Culture War and the Supreme Court
By Nathan Morrow
Roe v. Wade- 1973
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
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
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
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.