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Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 27, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The Supreme Court's liberal majority ignores its own standards and manipulates legal norms in order to impose its “policy preferences” by “judicial fiat,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in response to today's abortion decision.

In a scathing, 17-page dissent, Justice Thomas excoriated “the court's habit of applying different rules to different constitutional rights – especially the putative right to abortion.”

“As the court applies whatever standard it likes to any given case, nothing but empty words separates our constitutional decisions from judicial fiat,” he wrote. 

That began with the fact that the court decided to hear the case at all, he wrote. Imperiled Texas abortion facilities and the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, rather than women threatened by H.B. 2, brought the case, Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. Justice Thomas said it was unusual to allow abortionists to “vicariously vindicate the putative constitutional right of women seeking abortions.”

“I find it astonishing that the majority can discover an 'undue burden' on women’s access to abortion” without any abortion-minded woman suing to assert there is a crisis. The five liberal justices' views “are no substitute for actual evidence,” he wrote. 

In order to successfully contest a law, courts must agree that the plaintiff has legal standing to sue, something justices have denied in other instances. 

For instance, the court ruled in the 2013 that California voters had no standing to contest a judge's ruling overturning the state's popularly adopted constitutional marriage protection amendment. “We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to. We decline to do so for the first time here,” the justices wrote in their decision, Hollingsworth v. Perry.

Justice Thomas accused his fellow justices of moving the legal goalposts used to determine whether a state may regulate abortion-on-demand in today's ruling. 

The majority opinion handed down this morning, written by Justice Stephen Breyer, imposed a different standard than the “undue burden” rule outlined in the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision, he said. The new standard is “contrary to Casey” and “will surely mystify lower courts for years to come.”

By rewriting existing law and changing the level of legal scrutiny applied to laws brought before the Supreme Court, liberal justices were able to impose their views in cases such as Windsor, which redefined marriage nationwideand a case decided just last week that allows the state of Texas to use some level of race-based Affirmative Action in college admissions.

“The court has simultaneously transformed judicially created rights like the right to abortion into preferred constitutional rights, while disfavoring many of the rights actually enumerated in the Constitution,” Justice Thomas wrote. 

“The court should abandon the pretense that anything other than policy preferences underlies its balancing of constitutional rights and interests in any given case,” he added.

Justice Thomas, who joined Justice Samuel Alito's dissent with Chief Justice John Roberts, concluded his separate dissent by saying that the Supreme Court is on track to “continue reducing constitutional law to policy-driven value judgments until the last shreds of its legitimacy disappear.”

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