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Pro-choice Law Professor ridicules Roe v. Wade

by | Jul 27, 2018

By Sarah Terzo

Prof. John Hart Ely

The late Prof. John Hart Ely was affiliated with Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, and Stanford Law School. He wrote a famous article for the Yale Law Journal about Roe v. Wade:

Roe “is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be….What is frightening about Roe is that this super­protected right is not inferable from the language of the Constitution, the framers’ thinking respecting the specific problem in issue, any general value derivable from the provisions they included, or the nation’s governmental structure. Nor is it explainable in terms of the unusual political impotence of the group judicially protected vis­ à­ vis the interest that legislatively prevailed over it. … At times the inferences the Court has drawn from the values the Constitution marks for special protection have been controversial, even shaky, but never before has its sense of an obligation to draw one been so obviously lacking.”

“The Wages of Crying Wolf: A Comment on Roe v. Wade,” 82 Yale Law Journal 920, 935­937 (1973).

He was pro-choice.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Clinic Quotes and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Roe v. Wade