President Joe Biden on Friday condemned the ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court that overturns Roe v. Wade while he also criticized comments Justice Clarence Thomas made in his concurring opinion about LGBTQ+ marriage.
The president delivered remarks to the nation hours after the court’s decision was announced. He decried the ruling, saying it will harm “so many more rights that we’ve come to take for granted, that are ingrained in the fabric of this country,” such as the “right to marry the person you love.”
“Justice Thomas said as much today. He explicitly called to reconsider the right of marriage equality [and] the right of couples to make their choices on contraception,” Biden said, adding that the court is taking the country on an “extreme and dangerous path.”
The Supreme Court’s Friday decision overturns the 1973 ruling on Roe , which protected women who seek an abortion “without undue restrictive interference from the government,” guaranteed under the 14th Amendment. Thomas issued a concurring opinion with the decision to overturn Roe that referenced two previous Supreme Court rulings. One of those decisions established that criminal penalties for sodomy or private sexual acts between consenting adults are unconstitutional. The other case l egalized same-sex marriage nationwide . Thomas had dissented in both of those original decisions.
In his Friday concurring opinion, Thomas wrote that those two rulings were “demonstrably erroneous.”
“We have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents,” he added.
In his speech, Biden called the ruling overturning Roe “a very solemn moment.”
“It’s a sad day for the court and for the country,” he said. “This decision is a culmination of a deliberate effort over decades to upset the balance of our law. It’s a realization of an extreme ideology and a tragic error by the Supreme Court, in my view.”
Biden touched on the political ramifications of the court’s decision and called on Americans to vote in the 2022 midterm elections for candidates who will “codify a woman’s right to choose” in Congress .
“This fall, Roe is on the ballot,” he said. “Personal freedoms are on the ballot. The right to privacy, liberty, equality are all on the ballot. Until then, I will do all in my power to protect a woman’s right in states where they will face the consequences of today’s decision.”
Biden also requested that protesters remain peaceful, “no matter how deeply they care about this decision.”
“We must stand against violence in any form, regardless of your rationale,” he said.
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