“Don’t be fooled,” warned Tribe, a constitutional expert. “The writings from which the Court selected my quotes were totally supportive of the result in Roe,” he added.
Tribe did not say how his remarks were twisted or taken out of context by court conservatives. But he called for the decision which affects “tens of millions of women” to be “reversed”.
Alito was criticized at the time for justifying his decision by repeatedly quoting someone he called a “great” and “eminent” judicial authority: Sir Matthew Hale.
But Hale was not that, historians have complained. The English judge, who lived from 1609 to 1676, sentenced ‘witches’ to death and wrote an infamous treatise warning authorities to beware of women who say they have been raped. He also said that in marriage, a woman places her body under the “permanent domination” of her husband, rendering any accusation of marital rape illegitimate.
Additionally, Alito misrepresented the facts about Hale’s time when abortion was unregulated until a fetus “accelerates” or first feels movement in the womb, which which can happen. as late as 25 weeks pregnantlaw professor at the University of Minnesota Jill Elaine Hasday noted in the Washington Post after Alito’s opinion leaked.
As for Alito’s repetitive quotes and Hale’s gushing praise (which remained in the final ruling), it’s “long overdue to leave that misogyny behind,” Hasday wrote.
Tribe complained that Alito completely disregarded Hale’s criticism because “he and those who join him feel untouchable and answer to no one.”
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.