Justice Samuel Alito approvingly referenced a man who supported the death penalty for witches in the leaked draft of his efforts to overturn Roe vs. Wade — and MSNBC anchor Lawrence O'Donnell on Wednesday predicted it would be stricken from the final draft.
O'Donnell, a former Senate staffer, predicted that the approving citation of Sir Edward Coke would be stricken from the final document.
"Samuel Alito reaches back to legal writings in 17th century England to show that the right to abortion services is not deeply rooted in our history. He cites Sir Edward Coke, writing in 1644, that abortion is a crime," he explained. "In 1644, in England, they were still having witch trials ending in the execution of the convicted witches. And Sir Edward Coke helped English law define witches when he re-wrote English law in 1604 to make it even more cruel in witchcraft trials."
O'Donnell explained why he did not view Coke as a moral authority.
"Samuel Alito is reaching back four centuries to use Sir Edward Coke as a moral authority on abortion — a man who believed in witches and believed that they were working with the devil and believed that witches should be murdered by the state and he helped to make sure that they were murdered by the state in England," O'Donnell explained.
"So when you are justifying outlawing abortion, because people conducting witch trials also believed that abortion should be against the law, you are morally lost. That is what the twisted reasoning of Samuel Alito has delivered to us in the first Supreme Court opinion in history revoking a constitutional right," he explained.
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