Alabama Associate Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker, who just weeks ago in a court opinion called the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling unconstitutional, was elected chief justice by the state’s voters.
Parker defeated his Democratic challenger, Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Robert Vance, with nearly 60 percent of the vote Tuesday.
Liberty Counsel, which often opposed Roe v. Wade and other legal protections of abortion in court, pointed out Parker’s special concurrence in a recent Alabama case regarding fetal homicide.
The organization also represented Parker successfully in a complaint filed by the far-left activists at the Southern Poverty Law Center over Parker’s comments during a radio interview.
A federal court ruled the state judicial canon restricted speech in violation of the First Amendment.
“It is not a matter of if, but when, the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade,” said Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel. “This horrible opinion is unconstitutional and has wreaked serious damage to the rule of law and resulted in the deaths of many innocent and helpless children.”
Staver said there are “many cases already working their way to the High Court that could be used to overturn Roe v. Wade.”
“The voters in Alabama and West Virginia have declared they want to make the womb a safe place again,” he said.
He pointed out that voters in both states approved amendments to their state constitutions to protect the lives of the unborn.
“Alabama’s Amendment 2 declares the public policy of the state is to recognize and support the importance of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life; and to protect the rights of unborn children. It also says there are no constitutional rights to an abortion or abortion funding,” he said.
West Virginia voters passed Amendment 1, which amends the state Constitution to read, “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.”
Parker’s opinion was made clear in a decision that cited a recent ruling by the Alabama high court that found an unborn baby is a “person” under the law, and, consequently, the death of that person can be punished with execution.
The justice’s opinion was praised by James Dobson, adviser to five presidents, founder of Focus on the Family, the James Dobson Family Institute and Family Talk radio, and author of dozens of books.
“I am truly encouraged by the Alabama Supreme Court’s opinion, which powerfully affirms the humanity of the unborn in the eyes of the law,” Dobson said. “In this tragic instance, by ruling that the murder of a pregnant woman is a double homicide, God has truly done as the scriptures say: what was intended for evil … God intended for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Dobson cited Parker’s “powerful concurrence,” which “has given voice to so many of us who are devoted to defending the lives of the unborn by making a declarative legal argument for why the scourge of Roe v. Wade must, once and for all, be repealed by the U.S. Supreme Court.”
“I encourage everyone to read his powerful argument for themselves, and take heart as we all continue to be a voice for life.”
Parker, in his concurrence, called on the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that created a “right” to abortion.
“I write specially to expound upon the principles presented in the main opinion and to note the continued legal anomaly and logical fallacy that is Roe v. Wade,” Parker said. “I urge the United States Supreme Court to overrule this increasingly isolated exception to the rights of unborn children.”
Parker affirmed the Alabama court’s rationale that “unborn children are persons entitled to the full and equal protection of the law.”
He asserted Roe v. Wade is “without historical or constitutional support, carved out an exception to the rights of unborn children and prohibited states from recognizing an unborn child’s inalienable right to life when that right conflicts with a woman’s ‘right’ to abortion.”
“This judicially created exception of Roe is an aberration to the natural law … and common law of the states,” Parker said.
He noted the Alabama court’s opinion stated the “obvious truth that unborn children are people and thus entitled to the full protection of the law” in its decision to reject Jessie Phillips’ arguments “that the unborn child he murdered, Baby Doe, was not a ‘person’ under Alabama law.”
In the case, Phillips was charged with the murders of his wife and unborn child, and sentenced to be executed. The state Supreme Court affirmed the sentence, rejecting claims that Phillips could not be sentenced for the unborn child’s death because the child was not a “person.”
The fault in the Roe decision was cited by Justice Harry Blackmun, who wrote the majority opinion.
He said the justices didn’t have the scientific evidence to determine if an unborn baby is a person, but “personhood” is the foundation of the case.
Blackmun wrote: “(If the) suggestion of personhood [of the preborn] is established, the [abortion rights] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment.”
The Alabama ruling is not the only one to point out to the U.S. Supreme Court that Roe was wrongly decided.
In August, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down an Alabama law banning the gruesome, second-trimester abortion procedure in which limbs are removed from a baby’s body in the womb.
At the time, Chief Judge Ed Carnes lamented in his opinion that he was bound by U.S. Supreme Court precedent to rule against the state, writing that “dismemberment” is the best description of the procedure, which clinically is known as dilation and extraction.
“In our judicial system, there is only one Supreme Court, and we are not it,” he wrote, calling the high court’s history of abortion rulings an “aberration” of constitutional law.
And Judge Joel Dubina wrote separately to express his agreement with Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia in Gonzales v. Carhart in which Thomas wrote, “I write separately to reiterate my view that the Court’s abortion jurisprudence,” including in Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Roe v. Wade, “has no basis in the Constitution.”
“The problem I have, as noted in the Chief Judge’s opinion, is that I am not on the Supreme Court, and as a federal appellate judge, I am bound by my oath to follow all of the Supreme Court’s precedents, whether I agree with them or not,” Dubina wrote.