What has been said about situations when the minority dictates over the majority? Our Founding Fathers understood this well. These principles majority and minority are considered twin pillars of what it means to be a democratic government. It basically means no majority in a democracy should take away rights and freedoms of the minority or even from an individual.
Majority Rule: The principle that the group that has the most supporters gets its way. A majority is more than half of the voters involved, and rule by such a majority is thought to be the benefit or more than rule by less than half would be. It is considered fairness and decisiveness.
Our first president, George Washington, made a quote indicating a problem when the minority dictates over the majority. His quote: “But if the laws are to be trampled upon with impunity, and a minority is to dictate the majority, there is an end at one stroke to Republican government and nothing but anarchy and confusion is to be expected thereafter.”
This quote by George Washington perhaps can be related to the abortion issue today when the U.S. Supreme Court voted down the legality of abortion rights nationwide. Many state legislators, mostly Republican in majority, have imposed new laws limiting abortion rights on women in their home state. The words “confusion is to be expected thereafter” by George Washington were correct. What is necessary for many women now is to seek their abortion rights in other states. There is much confusion with these new abortion laws as to what is legal in seeking abortion and what is not.
Public opinion on this abortion issue, perhaps by many polls take, indicate that the “majority” of the American public are in favor of abortion rights for women. These abortion rights have been available for about 50 years. The U.S. Supreme Court last year has voted against these abortion rights by saying the U.S. Constitution does not list about anything that abortion is a right to women. That brings up the Ninth Amendment.
The Ninth Amendment: “The enumeration in the constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage other retained by the people.” What basically says all rights not stated in the constitution and not forbidden by the constitution belong to the people. What we have now is some states limiting or perhaps banning abortions and other states allowing abortion rights to continue as is.
The Ninth Amendment: Its purpose has been reported to ensure the Bill of Rights is not seen as granting only the specific rights addressed and that the listing of certain rights does not disparage the existence of other rights.
What we have going forward by the U.S. Supreme Court is that it leads that other rights we have today can be left up to the individual states if passed by the Supreme Court. George
Washington was correct in saying we have a Supreme Court that allows the “minority” to dictate over the “majority,” then beware there will be confusion and social uncertainty. All our basic rights must be nationwide and must be made through a “majority” of all the people.
Thomas E. Carter