Culture War and the Supreme Court

By Nathan Morrow

Roe v. Wade- 1973

Decision Split: Seven to two

The Issue: Abortion (Prenatal life and women's health)

The Rights Involved: Privacy under the due protection clause of the 14th amendment.

Impact: The supreme court overturned the Texas law making it illegal to assist a woman in procuring an abortion. This was a liberal decision for the court.

Historical Significance: The case created a national rift, dividing the country into pro-choice and pro-life camps. This relates to culture war by challenging peoples lifestyles and opinions while paving the way for future generations.

Rover v. Evans- 1996

Decision Split: Six to three

The Issue: Sexual orientation coupled with Colorado state laws

The Rights Involved: The equal protection clause for gay rights.

Impact: The Colorado law preventing protected status for homosexuals and bi sexuals was abolished. The decision was liberal in nature.

Historical Significance: The case truly began the movements to legalize homosexual rights. This directly relates to the culture war by introducing another issue to the culture war fight.

Lawrence v. Texas- 2003

Decision Split: Six to three

The Issue: Sodomy laws in Texas

The Rights Involved: The privacy and liberty of adults to engage in private, intimate conduct under the 14th amendment.

Impact: Anti-Sodomy laws in Texas and 13 other states were struck down and made same sex sexual activity legal in all states and territories. This was a liberal decision.

Historical Significance: Homosexual rights groups were empowered by this and became bolder leading to an increase in power on the liberal side of the culture wars.

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby

Decision Split: Five to four

The Issue: If religious beliefs effect what small business must provide for their employees.

The Rights Involved: Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Free exercise of religion clause of the first amendment.

Impact: The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was ruled constitutional and small, closely held businesses do not have to provide services against the owner's religion. This decision was clearly a conservative decision.

Historical Significance: In the near future, small businesses wont be required to provide services for it's employees that go against the owner's religion. In this case, specifically, contraceptives, which is a massive boost to conservatives against birth control in the culture war, particularly Evangelical Christian conservatives.

Supreme Court Justices

The two most likely justices to retire after the 2016 election are Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy. These are the two most likely to leave their positions, primarily because of age, but also because they both have a tendency to be more conservative. The 2016 presidential election is likely going to be taken by the republican nominee because of a large majority of the country's dislike for Obama, and by association, the democratic party. Thus, the republican president would give the Supreme Court seats to other republican judges. This would let the republicans maintain a strong presence in the court.

Summary of the Culture War

The Culture War is a fight between the two major groups in American politics: liberals and conservatives. In more detail, the culture war is a political fight to shape and determine American society in different ways. Liberals are trying to advance society towards new ideas and a new social structure similar to communism. Conservatives try to move society backwards to an older value system that they believed worked better or to keep the current value system with a more republican government style. And, overall, it is a war to determine what will happen in and to the United States to a major degree.