Credit: (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Political Rewind: The right to be 'let alone': Could Georgia's privacy law be used vs. abortion ban?
Guest host: Kevin Riley, @AJCEditor, editor, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Professor Amy Steigerwalt, @DrSteigerwalt, Georgia State University
Professor Anthony Michael Kreis, @AnthonyMKreis, Georgia State University
Professor Fred Smith, @fredosmithjr, Emory University School of Law
Professor Emeritus James C. Cobb, former Southern history professor, University of Georgia
1. A walk-through on the history of Georgia's constitution.
- Georgia's first constituion came about when it was a colony of England in 1777.
- Georgia's constitution has had at least 10 revisions.
- The latest was ratifiedon Nov. 2, 1982, by a vote of the people and it became effective July 1, 1983.
- The right to privacy originated in the state constitution's Rights of Persons.
- First adopted in 1861, it was expanded in the 1865 constitution that abolished slavery.
- In a 1905 decision, Pavesich v. New England Life Insurance Company, the Georgia Supreme Court recognized a sweeping right of Georgians to keep their lives shielded from public scrutiny and unjustified state intervention.
2. Why was Roe v. Wade overturned?
- Justice Sam Alito wrote in the decision, "the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion."
- Justice Clarence Thomas argued in a concurring opinion released that the court “should reconsider” its past rulings codifying rights to contraception access, same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage.
3. History of abortion law in Georgia
- Challenges to abortions did not appear in Georgia's law until 1876.
- That change capped abortion at a period of "quickening" around fifteen weeks.
- Professor Anthony Michael Kreis says that historically, Georgia lawmakers would not have thought a fetus had a separate and distinct legal status during the first fifteen weeks.
4. The difference between the Georgia Constitution and the U.S. Constitution.
- Georgia's constitution upheld the right to privacy before the U.S. Constitution, since state constitutions tend to be more detailed and reach further.
Friday on Political Rewind: We hear from election officials about challenges to voting.