As you may have seen in news reports over the last few days, several Supreme Court cases have been decided affirming our constitutional rights in various ways.
In Dobbs, the US Supreme Court issued a historic decision last Friday, overturning Roe, throwing out a constitutional right to abortion, and returning the regulation of abortion to state governments.
The Dobbs decision protects the Constitutional principle of federalism and reaffirms the 10th amendment and states’ rights. I am proud of the important work we’ve done in Georgia to protect life at all stages — from Georgia’s LIFE Act passed in 2019 and now likely to be fully implemented, to legislation that improves post-partum care, to laws that modernize adoption and foster care, and those that combat human trafficking; and I believe we will continue to stand for and nurture the culture of life.
In the same week, the Supreme Court upheld the Second Amendment in Bruen, holding that laws in New York and other states that allow for arbitrary decisions about issuing concealed carry permits are unconstitutional.
While we passed legislation in Georgia in our recent session allowing carry without a permit, the Court’s decision does not eliminate the ability for a state like New York to keep permitting in place.
It simply requires that all New Yorkers who meet the requirements can receive a permit without having to be rich enough or well-connected enough to pull the right strings.
These cases address very different issues, but it is my belief that they both protect Georgia’s culture of life. The Dobbs ruling returns the right to regulate abortions similar to any other health and welfare law back to the states, while Bruen guarantees the ability of all law-abiding Americans — not just the politically connected — to defend themselves and their families.
These decisions are both controversial among many Americans, and will likely lead to political debates and protests in the streets — in fact, Americans both supportive of and opposed to the Dobbs decision made their voices heard across the country, including in Atlanta at the National Right to Life convention and at the state capitol.
I am hopeful that despite Stacey Abrams’ call to “defend our rights in the streets”, her supporters will remain peaceful and respectful as they and others exercise our first amendment rights on this and other issues.
We live in a state and a country with a long history of peaceful debate and dialogue over even the most controversial issues.
I remain confident that as we consider legislation on any contentious issue, Georgia will lead, setting a good example nationally for thoughtfulness that preserves and protects constitutional rights and ensures Georgia continues to be the best state in which to live and work.
Always remember that should you have questions, comments, or concerns about issues affecting District 159 and our region of Georgia please reach out to me at (404.656.5052), email, or engage on Facebook. If you would like to receive email updates, please visit my website to sign up for my newsletter or email me.
Jon Burns represents District 159 in the Georgia General Assembly, where he serves as the House majority leader.