Since America’s founding, natural law principles play a critical role in the development of rights and human dignity. Commencing with the notion that rights are derived from a higher, metaphysical power over mere promulgation and human legislation, the natural law advocate sees law and human rights in the context of a more perpetual and perennial philosophy. Coupled with this is the view that the natural law provides a series of undeniable precepts for human operations or a natural prescription for human life based on the natural order. Hence early court cases tend to emphasize the “natural” versus the unnatural and just as compellingly argue that the natural order, aligned with the eternal law, delivers a measure for human action. Earlier US Supreme Court cases often use this sort of language in granting or denying rights in certain human activity. As a result, a survey of some of the most significant landmark cases from the Supreme Court are assessed in “Natural Law and the US Supreme Court since Roe v. Wade” and by implication, those cases which seem to disregard these fundamental principles, such as the slavery decisions, are highlighted.
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