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The symbol of modern constitutional law, for good or ill, is Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s abortion decision. From the beginning, the big question has been, where in the text of the Constitution do were find this “right of privacy” that secures the right to choose abortion? Some scholars have argued that such a right could not be found in the text or structure of the Constitution. One powerful counter stems from a textual approach to giving effect to the Constitution. In this article, the author argues that, if we look carefully enough at the text and history, they both support the view that the framers were more deeply committed to protecting fundamental rights, rooted either in a moral reality or perhaps in the unwritten English constitution, than they were to the power of the people to adopt laws, or authorize the adoption of laws, that would invade the rights conceived of an “inalienable.”

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Nev. Law., July 2001, at 27.