By Joe Bast | May 23, 2022

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court is about to reverse Roe v. Wade, liberals are worried about what decisions the post-Trump Supreme Court might reverse next. They are right to be worried. Conservatives are eagerly discussing other decisions that should be reversed.

According to a recent article posted on Revolver, an online source of news and analysis,

“For decades, groups like the Federalist Society have fought to nominate and confirm judges who will roll back the excesses of those decades. And for decades, despite a consistent majority of Republican appointees, the Supreme Court has punted.

“Now, bolstered by President Trump’s three appointees to the court, the tide may have finally turned. A five-justice majority is finally willing to say that one of the major rulings from a half-century ago was always wrong, should never have been created, and should be sent to the ash heap of history.”

The essay then describes seven past Supreme Court decisions that are ripe for reversal. Doing so would expand individual liberty and stop the seemingly relentless advance of socialism in America.

A book published in 2008 titled The Dirty Dozen: How Twelve Supreme Court Cases Radically Expanded Government and Eroded Freedom, by Robert A. Levy and William Mellor, provided a longer list of bad decisions going back to the 1930s that ought to be overturned. The decisions criticized in the book are:

  • Wickard v. Filburn  (1942), which expanded federal power over intrastate production pursuant to the Commerce Clause;
  • Helvering v. Davis  (1937), which held that Social Security was constitutionally permissible as an exercise of the federal power to spend for the general welfare and did not contravene the Tenth Amendment;
  • Home Building & Loan Association v. Blaisdell (1934), which held that Minnesota’s suspension of creditors’ remedies was not in violation of the United States Constitution;
  • Whitman v. American Trucking Association, Inc. (2001), which held that Congress could delegate legislative power to the Environmental Protection Agency;
  • McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (2003), which upheld the constitutionality of most of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), often referred to as the McCain–Feingold Act;
  • United States v. Miller (1939), which allowed federal regulation of sawed-off shotguns;
  • Korematsu v. United States (1944), which upheld Japanese-American internment;
  • Bennis v. Michigan (1996), which held that the “innocent owner defense” is not constitutionally mandated by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process clause in cases of civil forfeiture;
  • Kelo v. City of New London (2005), which upheld the use of eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to another to further economic development;
  • Penn Central Transport Co. v. New York  (1978), which upheld the denial of compensation for regulatory takings;
  • United States v. Caroline Products (1938), which upheld federal regulation of goods traded in interstate commerce; and
  • Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), which upheld the affirmative action admissions policy of the University of Michigan Law School.

One of these decisions already has been overturned: United States v. Miller was overturned in 2018 by the District of Columbia v. Heller decision, a landmark case that affirmed the individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.

As the authors of The Dirty Dozen say in a preface to a 2010 edition of the book, “that’s one case down and eleven to go.”

H/T John Dale Dunn, MD, JD.

Action items: Read “After Roe, Here Are Seven More Precedents the Post-Trump Supreme Court Should Smash,” Revolver, May 9.

Read The Dirty Dozen by Robert A. Levy and William Mellor,

After Roe: A Conservative Action Plan for the U.S. Supreme Court