The First Rule of Law: Protect the Innocent

Published December 3, 2021

WORLD Opinions

By now, with the Dobbs v. Jackson oral argument in the rear-view mirror, the Justices of the Supreme Court will have met and cast their votes on the future of abortion in America. One can only pray that in the inner chambers of the Supreme Court, the process of assigning drafts that will serve as Roe’s obituary has begun. Oh God, let it be so.

I am eager to say good riddance to Roe. The scourge of this abomination is comparable only to America’s other most horrible sin—slavery and the regime of racial supremacy. Roe v. Wade has torn apart our country politically and defined cultural battles for a generation. But it has also led us to question our national identity and whether the project of constitutionalism could endure as a legitimate project alongside what is, indisputably, the legally codified killing of unborn persons.

The response to the obtuse, rogue constitutionalism set forth in Roe and cemented by its progeny in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, is not to jettison constitutionalism. It is, instead, to return to a just constitutionalism—one that interprets the Constitution according to text, structure, and original meaning.

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Andrew T. Walker is the managing editor of WORLD Opinions and serves as associate professor of Christian ethics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also a fellow with The Ethics and Public Policy Center. He resides with his family in Louisville, Ky.

EPPC Fellow Andrew T. Walker, Ph.D., researches and writes about the intersection of Christian ethics, public theology, and the moral principles that support civil society and sound government. A sought-after speaker and cultural commentator, Dr. Walker’s academic research interests and areas of expertise include natural law, human dignity, family stability, social conservatism, and church-state studies. The author or editor of more than ten books, he is passionate about helping Christians understand the moral demands of the gospel and their contributions to human flourishing and the common good. His most recent book, out in May 2021 from Brazos Press, is titled Liberty for All: Defending Everyone’s Religious Freedom in a Secular Age.

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