent decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization constitutes “an appalling betrayal of 50 years of legal precedent.” Although the right to privacy has a well-established history, the Supreme Court nevertheless retains the capability to reconsider any legal precedent. While precedent carries enormous weight in subsequent court decisions, if that precedent was erroneously decided, it must be overturned. If precedent alone is the standard for judicial action or inaction, then Dred Scott v. Sandford would still be controlling legal precedent.
Furthermore, it is useful for a political candidate to understand that overturning Roe v. Wade did not ban or outlaw abortion, but rather tossed the question back to states to decide. This is because, according to Justice Alito, the Constitution makes no express reference to the right to obtain an abortion and no such right is rooted in the nation’s history and is not an essential component of ordered liberty. The federal government only has powers specifically given to it by the Constitution. In short, the law makers of Wisconsin should be happy that they have the power now to make decisions (write legislation) that truly represent the values of their constituents.
It is concerning when a candidate for public office either doesn’t understand what happened with the recent Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision or is content to misrepresent what happened in order to instill fear and anger in the community.
This discussion will likely go on for quite some time, but intellectual honesty is essential in any reasoned debate. In the interest of intellectual honesty, let’s stipulate that only women can get pregnant, bear children, or obtain an abortion. It’s important to start with the facts when we endeavor to discuss such touchy subjects.