Tomi Lahren announced in March 2017 that she is pro-choice and supports legal abortion. Now, she’s gone even further, suggesting that overturning Roe v. Wade would be a huge mistake for Republicans. In her most recent “Final Thoughts” video, she bases her argument on the legal term of precedent. The idea of precedent is legally referred to as stare decisis, which literally means, “stand by things decided.” In layman’s terms, once the court has adjudicated a matter, the resulting decision becomes a part of the foundation used to determine later cases, regardless of if the original decision is “correct.”
If you think this is a horrible idea, it’s because it is. The idea of precedent suggests that judges should be unelected, all-powerful arbiters of what is and is not constitutional, and that is simply not how any of this works. Decisions are either correct or they aren’t. No intelligent person would argue that Henry Billings Brown was correct in Plessy v. Ferguson. Failing to challenge it, simply because it “has already been decided” is both laughable and morally repugnant. The same applies to Lahren’s plea to precedent.
The idea that if the Court determines something like eugenics is legal and constitutional, then that decision is now unerringly correct forever and all time, is ludicrous.
Wait, you say, no Justice in their right mind would find eugenics constitutional. Actually, that’s exactly what Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes found in his majority opinion in Buck v. Bell.
On behalf of an 8-1 majority, Holmes legitimized forced sterilization laws across the US. What about the precedent set in Dred Scott v. Sandford, when the Supreme Court essentially said that black people aren’t considered people due to their ancestry? Presumably, if folks like Tomi Lahren had their way, these and numerous other atrocious decisions from the Supreme Court would still be in effect today, not because they’re correct or moral, but because they’ve already been decided.
Tomi went on to ask, “Do we really want to fight for this, alienate Democrats, moderates, and libertarians, all to lose in the end anyway? That’s a risk I don’t think is worth taking.” Tomi’s stance is not that abortion should be legal because unborn babies aren’t life or potential life, so killing them in utero is okay. Instead, her position is that science and morality are unpopular, so why wouldn’t we allow hundreds of thousands of babies to continue to be chopped up and killed for profit every year? Her mentality is spineless and misinformed.
Tomi is making the case that, if there’s a chance of losing, it’s not worth fighting for one’s strongly held beliefs— which is absurd. Truthfully, if Tomi doesn’t believe in the sanctity of life, and its need to be preserved no matter the situation, she has no business claiming to be a constitutional conservative.
Tomi also demonstrates a basic misunderstanding of the decision in Roe v. Wade. Roe, at its core, is a state’s rights case. The central premise of the majority opinion is that no state could outlaw abortion because it was the domain of the Federal Government. This usurps power of state governments and gives it to the Federal Government by way of the Courts under the guise of a right to privacy. The ruling in Roe circumvents the conservative notion of Federalism, the idea of a central government sharing power and coexisting with regional governments, and neither encroaching on the other.
The ruling in Roe takes a right away from the states and makes it a federal mandate. Even conservatives who are pro-abortion should call for Roe’s repeal, so the states can ultimately decide their fate, and do as they see fit, not be even further beholden to the Federal Government.
It’s ironic that Tomi pled with conservatives not to overturn Roe v. Wade by saying conservatives lose on social issues, and should stay out of them, considering she gained most of her fame being a conservative that tackled social issues. Being conservative means being against big government. Roe v. Wade is big government. Tomi’s ability to attract people to the conservative movement is essential to the growth and expansion of the party among the younger generations. Her activism speaks volumes to what our generation can accomplish in politics. However, if she wishes to represent conservatism, we ask that she educate herself on the foundational principles of this great movement: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.