Philadelphia Inquirer publishes Elon Law scholar’s column on Thurgood Marshall

Associate Dean Wendy B. Scott wrote how the late U.S. Supreme Court associate justice foreshadowed the impact of a possible overturn of Roe v. Wade in his dissents on other decisions related to abortion and reproductive health care.

The Philadelphia Inquirer published a guest column on abortion rights by an Elon Law constitutional law scholar who framed her commentary around the dissents of the first Black attorney to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Associate Dean Wendy B. Scott’s commentary, “The clairvoyance of Thurgood Marshall on the question of Roe,” appeared in the July 14 issue of Pennsylvania’s largest daily newspaper.

“Marshall chastised the court for ignoring the reality that poor women often face severe mental health, economic, and public health consequences when compelled to choose the ‘attractive alternative’ of childbirth and parenting,” Scott writes. “Marshall concluded that judicial endorsement of regulations that unduly burdened the poor and stripped women of personal autonomy was unconstitutional and further exacerbated gender subordination at the intersection of race, gender, and economic status.

“… In the words of Thomas Jefferson, speaking of the inherent contradiction between equality and slavery, ‘I tremble for my country.’ The clairvoyance Marshall proved — and how it speaks to the determination of the current court to base its jurisprudence on the meaning of the Constitution when women and people of color were viewed as property — makes me tremble for America.”

Scott serves as Elon Law’s associate dean for the Office of Academic Success where she leads a team of experienced lawyer/teachers with the goal of motivating students “to learn the skills needed to successfully navigate the short, intense academic experience called law school, pass the bar exam and serve the profession to the best of their abilities.”

She is a nationally recognized scholar of constitutional law and school desegregation having taught Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, Constitutional Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Gender and the Law and Federal Indian Law.

She is the coauthor — with Michigan State University College of Law dean Linda S. Greene — of a forthcoming book on the dissenting opinions of Justice Thurgood Marshall.