Alito’s Roe v Wade Draft Has 17th Century Opinions on Rape & Witches

When U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, in a draft opinion obtained and published this week by Politico, detailed his justifications for overturning Roe v. Wade, he invoked a surprising name given the case’s subject. In writing about abortion, a matter inextricably tied to a woman’s control over her body, Alito chose to quote from Sir Matthew Hale, a 17th-century English jurist whose writings and reasonings have caused enduring damage to women for hundreds of years.

The so-called marital rape exemption — the legal notion that a married woman cannot be raped by her husband — traces to Hale. So does a long-used instruction to jurors to be skeptical of reports of rape. So, in a way, do the infamous Salem witch trials, in which women (and some men) were hanged on or near Gallows Hill.

Hale’s influence in the United States has been on the wane since the 1970s, with one state after another abandoning his legal principles on rape. But Alito’s opinion resurrects Hale, a judge who was considered misogynistic even by his era’s notably low standards…Alito, in his draft opinion, invokes “eminent common-law authorities,” including Hale, to show how abortion was viewed historically not as a right, but as a criminal act. “Two treatises by Sir Matthew Hale likewise described abortion of a quick child who died in the womb as a ‘great crime’ and a ‘great misprision,’” Alito wrote.

Alito may as well quote the fictional Simon Legree on the usefulness of slavery – to rely on this sort of anachronistic crap. Unless, of course, he wishes to support some of his peers in the Republican Party who still resent the inclusion of women as equal citizens before the law of these United States.

3 thoughts on “Alito’s Roe v Wade Draft Has 17th Century Opinions on Rape & Witches

  1. Rule 34 says:

    “The Malleus Maleficarum, usually translated as the Hammer of Witches, is the best known treatise on witchcraft. It was written by the Catholic clergyman Heinrich Kramer (under his Latinized name Henricus Institor) and first published in the German city of Speyer in 1486. It has been described as the compendium of literature in demonology of the 15th century. The top theologians of the Inquisition at the Faculty of Cologne condemned the book as recommending unethical and illegal procedures, as well as being inconsistent with Catholic doctrines of demonology.
    The Malleus elevates sorcery to the criminal status of heresy and recommends that secular courts prosecute it as such. The Malleus suggests torture to effectively obtain confessions and the death penalty as the only certain remedy against the evils of witchcraft. At the time of its publication, heretics were frequently punished to be burned alive at the stake and the Malleus encouraged the same treatment of witches.
    The book was later used by royal courts during the Renaissance, and contributed to the increasingly brutal prosecution of witchcraft during the 16th and 17th centuries.”

  2. RaPaR says:

    This is simply more verification that the SCOTUS is NOT comprised of judges, they are political operatives there to impose or implement THE conservative agenda NOT interpret law, per se. Just consider the white supremacy GOP operatives on the court; John Roberts, 2000? Down in Florida counting and throwing black votes in the Bay of Biscayne with Ted Cruz, of all human vermin. Clarence Thomas? His wife is a GOP/Nazi activist on the payroll of a numerous conservative causes including healthcare, and her Oreo husband never recused himself from the votes on same. Of course we all know what Cavanaugh was up to, drinking and groping his way through school knowing that, one day, he’d end up with a job he had no right whatever fulfilling. Drink up, “your honor!”

    As I always say, the so-called “Freedom Party” (please excuse the irony) is in power to take rights AWAY, not bestow them. Here is a classic example. While even 2nd world countries such as Columbia are enacting abortion rights in order to further escalate the standing and rights of women in their countries, AmeriKa is stepping 50 years backwards thanks to the narrow-minded, religious fanatics on the court.

  3. p/s says:

    “The other scary thing about Alito’s draft ruling on abortion”
    “The leaked draft has a fatal flaw. And it’s even worse than you think.
    Justice Alito’s draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade ignores the history it claims to honor. But it has an even bigger problem.”

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